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Epoxies[edit]

Safety equipment:

  • Safety glasses are required in the sample preparation and chemistry labs at all times.

Safety Note:

  • While the epoxy and its components are relatively innocuous, none of it should not come in contact with skin or other tissue. If contact is made with resin, hardener or mixed epoxy, thoroughly wash the area with soap and water.

Epo-Tek 301 (data sheet, MSDS) is used almost exclusively in the lab for stabilizing, impregnating and affixing glass to sections. It is an optically clear epoxy that is readily dyed. Epoxy is prepared by mixing resin with hardener at a ratio of 4:1 by weight or 3:1 by volume.

Mixing fluorescent epoxy[edit]

Safety Equipment:

  • Safety glasses are required at all time in the sample prep lab.
  • Nitrile gloves.

Tigris Yellow D-043 from Dayglo (data sheet) is the fluorescent dye added to epoxy used for impregnation of specimens for epifluorescent examination. Fluorescent epoxy is a 1% (by weight) mixture of the dye and the mixture must be prepared very precisely in order to minimize differences in dye concentration from mixture to mixture.

  1. Weigh clear EpoTek EP-301 resin into a large poly beaker to four decimals (units=grams).
  2. Using the precision balance, tare a boat and weigh out an amount of dye equal to the weight of the resin in the beaker divided by 99. (grams dye = grams clear resin/ 99)
  3. Make sure the magnetic stirrer is plugged in and that the hot plate is turned off.
  4. Place the beaker of clear resin on the magnetic stirrer, add the large stirring bar and set to a speed producing a vortex, if possible. (The resin is viscous and may not produce a vortex depending upon the amount in the beaker.)
  5. Carefully add all of the dye from the boat into the beaker such that none of the dry dye comes in contact with the side of the beaker.
  6. Mix for several hours.