Applied Polymer Light Microscopy by A. D. Curson (auth.), D. A. Hemsley (eds.)

By A. D. Curson (auth.), D. A. Hemsley (eds.)

Synthetic polymers make first-class specimens for mild microscopy. regardless of this, using the process, at the least in its complex varieties, isn't so frequent as will be anticipated. even if trustworthy and appropriate info are tricky to discover and quantify, it appears in different fields of fabrics technological know-how and expertise there's a higher readiness to tum to the microscope in study, in commercial challenge fixing, or for caliber overview and keep watch over. It additionally turns out that the explanations for the current scenario are in part historic, partially the results of the constitution of the plastics and rubber industries, and in part the schooling and coaching heritage of senior employees who are usually chemistry or engineering dependent. In neither box does mild microscopy function strongly within the uncomplicated education. the first goal of this publication is to supply a few perception into the variety oflight microscopy thoughts acceptable to polymeric specimens, and to spotlight usual purposes to advertisement polymers and polymer items. the place acceptable, the optical ideas concerned are mentioned in a few aspect. besides the fact that, it has now not been the purpose to supply a mild microscopy textbook facing the foundations and layout of the elemental device. Many such texts can be found, and chosen examples are brought up within the reference checklist on the finish of so much chapters.

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In polymers the various stress levels will be introduced either by the action of the microtome knife or, more commonly, by the processing conditions under which the sample was produced. Consequently no amount of soaking (or floating) of the section in warm oil or water will improve 30 A. D. Curson matters. In fact, such action may only make the situation worse by encouraging even tighter curling. Curling due to poor microtomy technique can be minimised, if not eliminated, by careful attention to all the various points raised in this chapter.

The advantages of epoxy resins are that they provide good penetration, especially where friable and fragile powders are involved, and they are less likely to be attacked by mounting liquids. 26 A. D. Curson Acrylic cements. The use of systems based on acrylic powder plus monomer is not recommended for powder embedding since the structure of the acrylic powder particles in these materials is not lost. The best acrylic systems are the low viscosity two-part liquid mixes; they have quite good penetration which can be aided by vacuum cycling.

If there is too much liquid present the section will remain suspended and not flattened. It is much easier, and neater, to introduce a little more mountant using a fine pair offorceps loaded with liquid in much the same way as a draughtsman's pen than to attempt the more unsatisfactory operation of removing excess liquid using the edge of a tissue. Ifhigh resolution microscopy is envisaged, or if the mounted section is to be stored, the coverslip should be 'ringed' or fixed with a suitable fixative.

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