Instrument Design & Fabrication Shop



Semi-Automatic Soil Elutriator
Low-Temperature Incubator
SER-CAT Robotic Pucks

Semi-Automatic Soil Elutriator

Designed to reduce extraction time and improve the reliability of assaying soil samples for nematodes.


  • Four cone-shaped soil extraction units capable of mixing 500-1000 cm3 of soil per cone.
  • Water and/or air are introduced from the bottom of the cone to agitate the sample and mix the soil. The amount of air and water can be regulated based on soil type. Air cylinders controlled by a timer open the cone bottom for dumping the soil.
  • Overflow spouts at the top of the cones direct the floating nematodes and debris into four special funnel collection units. The debris is caught in appropriately sized sieves and the nematodes are washed through to the lower sample splitters by automated spray wash controlled by a timer.
  • The unique lower sample splitters allow the original soil sample to be split into a maximum 15 samples or any combination thereof. The inverted cone at the base of the funnel collection units allows for uniform disbursement of the nematodes toward outlet splitter tubes around the periphery of the lower collection bowl.
  • The semi-automatic, time-controlled extraction reduces labor input by 30 to 40% because no premixing of soil samples is necessary. The use of 500 – 1000cm3soil samples in the elutriator reduces the variability in nematode counts. The combination of the sample splitter with the elutriator makes it possible, in assaying large soil samples, to reduce variation and increase efficiency in nematode recovery. The motorized sieve-shaker increases the capacity of the machine to process a wide range of soil types. The motorized shaker is constructed so that two sub-samples can be collected simultaneously from a given soil sample.
  • Construction of the elutriator is stainless steel for the tub liner and all components inside the tub. Plastic and copper tubing is used for the air and water plumbing. The elutriator occupies an area of 4 feet by 5 feet and stands 7 feet high. Clearance under the 6 inch drain is 22 inches. Water pressure is very important and should be 60 psi or above on a ¾-inch pipe. An air supply of 80 psi on a ½-inch pipe is also required. The weight of the elutriator is approximately 460 pounds.

Low-Temperature Incubator

Available only to researchers at the University of Georgia. Not for sale or use by anyone else.


  • 19 cubic feet of temperature controlled storage with controlled temperature ranges from -10o to 35o Celsius.
  • Accuracy of 0.5o at 20o C
  • Easily calibrated to standard from PLC control
  • Over and under temperature limit controls separate from primary temperature control.


  • Dimensional lighting and temperature control
  • Humidity control
  • Also has outlet inside for shakers or other electrical devices
  • 2-year parts and labor warranty included. All labor and parts provided by the University of Georgia Instrument Shop.

SER-CAT Robotic Pucks

Designed for use at the Argonne National Laboratory Beam Line.