GREAT Cell Synthetic Samples
Clear Polyethylene samples are used in the GREAT cell to visually highlight the outcome of mechanical processes under true triaxial conditions and encase rock samples that are too small to be directly tested in the GREAT cell (e.g. well cores).
The procedure for creating the synthetic samples is as follows:
- The synthetic samples constructed for the GREAT cell experiments are made from a water-clear polyester casting resin that is cured with an MEKP catalyst at 1% concentration.
- Each sample is built up in a series of individual pours that are allowed to cure individually to prevent the sample from reaching too high a temperature during the curing process.
- Once the catalyst is mixed into the resin as evenly as possible, this is poured into a specifically designed mould made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) that has non-stick properties for ease of removal of the sample once cured.
- The mould is then placed in a vacuum degassing chamber and a vacuum applied to remove any air bubbles in the mixture. The vacuum pump can pull vacuum to < 1 mBar.
- Following degassing the mould is removed from the chamber and allowed to continue curing in the fume cupboard.
The team within the GREAT Cell Laboratory welcomes scientific collaboration and are always happy to discuss new projects and experimental designs. Please contact:
And for technical support please contact: