Existing materials are being deployed in new environments and exotic new materials are being developed to meet ever higher engineering demands.
Advanced materials such as carbon fibre and graphene are becoming materials of choice for high-end applications such as bike frames, cars, surgical implants and aircraft wings. New materials are being developed to replace or support human body parts such as artificial hips and corneas. While these new materials have many unique and exciting properties, allowing engineers to design and make things that were just not possible previously, it is still vital that the physical properties of these materials are characterised, and any failure modes well understood.
Standard tensile and compressive testing systems tend to be large making it difficult to test small samples. They also tend to work in ambient conditions and while ideal for testing bulk materials it is not easy to understand the microstructure of a material.
We have been working closely with our customers to better understand their requirements and are now launching the latest version of the tensile stage, the new Modular Force Stage (MFS)
The MFS series from Linkam Scientific are compact systems with a temperature, gas and humidity-controlled sample environment. They can be mounted on a microscope which can be used to directly image changes in the microstructure of a material while it is undergoing tensile testing. So called In-situ testing. Corelating this optical information with the physical characteristics measured by the MFS stage provides invaluable information related to the overall performance of a material in a given environment. Of course, the traditional, large, tensile testers still have their place for testing large/bulk samples or where high load forces are required.
The MFS stage adds encoded distance measurement, improved force resolution, full compression capability as well a multi-point bending. To address the needs of life science applications we have developed a temperature controlled base suitable for a petri dish. Now tissue samples can be tested in an aqueous solution, so they are maintained in a close to natural environment. There is a range of heater options available from -196°C up to 350°C allowing the structural dynamics of sample materials to be observed and imaged while under defined temperature and tensile, compressive or bending profiles. The new tensile stage is fully encoded providing accurate distance measurement which is critical for precise strain measurement applications.
The new tensile stage can be combined with the Linkam Humidity generator, RH95, to further expand the range of tests possible. There is even an option for electrical connections. These have been used to test some of the new photovoltaic (PV) materials and other sensors that are now being developed for wearable technology or fashion tech applications
Linkam Scientific Instruments Limited
8 Epsom Downs Metro Centre
Surrey KT20 5LR
T +44 (0)1737 363476
Twitter – @Linkamstages