Instrumentation for Material Property Measurement

Instrumentation for Thermal Analysis:

Q50 TGA

Staff Contact

Timothy Spila
(217) 244-0298

Location
B67 Materials Research Laboratory (217) 300-2053

General
Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) measures weight changes in a material as a function of temperature (or time) under a controlled atmosphere. Its principal uses include measurement of a material's thermal stability and composition. The Q50 features a vertical beam balance design (sample capacity: 1000 mg) that supports precise TGA (balance sensitivity: 0.1 µg) measurements. A purge gas system with digital mass flow control and integral gas switching capability provides for precise metering of purge gas to the sample and reference pans. A separate gas inlet tube delivers reactive or inert gas to the sample. The Q50 also includes Advantage software for complete automatic experimental control and Universal Analysis software for comprehensive data analysis.

Q800 DMA

Staff Contact

Kathy Walsh
(217) 300-6662

Timothy Spila
(217) 244-0298

Location
B67 Materials Research Laboratory (217) 300-2053

General

Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) measures mechanical properties of samples. Its principal uses include measurement of a material's Young's modulus or viscoelastic properties as a function of temperature (or time). Testing can be performed in either tensile or cantilever bending geometries. Sample sizes for the film tension clamp are 5-30 mm long, up to 6.5 mm wide, and up to 2 mm thick, with best results from an optimal sample size of approximately 15-25 mm long, depending on sample compliance (stretchier samples should be shorter), and 3 mm wide. The Q800 also includes Advantage software for complete automatic experimental control and Universal Analysis software for comprehensive data analysis.

HYSITRON TI-950 TRIBOINDENTER

Staff Contact

Kathy Walsh
(217) 300-6662

Location
B58 Materials Research Laboratory

General
The Hysitron TI 950 TriboIndenter at the Materials Research Laboratory is a versatile instrument with capabilities beyond traditional quasistatic nanoindentation. In addition to a standard transducer which can apply micronewton-to-few-mN loads over a displacement range of several micrometers, a high load transducer allows indents to be made at loads of up to 2.8 N over a displacement of up to 90 microns. Both of these transducers are capable of scratch testing in addition to indentation. Additional capabilities available on this instrument include nanoDMA, nanoECR, and acoustic emission. nanoDMA measurements investigate viscoelastic properties of materials by applying a small modulation to the load during the indent. nanoECR measurements provide information about electrical resistance of the sample as a function of applied load and contact area. An acoustic emission sensor in close proximity to the tip can detect acoustic waves due to cracking in samples as they are indented, giving information about fracture mechanisms. The standard and nanoDMA transducers are compatible with a heating stage that can raise the sample temperature to approximately 400 degrees C. Automated measurement routines permit large numbers of indents to be made to enable good measurement statistics, and in situ scanning probe imaging permits precise placement of indents on nanoscale features.

MALVERN ZETASIZER

Staff Contact

Lou Ann Miller
(217) 244-1567
(email preferred)  

Location
B80 Materials Research Laboratory

General
The Zetasizer uses laser technology to measure both size and zeta-potential. The size measurement is limited to 0.6nm to 6 microns and uses reflective light and Brownian motion. Our instrument uses a 633nm red laser fitted to do both front and back light scatter. The instrument is equipped to assist with specimen quality evaluation, automatic charts, data processing, and various report formats for the user. Special cuvettes and dip cells are used for the zetapotential analysis. Zetapotential operates on the two shared principles of Electrophoresis and Laser Doppler Velocimetry, how fast a particle moves in a liquid when an electrical field is applied, from which the zetapotential is calculated. The most common sample used is in aqueous format. However, working with solvents is possible, and all such solvent work should be worked out with the MRL staff contact before starting the project.