Hot mounting provides protection and support of the sample surface, makes it easier to handle the sample, allows for several small samples in one mount and gives uniform sizes for clamping in a sample holder. Hot mounting resins are to be used in a mounting press, where they are processed at high pressure and temperature to very uniform mounts ideal for examination in upright microscopes or other devices requiring specific sizes or shapes. Depending on your requirements, several different hot mounting compounds are available for your hot mounting process:
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Aka-Resin, Epoxy is a black, mineral-filled thermosetting epoxy resin for the best possible mounting result with very low shrinkage and best edge retention. This allows for examination of the sample at very high magnifications and as there is no gap between resin and sample also cross-contamination is avoided.
Aka-Resin, Melamine is a white, mineral-filled thermosetting melamine resin for universal mounting with very low shrinkage. Optimal for hardness testing of case hardened samples due to the contrast provided by the white colour.
Aka-Resin, Acrylic is a transparent thermoplastic acrylic resin for crystal clear mounts. This is ideal for failure analysis or target preparation where observation of the sample is required.
Aka-Resin, Phenolic SEM is a black, carbon-filled thermosetting phenolic resin for conductive mounting used in SEM work.
Aka-Resin, Phenolic is a black, wood-filled thermosetting phenolic resin for routine mounting of samples. Being an inexpensive resin it is also ideal for back-filling when working with more expensive resins.
What is the difference between thermosetting and thermoplastic?
Thermosetting resins cure at a certain temperature and this process is irreversible. Thermoplastic resins soften at higher temperatures and harden or solidify again during cooling. This process is reversible, if the mount is not satisfactory you can place it back in the press and repeat the process.
What is back-filling?
Back-filling is used to combine the features of two different resins. Here are a few possibilities:
- Have a high-quality resin like Aka-Resin, Epoxy at the bottom of the sample for the best preparation result and fill with a low cost resin like Aka-Resin, Phenolic to reduce the cost of your mount.
- Fill the resin you normally use for mounting your sample, e.g. Aka-Resin, Melamine to ⅔ of the normal height, insert a piece of paper with the identification of your sample and then top up with Aka-Resin, Acrylic. The finished mount has a clear top and you can always identify your sample.