Testing and Characterization Facilities

Equipment within the Laboratory of Mechanical Metallurgy includes means for the mechanical testing of materials across a range of scales and properties, together with means for the characterization of microstructure and physical properties, and means for the processing of alloys and novel metallic materials.


Mechanical properties that can be measured in our laboratory include uniaxial tensile or compressive deformation and fracture characteristics, at room or elevated temperature, under controlled atmosphere or under superimposed hydrostatic pressure. We can test for relaxation, low- or high-cycle fatigue, creep resistance, fracture toughness, hardness and Charpy impact fracture energy. Scales at which we measure those properties go from macroscopic specimens down to microscopic samples that are tested in-situ under a scanning electron microscope. The laboratory has also means for standard optical metallography, differential calorimetric analysis, densitometry, and the measurement of physical properties such as the elastic modulus, the specific surface, the thermal or electrical conductivity, or the thermal expansion of metallic materials.


For the processing of alloys, composites or cellular metals, our laboratory has (i) furnaces for alloy melting and preparation, namely arc melters, controlled atmosphere induction furnaces and a cold crucible melting apparatus, (ii) furnaces for elevated temperature heat treatment or sintering together with means for controlled quenching, (iii) custom apparatuses for pressure infiltration at various pressures and temperatures and capable of measuring in-situ infiltration kinetics, (iv) apparatuses for laboratory scale deformation processing (rolling, extrusion, wire drawing), and (v) a melt-spinner and an apparatus for laboratory-scale melt atomization.