Mechanical Test Facilities

  • Tensile testing with controlled loading and cycling creep deformation measurement from 22°C to 1500°C in air and inert environments for small test samples.
  • Flexure and compression testing for temperatures from -170°C to 1600°C with displacement measurements in various environments including controlled water vapor levels.
  • Rotation in bend test facility: this equipment is used to measure the bending fatigue behavior of structural ceramics as a function of temperature and frequency.
  • IR camera: this equipment, which provides real-time temperature maps by direct imaging., has been used for (1) non-destructive inspection of delamination in coatings and (2) measurement of temperature distributions in the centrally heated thick disk specimen used for thermal shock evaluation.
  • Fracture mechanics testing to determine fracture toughness, R-curve behavior, and crack growth behavior with ability to determine local deformation and crack opening profiles.
  • Fracture mechanics (Double Cantilever Beam specimen) and flexure test modules for use with optical and scannining electron microscopes.
  • Instrumented indentation system to characterize interfacial properties (e.g., debonding energy, shear resistance) in composites and ceramics.

Microstructural and Property Characterization Facilities

  • Nikkon optical microscope with PC interfaced digital camera.
  • Hitachi S4100 scanning electron microscope with computer interfacing for energy dispersive spectrometer (DTSA analysis software), digital image storage, quantitative microstructure analysis (e.g., Prism), displacement analysis, and high resolution backscatter electron detector.
  • Direct access to world-class microstructural characterization facilites (e.g., high resolution and analytical transmission electron microscopes, and auger spectroscopy) to define critical structural and compositional parameters.
  • Access to a variety of x-ray and chemical analysis facilities.
  • Extensive dilatometer facilities for determination of thermal expansion response, phase transformations, and softening temperatures over a temperature range of -260°C to 1600°C in various environments.
  • State-of-the-art test modules that can be incorporated on optical microscope, micro-raman stage, and the scanning electron microscope for in situ measurements. The modules include two four-point flexure modules for viewing (1) tensile surface and (2) side surface of test sample and an Applied Moment-Double Cantilever Beam module for studies of fracture toughness and R-Curve behavior.
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) system: Thermo Nicolet Nexus 670 Optical Spectrometer with a range of 7,400-350cm-1 and a spectral resolution of 0.125 cm-1 with a NicPlan IR Microscope with a spatial resolution of ~10 µm.
  • Impedance response/electrochemical interface facility with ability to characterize electronic and ionic conductivities in bulk and thin film materials as a function of temperature (< 1100°C) in various gaseous atmospheres.

Processing Facilities

  • Gas pressure sintering furnace with up to 7 MPa gas pressures to temperatures up to 2100°C.
  • Sintering dilatometer with temperatures up to 1800°C in controlled atmospheres with rapid heating rates.
  • Instrumented hot press with temperatures up to 2200°C in non-oxidizing atmospheres.
  • Extensive facilities for powder processing and characterizing the properties of ceramic powders and colloidal suspensions.
  • Access to a variety of x-ray and chemical analysis facilities.
  • Ceramic forming processes including tape casting, screen printing, spin coating, uniaxial and isostatic pressing, extrusion.

Piezospectroscopy Facilities

  • Confocal line imaging for mapping phase content and stress on the surface and through the depth of a material.
  • Laser and optics optimized for operation in the UV, which allows for Raman spectral measurements up to 1500°C.
  • Low dispersion spectrograph for one-shot photoluminescence measurements.
  • Maximum spectral coverage 2000 X 800 pixel CCD detector.
  • Heating and cooling microscope stage. Range: (-196° to 600°C)
  • Fiber Optic Probes for Remote spectral acquisition.
  • Loading fixtures (4 point bend and DCB) for in situ stress measurement.
  • Diamond Anvil cell for stress and phase change measurements up to 5 GPa.
  • Nicolet Nexus 670 FTIR.








 Oak Ridge National Laboratory