Field Supplies and Accessories

The CSD Facility maintains a large inventory of specialized field supplies to support researchers collecting core samples. Purchase from the Facility or direct from the vendors noted. Materials include:

  • Polycarbonate tube: for core liners. Available sizes:
    • ~7 cm (2.75 inch) outer diameter, 1.6 mm (1/16 inch) wall thickness, lengths up to 3 m (10 feet) — for use with hand-operated soft sediment coring devices. 
    • 6.3 cm outer diameter, 1 mm wall thickness, lengths to 1.5 m (5 feet) — for use in HQ3 wireline diamond coring systems. 
  • ABS/black plastic or PVC pipe: secondary liner for cores extruded from Livingstone corers. 5-, 7.6-, or 10.1 cm (2-, 3-, or 4 inch) inner diameter, schedule 40 pipe (~5 mm / 0.2 inch wall thickness), split in half lengthwise, paired.
  • Endcaps: Polyethylene slip caps for polycarbonate tube, ABS pipe, and several other tube diameters. Purchase from
  • Zorbitrol: sodium polyacrylate absorbent powder to stabilize water above unconsolidated surface sediment cores.
    • Based on the publication by Tomkins et al. (2008), the CSD Facility has been using Zorbitrol (sodium polyacrylate) polymer gel to fix the watery surface interfaces of lake sediment cores. We've found that in most cases Zorbitrol is an excellent replacement for the material we used previously, floral foam, and a nice alternative to extruding the top of the core in the field (though field extrusion is still required for certain types of cores and analyses).
    • Zorbitrol is a powder used in the health care industry as a bodily fluid spill absorber. Please read the MSDS (available online) and particularly the Tomkins et al. paper cited above for caveats about its use, including incompatibility with saline water. The powder is available from a number of suppliers that can be found online, and the CSD Facility also has a supply from which we can send you a small amount to test (you typically have to buy a case of six bottles from online healthcare suppliers, and you only use a few grams per core) for a nominal shipping and handling charge. Zorbitrol will make you swear off floral foam for good.
  • Floral Foam: Floral foam can also be used to stabilize the sediment-water interface in surface cores of soft sediment. When coring in saline waters, floral foam remains the best option as Zorbitrol will not gel. Be sure to purchase wet floral foam, which will absorb the surface water (dry floral foam will displace the water).

Field Equipment Sales and Rentals

The CSD Facility rents and sells several systems for coring soft sediment. Available equipment includes:

  • Freeze Corer
  • Gravity Corer
  • Peat Corer
  • Vibracorer
  • Surface Corer
  • Bolivia / Livingstone
  • Nesje / Percussion
  • Kullenberg

Additional details are available on our Coring and Drilling Equipment page.

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