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

  • Sample Prep and Manipulation 
    This fee is for non-routine sample prep such as unraveling a warp knit or manipulating 5 micron particles for EDX analysis.
  • Sample Examination 
    Sample investigation
  • Polishing 
    Metal samples or epoxy mounts. 
  • Optical Microscopy 
    Optical microscopy includes stereo zoom microscopy and compound microscopy.
  • Microscopic Infrared Analysis 
    The lab has an IlluminatIR II for doing microscope ATR or ARO analysis.
  • Mod Ratio & DPF 
    Similar to determining fiber dpf with the addition of mod ratio also being calculated
  • Hot stage Analysis
    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
    Yarn cross-section via thin sectioning device.
  • Fiber Stain 
    Gross determination of fiber types in an unknown sample
  • Fiber Shrinkage 
    Fiber shrinkage determined by Mettler Hot stage and Image Analysis
  • Fiber Identification 
    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 
    Calculate fiber dpf by using image analysis to measures the fiber cross- sectional area.
  • Fiber Birefringence 
  • Failure Analysis 
    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 
  • Epoxy Cross-section 
    This technique is used to cross-section high strength yarns such as Para-aramid.
  • EDX 
    SEM EDXRA (energy dispersive x-ray analysis)
  • Density Column 
    Fiber or yarn – n=3 / Chip – n=10 / Bottle Flake – n=1
  • Cross-section 
    Digital image of fiber, yarn or multilayer film cross-section.
  • Crimp per inch by image analysis (n=30) 
  • Cotton Maturity Detection
  • Contamination Identification
    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
    Water, alcohol, hexanes, acetone and xylene for contamination investigation.
  • Bicomponent Fiber dpf
    Similar to determining fiber dpf, but the weight percent of each component is also included.
  • Freeze Fracture 
    Prepares foamed samples for SEM imaging
  • Mapping including EDX
  • Micro Extraction (HFIP gel analysis)
    Chemical extraction typically involving 0.05 milliliters or less of solvent
  • Nonwoven Reverse Engineering
    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
    Plasma Etching (or oxidation) to reveal internal structures or fillers in polymeric materials
  • Pyrolysis 
    Sample prep for elastomeric materials
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy 
    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) 
    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)
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