For specimens requiring a flat, smooth finish, mounting specimens in epoxy or phenolic resins is often needed.
Epoxy resins are softer and can be harder to retain a flat surface (particularly for a hard specimen material) but cure at (near) ambient pressure and temperatures. This is important for specimens that will undergo changes to structural and/or mechanical properties at elevated temperatures and pressures.
Phenolic mounts are harder, with better edge retention, but require high temperatures and pressures to cure the resin. Automated mounting presses are available for Teaching Lab users.
Consumables needed for epoxy and phenolic mounting are included with the lab key fee and are provided by the department. Lab staff works hard to ensure that the labs are fully stocked at all times; however, if you notice the lab is running low on a consumable, notify a lab administrator.