We manufacture thin sections and polished sections for petrographic analysis of geologic materials and man-made materials. A wide variety of customizable size and polish options are available to best suit your research needs. Each specimen is trimmed to the proper size and impregnated with epoxy when needed. We produce smooth planar sections with an even thickness throughout. Our team will provide the best quality and most cost-effective techniques that your samples require.

Slide Size Options

  • 46 x 27 mm
  • Disc 1”
  • 75 x 50 mm (3 x 2”)
Thin Sections4

Finish Options
We take great pride in providing our customers with the highest quality polish adapted to specific customer needs. We offer basic finish, single polish, and double polish options. If you are unsure which polish would be best for your samples, please contact us and we will advise you on the optimal polishing for your needs.

Basic Finish
3 μm Top & Bottom
Single Polish
0.05 μm Top & 3 μm Bottom
Double Polish
0.05 μm Top & Bottom


For optimal clarity, our double polished option includes a 0.05 micron top and bottom polish. This is the best polish we offer which provides the smoothest surface with minimal relief. The double polish option is recommended for analysis using a microprobe, SEM, or cathodoluminescence (CL). We also recommend using this polishing option when imaging high resolution photomicrographs or virtual thin sections.

Our basic finish option includes a 3 micron lapped top and bottom surface on your sample. The basic finish is our most economical option and provides the least amount of surface detail with some relief. Basic finish is a good choice for concrete, cement, and mortar specimens. A cover slip is recommended for use with this polish option because it reduces the amount of surface irregularities and increases the optical clarity.

Additional Thin Section Options
Carbonate Staining – Our carbonate staining option with Alizarin red S and potassium ferricyanide is used for identifying common minerals and intracrystalline chemical variations. Alizarin red S will produce a pink to red stain on any carbonate such as calcite and aragonite, but the less reactive minerals such as dolomite and siderite, remain unstained. Potassium ferricyanide(PF) produces a precipitate of Turnbull’s blue when ferrous iron is released to the staining solution. When ALS and PF are combined, ferroan calcite stains mauve to purple-blue, ferroan dolomite will stain turquoise to green and rhodochrosite will stain pale brown. Our carbonate staining procedure combines ALS and PF; however, we do also offer the staining chemicals separate if requested.

After, “Carbonate Identification and Genesis as revealed by Staining, Dickson, J.A.D., Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp, 491-505, June 1966.”

Feldspar Staining– To help with modal analysis and mineral identification in siliciclastic thin sections, we offer a feldspar staining option that combines cobaltinitrite and amaranth to help distinguish plagioclase (including other alkaline earths or lead) and potassium feldspar. This staining procedure is suitable for granitic and other rocks containing potassium feldspar. Our feldspar staining option uses sodium cobaltinitrite and amaranth to help distinguish between plagioclase and potassium feldspar. Using cobaltinitrite, potassium-feldspar appears bright yellow. Amaranth stains plagioclase red. Both stains will not react with quartz. Please be aware that the procedure calls for hydrofluoric (HF) acid to be used which may corrode or even eliminate the dark minerals (i.e. biotite). Please let us know ahead of time if you would like only one stain applied to your samples.

Thin Section2
Nomenclature for the plagioclase feldspar series and the high temperature alkali feldspars.
After Deer, Howie and Zussman, 1963, Rock Forming Minerals.

Vacuum Impregnation with Dyed Epoxy Resin (Blue, Red, and Fluorescent Yellow) – We provide vacuum impregnation of clear epoxy, when possible, to stabilize and fill porous specimen prior to polishing and grinding. Colored dye is often used to assist in the determination of porosity and micro-cracking. SEM imaging is not affected by epoxy impregnation.

Red dyed epoxy helps to make the resin clearly seen against a light colored rock matrix. Low-permeability specimen, such as coal, are dyed with fluorescent red to highlight pore space illuminated by green light.

A fluorescent yellow dyed epoxy is favorable for the study of porosities and micro-cracking in concrete specimens. Using a UV light, porous area on the thin section will appear bright yellow-green while the dense areas will appear dark green.

Glass Cover slip–A glass cover slip protects the surface of the specimen from damage after it has been prepared. The cover slip can be permanently or permanently attached to the surface of the specimen. Cover slips also reduces the light scattering effect created from a standard thin section. A cover slip if SEM or microprobe analysis anticipated for your thin section.

When sending your specimen to Precimat, give us any pertinent information necessary to maintain your specimen’s integrity (ex. Clay or Water-Sensitive). For thin sections, provide us with a rock chip (ideal minimum thickness of 10 mm). We can adapt our process to almost any size specimen you wish to analyze. Large blocks will incur an extra cutting charge; however, we are happy to cut larger specimen if needed. Customers should double check specimen labels against the specimen list you provide us. Indicate if there is a particular face to be sectioned or if the specimen’s orientation should be maintained. Oriented specimen will be notched in the direction of the orientation specifications you provide us at no additional charge.