Free Access
Microsc. Microanal. Microstruct.
Volume 6, Number 5-6, October / December 1995
Page(s) 573 - 586
Microsc. Microanal. Microstruct. 6, 573-586 (1995)
DOI: 10.1051/mmm:1995149

Preparative Method and Analysis by OM, SEM and EPMA of Porous, Brittle and Low Permeability Rocks and Materials: The Case of Pumices

Fabio Gamberini1 et Giovanni Valdrè1, 2

1  Dept. of Mineralogical Sciences, P. Porta San Donato 1, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2  Electron Microscopy Centre - INFM, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy

A method is reported for the preparation of flat specimens (30 $\rm\mu m$ thick) of porous, brittle and low permeability materials and rocks for both optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). The method, based on alternating embeddings in vacuum with epoxy resin and grindings with final polishing down to 0.25 $\rm\mu m$ alumina grain size, prevents the breaking of the glassy interconnections and fills with resin the majority of the bubbles and voids. It has been applied to the analysis of pumices sampled at Linosa, Sicily, which are glassy materials with inhomogeneities on a micro-scale and with a vesicular texture often not interconnected. The method has been successfully applied also to the preparation of various sedimentary rocks, synthetics, bones and biomaterials.

8105R - Porous materials; granular materials.
9140 - Volcanology.
9160 - Physical properties of rocks and minerals.
0660E - Sample preparation (including design of sample holders).

Key words
pumice -- pyroclastics -- methods -- sample preparation -- electron microscopy -- thin sections -- SEM data -- porosity -- permeability -- electron probe data -- chemical composition -- volcanic glass -- resins -- vesicular texture -- Sicily -- major elements -- Crystalline rocks -- Earth sciences -- Universe sciences -- Geochemistry -- volcanic rocks -- igneous rocks -- Italy -- Europe

© EDP Sciences 1995