Technical facilities

The histology and biomechanics technical platform

This platform consists of an entire benchtop dedicated to the Instron 5200 mechanical testing machine equipped with a video extensiometer that can be used over a wide range of parameters, including flexural strength and fracture. The video can then be used to accurately measure deformation during testing. The biomechanical platform also has portable measuring devices for use in the field and at the lab, including a laptop computer for interfacing with the biomechanical device (Instron Inspec 2200) as well as a manual torsion device.
The Histology section has a range of microtomes, including microtomes for paraffin and resin inclusion samples, wood microtomes and a vibratome (Microm 650V) for the preparation of high quality sections for materials without paraffin or resin inclusion. It is equipped with a range of microscopes and binocular magnifiers with digital platforms and image analysis software, including a Keyence VHX-7000 digital microscope with multiple illumination functions for "micro-topology" and micro-relief studies.


The paleobotany platform

The Palaeobotany platform has a range of circular saws and polishing machines used to prepare thin sections and wafers of petrified plants. It also has a state-of-the-art wheel grinder and polisher (ESCIL Saphir 520) for preparing both fossils (rock) and wood samples (wood). Cutting and sanding techniques are used in projects involving both fossil and living material, especially wood surfaces.