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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department of Mineral Sciences

Izalco Volcano

The Department of Mineral Sciences maintains two vertical Deltech DT-31-VTHN-C one- atmosphere gas-mixing furnaces. The furnaces operate from room temperature to 1800°C and the partial pressure of oxygen within the furnace can be precisely controlled over ~10 orders of magnitude by CO-CO2 gas mixtures. Materials subjected to high temperature can be rapidly quenched to room temperature or to a water bath while remaining in the controlled atmosphere by means of a remotely operated integrated drop-quench system.

Complementary equipment in this facility includes:

  • Puk3 Professional Welder with neutral Ar gas flow and precision-welding with microscope assistance
  • Capability to evacuate and seal silica glass tubing
  • Noble metal wire and tubing and ceramics for encapsulation
  • Wet chemistry laboratory with HF dissolution for the preparation of metals pre-saturated with iron
  • Sample preparatory and machining laboratory

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