Automatic Thin Section Machine

 Presentation video:

Demonstration video:

Details of the Pelcon Automatic Thin Section Machine: 

Comprises: Diamond saw, water cooling system, vacuum pump, vacuum systems for cutting and grinding, 2 sets of 3 grinding rollers with embedded diamonds, automatic thickness acquisition and adjustable grinding speed.

High Quality Thin Sections

·      Make thin sections without manual grinding
·      Secure against preparation damages
·      Preserve delicate microstructures
·      Constant quality of thin sections
·      Even thickness in full area
·      Constant microscope focus during analysis
·      Sizes up to 35mm x 75mm
·      Offers full finishing quality
·      (Polishing optional)

Concrete, Rocks and Soil

Fluorescence impregnated thin sections are excellent for:
· General petrography
· Mineralogy
· Micro porosity / Cracking
· Damage diagnosis
· Quality control
· Consultancy
· Research

User Friendly and Fast

·      Requires little space
·      Works with very low noise
·      Gives no environmental hazards
·      Based on serial work procedures
·      Simple setting of grinding thickness
·      Requires 3-days training course only
·      10-30 thin sections per day by one operator
·      With training, check lists and specimen control

High precision diamond roller technique

Rim of ettringite crystals in air void; 40 years old concrete

Anne preparing thin sections

Thickness Control System

The Pelcon Automatic Thin Section Machine has build-in thickness control:
·      Accuracy at 1-micron level
·      Required thickness is set before grinding
·      Sample is operated non-manually
·      Grinding stops automatically at set thickness
·      Same thickness at large production series
·      Applied by DBT/Pelcon for 25 years

Well documented

The predecessor of the Pelcon Automatic Thin Section Machine:
· In use at Universities, Accredited Laboratories, Research Institutions and Consultancies
· Over 30,000 thin sections by one machine

Thin section analysis

Analysis of fluorescence impregnated thin sections:
·      Polarisation microscope
·      UV set-up (excitation & barrier filters)*
·      Microstructure analysis system*
·      QA system for analysis documentation*

New driving system (Patent pending):

Specimens are fixed by the two-sided vacuum holder for grinding of both blocks and final thin sections. The vacuum-holder with the specimen is moved gently over the rotating diamond roller by the silent low-pressure driving unit. This gives constant grinding pressure and results in improved and very high quality thin sections.

Thin section produced across a thin section of concrete. XPL, thickness: 20 µm

Low Consumables Cost (not included)

·       Glass*
·       Epoxy
·       Band steel*
·       UV-hardening glue*
·       Fluorescence powder*
·       Diamond blade*
·       Diamond rollers *
 *:     Purchased at Pelcon

Few Requirements

The Pelcon Automatic Thin Section Machine requires:
· 110-220 V AC
· Cooling water
· Vacuum pump for the machine (included)
· Vacuum impregnation chamber*
· UV-lamp for UV-hardening glue*


·        Pre-impregnate fragile samples
·        Mount reference glass on back side of sample
·        Cut to ~10mm thickness incl. ref. glass
·        Grind with diamond rollers nos. 1-3
·        Gently clean and dry sample after each step
·        Vacuum impregnate with fluorescent epoxy
·        Re-grind 5 mm off the impregnated surface
·        Mount on object glass with UV hardening glue
·        Cut to 0.5 mm thickness using diamond saw
·        Grind with rollers nos. 1-3
·        Grinding stops automatically at set thickness
·        (SEM required polishing is optional)
·        Mount cover glass using UV-hardening glue

Moderately vibrated, w/c: 0.38
Over-vibrated, w/c: 0.38

Reliable fluorescence analysis of hardened concrete: 


Please feel free to contact us for a quotation or if you have any questions