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In addition to conventional uniaxial tension/compression or torsion testing, the Mechanical Properties & Mechanics Group has a large collection of fixtures and instruments for special testing. These include mechanical nanoprobes (nanoindenters with dynamic mechanical capabilities), a dynamic mechanical analyzer with 600°C capabilities in air or controlled atmosphere, fixtures for uniaxial and biaxial flexure, a resonant ultrasound spectrometer to determine elastic constants as a function of temperature/environment, fixtures for determination of fracture toughness/crack growth (double-torsion), a test specimen configuration to determine fracture toughness by spiral notch torsion (this received an R&D 100 award in 2002). The Mechanical Properties & Mechanics Group has machines with load capacity up to 700,000 lbs and fixtures for biaxial-loading, and equipment for axial/tosion/internal pressurization to recreate complex states of stress.

The Mechanical Properties & Mechanics Group also has a large collection of analytical tools (e.g.- ANSYS, ABAQUS) and expertise using these tools for numerical stress analyzes.

Wide array of capabilities for mechanical testing and analysis:

Spiral Notch






Fuel Cladding Ductility
Uniaxial and Biaxial Flexure






Double Torsion
Very Large Collection
of Creep Frames
Stress Analysis






Structural and Multiaxial Testing










Evaluation of materials and structures over a wide range of time scales:

testing machines

testing machines

servohydraulic testing machines

MP&M has a large collection of furnaces and environmental chambers to investigate the effects of temperature and environment on mechanical behavior:


2000°C+ in vacuum


2000°C+ in inert gases

2000°C+ in Vacuum




Infrared Heating

Resistance Heating

RF Heating