School of GeoSciences

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).

GREAT Cell Resin Sample

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:

Dr. habil. Christopher I McDermott

Reader in Hydrogeology and Coupled Process Modelling

  • School of Geosciences

Contact details

Address

Street

Grant Institute,
The King's Buildings,
James Hutton Road,

City
Edinburgh
Post Code
EH9 3FE

Dr. Andrew Fraser-Harris

Post Doctoral Researcher

  • School of Geosciences

Contact details

Address

Street

Grant Institute,
The King's Buildings,
James Hutton Road,

City
Edinburgh
Post Code
EH9 3FE

And for technical support please contact:

Alexander Lightbody

Technical Officer

  • School of Geosciences

Contact details

Address

Street

Grant Institute,
The King's Buildings,
James Hutton Road,

City
Edinburgh
Post Code
EH9 3FE