The microscopy lab is a very powerful lab equipped with up to date technology throughout. The very talented staff is trained to get the most out of the equipment which includes stereo, compound, scanning electron microscopes and more. These tools are often used for imaging, identification, reverse engineering, product development and problem solving.

Please contact the Microscopy Lab to discuss your microscopy needs.
Leslie Berryhill ~ 704-825-6293 or ttcmicro@yahoo.com

Katrina Penegar ~ 704-825-6291 or ttcmicro@yahoo.com

Jim Taft ~ 704-825-6298 or taft.jim@gaston.edu

Services Offered

Bicomponent Fiber dpf ~ $170/sample
Similar to determining fiber dpf, but the weight percent of each component is also included.

Chemical Extraction ~ $30/solvent
Water, alcohol, hexanes, acetone and xylene for contamination investigation.

Contamination Identification ~ Call for Quote
The lab is skilled at contamination identification by combining sample manipulation, polarized light, microscope infrared, hot stage, and energy dispersive x-ray analysis techniques to identify contaminants.

Cotton Maturity Detection ~ $80/sample

Crimp per inch by image analysis (n=30) ~ $120/sample or  $240/sample ~ Spiral or high twist fibers

Cross-section ~ $80/sample or $100/spandex (hand cut procedure) or $120/comparing normal to defect yarns.
Digital image of fiber, yarn or multilayer film cross-section.

Density Column ~ $50/sample
Fiber or yarn – n=3 / Chip – n=10 / Bottle Flake – n=1

EDX ~ $85/sample
SEM EDXRA (energy dispersive x-ray analysis)

Epoxy Cross-section ~ $180/sample
This technique is used to cross-section high strength yarns such as Para-aramid.

Failure Analysis ~ Call for quote
Root cause failure analysis (i.e. Did the sample fail from stress overload, brittle fracture, environmental stress cracking, chemical attack, etc.) This does not include the cost of contaminant identification.

Fiber Birefringence ~ $240/sample

Fiber dpf ~ $130/sample or Bicomponent/Hollow: $170/sample
Calculate fiber dpf by using image analysis to measures the fiber cross- sectional area.

Fiber Identification ~ $145/sample
Unknown fibers are identified by using a combination of microscopy infrared and cross section analysis. Additional testing may be required such as hot stage and EDX at an additional cost.

Fiber Shrinkage ~ $150/sample
Fiber shrinkage determined by Mettler Hot stage and Image Analysis

Fiber Stain ~ $50/sample
Gross determination of fiber types in an unknown sample

Filament Count ~ $80/sample                                                                                                           (Additional $80 per hour for 100+ filament yarns if necessary)
Yarn cross-section via thin sectioning device.

Freeze Fracture ~ $80/sample
Prepares foamed samples for SEM imaging

Hot stage Analysis ~ $100/sample
The lab has a Mettler hot stage. The hot stage can be thought of as Differential Scanning Calorimetry with images instead of a thermal analysis plot.

Mapping including EDX ~ $180/sample

Mod Ratio & DPF ~ $170/sample
Similar to determining fiber dpf with the addition of mod ratio also being calculated

Micro Extraction (HFIP gel analysis) ~ $80/sample/solvent
Chemical extraction typically involving 0.05 milliliters or less of solvent

Microscopic Infrared Analysis ~ $85/sample
The lab has an IlluminatIR II for doing microscope ATR or ARO analysis.

Nonwoven Reverse Engineering ~ Call for Quote
The lab is skilled at reverse engineering nonwoven fabrics. The lab can identify each fiber type and the type of binder. The lab can usually provide a complete blend analysis, which includes the weight percent of each fiber type and the weight percent of the binder.

Optical Microscopy ~ $80/hour
Optical microscopy includes stereo zoom microscopy and compound microscopy.

Plasma Etcher ~ $100/sample
Plasma Etching (or oxidation) to reveal internal structures or fillers in polymeric materials

Polishing ~ $80/sample
Metal samples or epoxy mounts. (8 abrasive sheets and 3 polishing pastes)

Pyrolysis ~ $50/sample
Sample prep for elastomeric materials

Sample Examination Fee ~ $80/sample
Sample investigation- minimum fee for all samples submitted for problem solving.

Scanning Electron Microscopy ~ $180/hour
The lab has two scanning electron microscopes. The Zeiss DSM 962 is a conventional high vacuum SEM. The Electro Scan 2020 is an environmental SEM. Both units have EDXRA (energy dispersive x-ray analysis).

Sample Prep and Manipulation ~ $80/sample
This fee is for non-routine sample prep such as unraveling a warp knit or manipulating 5 micron particles for EDX analysis.

Yarn Blend Analysis (2 fiber types) ~ $300/sample or $400/comparing normal vs. defect
Microscopy techniques are used to determined blend analysis when analytical techniques (e.g. dissolve out) cannot be used. Examples of when analytical techniques cannot be used are a heather blend of black and white polyester or a blend of cotton and rayon. Each additional fiber type adds $150 to the cost.

Microscopy Priority Assignment

Standard service is completion within 15 working business days

Rush Service is completion within 10 working business days or 2 weeks ~ 50% surcharge

Priority Service is completion same day or within 1 working day ~ 200% surcharge

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