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Technical Specifications

Slide Sizes

Our pre-made thin sections have a thickness of 30 microns and are made on rectangular glass slides of dimensions 27 x 46 x 1.2mm. 

A specimen thickness of 30 microns is considered to be standard in the petrography field, and mineral determination charts are calibrated for this thickness.  However, some specialized applications require specimens of greater or lesser thickness, and PetroSlides is able to accommodate such requests.

In addition to rectangular slides, we can produce circular thin sections of 1 inch diameter. 


After grinding, we polish each thin section using 6 micron diamond paste, 1 micron diamond paste, and finally 0.25 silica colloidal suspension.


In contrast to many thin section manufacturers, PetroSlides sells most of our thin sections without cover-slips.  The advantages and disadvantages of cover-slips are summarized below.


Advantages: Thin sections with cover-slips usually look nicer than uncovered sections when viewed through the microscope. The cover-slip adhesive fills microscopic holes within and between minerals, resulting in a crisper image.  Also, many microscope objectives incorporate extra working distance to accommodate the thickness of a cover-slip; optical quality is optimized when a cover-slip is used.  Finally, cover-slips protect the thin section surface from oxidation and other forms of contamination.


Disadvantages: There are many situations where a cover-slip is intolerable.  Thin sections with cover-slips cannot be used for analytical studies such as reflected-light optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, or electron probe microanalysis.


In view of the rarity of meteorites, we prefer to market our thin sections without cover-slips thereby maximizing their research value.

Grading System

We sell only well-made thin sections that are permanently-mounted, uniform in thickness, and appropriately polished.  The overall quality of a finished thin section depends on two key factors: the condition of the starting material and the quality of preparation.  We use an A-B-C grading system to share our opinion about a slide's overall quality:


Grade A: The grade A thin section is extremely well-made.  The slide is uniform in thickness from edge to edge and is well-polished.  Defects such as bubbles, fractures, and scratches are essentially absent.


Grade B: The grade B thin section is the standard thin section for research and collection.  These slides are well-made, uniform in thickness and well-polished.  Defects such as fractures and plucking, if present, do not detract from the overall quality of the thin section.


Grade C: The grade C thin section is uniform in thickness throughout most of the specimen, with the possibility of minor thinning at the specimen edges.  Minor defects such as weathering fractures, limited plucking, or small scratches may be present.

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Your satisfaction is unconditionally guaranteed on every slide we sell!