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

Katrina Penegar ~ 704-825-6292 or

Jim Taft ~ 704-825-6298 or

Services Offered

* Pricing Effective October 1, 2018*

  • 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.
  • Sample Examination Fee ~ $80/sample
    Sample investigation- minimum fee for all samples submitted for problem solving.
  • Polishing ~ $80/sample
    Metal samples or epoxy mounts. (8 abrasive sheets and 3 polishing pastes)
  • Optical Microscopy ~ $80/hour
    Optical microscopy includes stereo zoom microscopy and compound microscopy.
  • Microscopic Infrared Analysis ~ $90/sample
    The lab has an IlluminatIR II for doing microscope ATR or ARO analysis.
  • Mod Ratio & DPF ~ $170/sample
    Similar to determining fiber dpf with the addition of mod ratio also being calculated
  • 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.
  • Filament Count ~ $80/sample  (Additional $80 per hour for 100+ filament yarns if necessary) Yarn cross-section via thin sectioning device.
  • Fiber Stain ~ $50/sample
    Gross determination of fiber types in an unknown sample
  • Fiber Shrinkage ~ $200/sample
    Fiber shrinkage determined by Mettler Hot stage and Image Analysis
  • Fiber Identification ~ $170/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 dpf ~ $130/sample or Bicomponent/Hollow: $170/sample
    Calculate fiber dpf by using image analysis to measures the fiber cross- sectional area.
  • Fiber Birefringence ~ $240/sample
  • 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.
  • Data Compilation ~ $80/hour
  • Epoxy Cross-section ~ $180/sample
    This technique is used to cross-section high strength yarns such as Para-aramid.
  • EDX ~ $90/sample
    SEM EDXRA (energy dispersive x-ray analysis)
  • Density Column ~ $50/sample
    Fiber or yarn – n=3 / Chip – n=10 / Bottle Flake – n=1
  • 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.
  • Crimp per inch by image analysis (n=30) ~ $150/sample or $240/sample ~ Spiral or high twist fibers
  • Cotton Maturity Detection ~ $80/sample
  • 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.
  • Chemical Extraction ~ $30/solvent
    Water, alcohol, hexanes, acetone and xylene for contamination investigation.
  • Bicomponent Fiber dpf ~ $170/sample
    Similar to determining fiber dpf, but the weight percent of each component is also included.
  • Freeze Fracture ~ $80/sample
    Prepares foamed samples for SEM imaging
  • Mapping including EDX ~ $190/sample
  • Micro Extraction (HFIP gel analysis) ~ $80/sample/solvent
    Chemical extraction typically involving 0.05 milliliters or less of solvent
  • 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.
  • Plasma Etcher ~ $100/sample
    Plasma Etching (or oxidation) to reveal internal structures or fillers in polymeric materials
  • Pyrolysis ~ $80/sample
    Sample prep for elastomeric materials
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy ~ $190/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).
  • Blend Analysis (2 fiber types) ~ $350/sample or $450/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.
  • Blend Analysis (Non-woven) ~ Call for Quote

Microscopy Priority Assignment

Standard service is completion within 15 working business days

Express Service – completion within 10 working business days ~ 50% surcharge

Priority Service- completion within 5 working business days ~ 100% surcharge

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