Electron micrographs of mineral grains and fossils separated using Electric Pulse Disaggregation

Electric Pulse Disaggregation (EPD) departs from traditional methods of rock comminution by preferentially fracturing rock along natural grain boundaries. This process offers the following benefits to mineralogy and fossil preparation laboratories: Pulsed power involves the precise release of ultra short, high power bursts of electrical energy. When a sufficiently powerful pulse of electrical energy is conducted through rock, plasma streamers are formed which tend to propagate along mineral grain boundaries. These streamers create high internal tensile stresses which tend to fracture materials along grain boundaries.

Scientific aspects of this technology were pursued with Dr. Paul Weiblen of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and with Dr. N.S. Rudashevsky of Mechanobr Technical Corporation in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Commercial application of EPD was being pursued by Aerie Partners, Inc. of San Diego, California (now defunct).

On the following pages, are a few examples of the use of Electric Pulse Disaggregation as a mineral and fossil separation tool.

To The First Micrograph

Click here to see an abstract on the use of Electric Pulse Disaggregation for fossil separation.
Click here to see the text of a paper on the use of Electric Pulse Disaggregation for fossil separation.
Click here for the pdf scan of the article "A New Method of Fossil Preparation, Using High-Voltage Electric Pulses, by Saini-Eidukat and Weiblen. Curator, v. 39: 139-144, 1996.

For more information on Electric Pulse Disaggregation, contact Bernhardt Saini-Eidukat
Dept. of Geosciences
Dept. #2745, P.O. Box 6050 North Dakota State University
Fargo ND 58108-6050
tel. 701-231-8785 fax 701-231-7149
email: bernhardt.saini-eidukat@ndsu.edu

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