The rock and ice mechanics lab at Lamont-Doherty is led by PIs Heather Savage, Christine McCarthy and Ben Holtzman. We are in the process of growing our lab and building our experimental program. Along with a team of postdocs, undergrads, grads, and longtime staff engineer Ted, we are rehabilitating and revamping some of the old equipment and building new rigs for exciting new experiments on both rock and ice. You can follow along with our progress here.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

a bun in the oven; a sample in the freezer

New development in the lab: the ice rig is not the only "baby" I'm working on! Trying to get as much done before my maternity leave, here I am--very pregnant--machining an ice fabrication box.
The box has stainless steel sides but a teflon bottom, so that we can undo the screws and push the ice sample and teflon out of the can.
The top plate of the can has two ports: one for a vacuum and one to flood the sample with zero degree water. Beneath the top plate is a layer of teflon with a square o-ring that fits snuggly into the the top of the can. Fine-grained seed ice is packed into the can and then the lid pushes down and packs it more firmly while a vacuum pulls out excess air. Cooled water is then flooded into the pore space and freezes into a fully dense sample. All of this is done in a cold room that we now have access to.