Author Topic: Wax used for adhering mounted epoxy samples to polishing fixture or chuck  (Read 390 times)

Dominique

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Good morning,

I thought I'd write to you to see what type of wax labs are using these days. There seems to be a variety on the market, and we'll need to replace ours soon. The wax we've been using is non-descript; it's a white semi-translucent block shaped like a bar of soap, and though it's clean it was bought many years ago. We place the polishing fixture on a hot plate, press the block of wax to the centre to melt some, then place our epoxy sample to it and remove to cool. The wax hardens quickly, under a minute, once the fixture is placed on the cooling surface (an old grinding/polishing wheel surface made of steel, 1 inch thick). We also polish either with water or iso-propanol, which the wax seems resistant to (it cleans off with acetone).

We need the wax to adhere 1 inch sections, or smaller cut sections or cuts of mineral, for grinding and polishing. Some of the grinding can be quite coarse...We also are currently using the wax to mount sections to a fixture for cutting with a diamond blade saw.

The waxes on the market these days seem to be available mostly in stick form, from the clear mounting wax available at Allied High Tech with a melting point of 49C/120F, to thermoplastic resin 'wax' called TriPod from Struers with a melting point of 75C/165F, The Pelco Quickstick 135 from Ted Pella melting at 135C, and the Crystalbond wax from Buehler that has two compositions, melting at 120F and 165F.

Thoughts? Any stand out products?
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Probeman

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Re: Wax used for adhering mounted epoxy samples to polishing fixture or chuck
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2021, 11:17:49 AM »
I am only (a little) familiar with the CrystalBond products.

The lower temp product is very easy to use and mostly transparent which is nice for working with. However when I was using it at UC Berkeley for mounting some lunar sphereules, that were to be subsequently removed for Ar-Ar dating:

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/287/5459/1785.abstract

We found that in the Cameca instrument, since the stage runs a little warm, over time the Crystal Bond would soften enough to allow the (100 um) sphereules to move around quite a bit. Especially if any air bubbles were present (under vacuum).

We had to go to the higher temp product, but it was a little harder to work with and quite opaque.  But both clean up easy with acetone.
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Dominique

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Re: Wax used for adhering mounted epoxy samples to polishing fixture or chuck
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2021, 08:43:28 AM »
Thanks for your reply, though we are only using it to mount samples for polishing, not examination.

We have a crystalbond 509 stick that I recently found, and it melts at higher temperatures (much higher than the other listings, 121C or 250F) and is more tacky than the white wax we typically use.

I have a feeling I should narrow my search to only wax products.
I wanted to make a clever chemistry joke, but the best ones argon.