Material Characterization Facility

This facility is equipped with high-end instrumentation essential for material characterization techniques aimed at revealing the heterogeneity of morphology and microstructures of the material. We also use techniques to measure the density, strain, acoustic, damage, and resistance of materials subjected to mechanical or thermal loading. ​


skyscan nikonct

Micro-computed tomography


Micro-computed tomography

Brand: SkyScan
Model: 1172

Description: This micro CT system is used to create an internal 3D image of a structure. It captures shadows from an X-ray source in multiple directions and reconstructs the internal microstructure. This scanner has a 50 mm field of view and an 11 MP X-ray camera; the X-ray source strength varies from 20-100 kV (10 W). It can detect features of 1 μm in size.


Brand: Nikon
Model: XT H 225

Description: This system uses X-ray shadows of an object to reconstruct a 3D microstructure digitally. It uses a 225 kV microfocus X-ray source and can detect features of 3 μm. It can hold larger samples than the SkyScan micro-CT system.

Link: Nikon micro-CT



Heating Stage


Electrometer/High resistance meter

Brand: Linkam
Model: HFS600E-PB4

Description: This system is able to control the temperature of a small sample between 77 and 873 Kelvin. The sample area is 22 mm, and the heating speed is up to 150 K/min. The system is equipped with electrical sensors and can be combined with microscope techniques.

Link: Likam Heating Stage


Brand: Keithley
Model: 6517B

Description: This electrometer and high resistance meter can capture a current of 10 aA, a charge of 1 fC, and an impedance larger than 200 TO.

Link: Electrometer


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Optical microscope


Optical microscope

Brand: Leica
Model: DM2500M

Description: This is a transmission light optical microscope designed for material analysis and quality control. There are different objectives and filters available, and a camera is installed to capture images.

Link: Leica DM2500


Brand: Zeiss
Model: Stereo Discovery V20

Description: This transmitted or reflected light microscope is motorized. It sets itself apart from other systems that it captures 3D images with a maximum magnification of 345x. A camera is mounted on the microscope to capture the images.

Link: Zeiss Stereo


strain acoustic

Strain Gauge Scanner


Acoustic Emission Sensor Systems

Brand: Vishay
Model: Micro Measurements 700032-SM​

Description: This 32-channel data acquisition instrument will convert the change in resistance of the strain gauges to strain. Its accuracy is ±0.05%, and a resolution of 0.5 microstrains.

Link: Micro Measurements

Description: The AE system uses sensors attached to composite materials (under mechanical loading) to detect damage initiation and propagation based on their emitted noise. AE software is used to classify the damage based on its frequency band and threshold.


telephoto FLIR Camera

Photo camera


Infrared camera

Brand: Canon
Model: EOS 1D Mark III

Description: This 10.1 MP camera is used to capture stills during testing. It is, among others, used to capture the crack propagation of a DCB specimen by taking images of the side of the sample.

Link: Canon


Brand: FLIR
Model: SC7000

Description: This highly sensitive infrared camera is used to capture heat signatures and determine surface temperatures. The sensing range is adaptable depending on the calibration, with a standard range between 5ºC and 150ºC.

Link: FLIR


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Greyscale camera


Ultrasonic C-scan

Brand: PCO
Model: Sensicam

Description: This greyscale camera is used for Digital Image Correlation (DIC). The sensor is equipped with an actively cooled 12-bit ICX285AL sensor (1376 x 1040 pixels). The cooling is used to ensure low noise combined with high sensitivity. The bi-telecentric lens results in an orthographic projection on the sensor, which reduces distortion, making it applicable for accurate DIC gauging. Its magnification ranges from 0.128 to 1.

Link: Sensicam


Brand: Olympus​
Model: OmniScan SX

Description: This phased array flaw detector is an ultra-sonic scanner with a maximum pulsing rate of 6 kHz. It is used to detect flaws between composite layers.

Link: C-scan


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Internal strain monitoring


Internal strain monitoring

Brand: Micron Optics
Model: SM125

Description: This optical sensor interrogator is used for internal strain monitoring. This interrogator has 4 channels and scans the wavelengths from 1510 to 1590 nm with a frequency of 2 Hz.

Link: SM125


Brand: Micron Optics
Model: SM130

Description: This optical sensor interrogator is used for internal strain monitoring. This interrogator has 4 channels and scans the wavelengths from 1510 to 1590 nm with a frequency of 1 kHz.

Link: SM130