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steelguy

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Today my friend and I went down to Rutgers University and met with Dr. Gross and hauled the meteorite over to their machine shop where the cutting was to take place.  The cutting was done with a bi-metal blade on a very large vertical bandsaw.   The shop technician Bill was totally steady with his painstakingly slow and precise efforts which resulted in 2 nice flat sections.  That process took 1-1/4 hours and I don't know how his arms did not cramp!  Dr. Gross supervised the process and was very happy with the results.  Sanding on the 2 slices and the matching cuts on the meteorite will happen next week (June 10) and the acid etching and mineral analysis will happen the following week.  I plan on going down again for that part of it. 

Rutgers cutting.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

here is a photo of the first, small section removed.  With me know nothing, Dr. Gross pointed out the minute fissure cracks to me.  She explained they were caused by the initial heating of the meteorite and then rapid cooling.  She also mentioned quite a bit more which went way above my head!  The shop also collected the small metal shavings with a magnet, put them in a ziplock and gave them to me.

meteorite small section.png

Edited by steelguy
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Epic !!!   It completely baffles me why they do not have a auto feed type saw so that poor guy does not have to hole it the whole time !!  

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I thought exactly the same thing and asked.  The machine lab super explained the auto feed would not feel resistance when super hard sections were being cut and would snap the blade.  When he hit those hard areas, the progress was at a standstill, then all of a sudden the blade would begin slowly moving forward.  And, you could hear the difference in the machine sound.  What he did say would be the best, and very fast alternative would be a water jet cutter type machine, but with ZERO budget for the shop and costing $130,000, that was not expected to happen any time soon.

Edited by steelguy
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Just an update.   The acid etching is scheduled to happen on either July 22 or 23. 

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Posted (edited)

Dr. Gross has had a busy schedule, so the etching is now scheduled for this coming Friday, July 26.  I have never seen the process so I hope to take photos and maybe a video.  Hopefully my next post will be Friday night!

Edited by steelguy
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Quick update, the etching may or may not happen tomorrow at Rutgers.  Dr. Gross is hoping to receive the new chemicals needed but has explained that there was some sort of hold up with paperwork.  So, if the needed chemicals arrive tomorrow morning, she will contact me and the etching will happen at 2pm.  If not, this will all have to be rescheduled after I return from vacation on August 12.  The saga goes on!

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well, as half expected, the etching chemicals did not come in and the date has now been set for August 12.

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So, today was the day that the larger slice was etched at Rutgers Univ.  I am going to include both a still photo of the finished etched piece and a short video.  I donated the piece to Rutgers which will be used for educational purposes.  The next step in the process, to my novice understanding, is the mineral and element analysis, which will tentatively happen on Sept. 3.  I leave for vacation the following day and Dr. Gross informed us that she has heading to NASA in Houston for head up their moon rock department for the next 18 months!  How cool is that ?!  She was kind enough to give my friend and I each copies of REVIEWS OF GEOPHYSICS AND SPACE PHYSICS, Classification and Properties of Iron Meteorites for us to read.   

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_152ef.jpg

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_152ee.jpg

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Well, I don't believe the video is viewable for some reason.  It is only 32 seconds long with Dr. Gross is explaining the function of the X-ray machine that does quantitative analysis of the various minerals content in the meteorite.

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Very cool!

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CONGRATULATIONS from White Plains, NY!!!! WoW!!!!!!!!!!:thumbsupanim 

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Posted (edited)

Just wanted to post another couple pictures of the meteorite which I think gives a better idea of its size.  It weighs 72.6 pounds!  I have decided to go through the process of sanding and polishing the 2 previously made cuts and Dr. Gross has generously offered to etch both surfaces next time I see her on Sept 3.  Personally, I believe that whomever ends up owning this meteorite would love to be able to see the patterns.  Of course I would like to be that person, but this is all being done for my brother-in-law and to help with his finances, so unfortunately I doubt that person will be me.  Whatever ends up happening, this meteorite and joining this forum has been both educational, been lots of fun and opened up a whole new world for me.  Hope you all enjoy the photo and thanks for looking!

meteorite 1.jpeg

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_15385.jpg

Edited by steelguy
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Terrific!!!! Thanks for posting and keep us up to date.

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In preparation for my next meeting with Dr. Gross and the element analysis she will do, she also agreed to acid etch the cut areas on the meteorite, so I sanded the surfaces for that.  I purchased the carbide grit belts on Amazon (120-180-220-320-400-600-800-1000) for my belt sander.  Here are a few pictures of the process and and progress results.

meteorite sanding belts.jpeg

meteorite 220. grit.jpeg

meteorite 600 grit.jpeg

meteorite 800 grit.jpeg

meteorite 1000 grit.jpeg

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