Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

SEM Mini-press

Quantification of the physical characteristics of miniature materials may be performed using conventional tensile tests; however such tests are relevant to straining under simple straining conditions and low strain-rates. As such, the extracted data is not exactly relevant to the FE simulation of manufacturing operations. An innovative mini-press was designed and constructed to resolve the difficulty of extracting meaningful data.

This innovations incorporates the following features:
- Miniature materials may be tested (thickness=0.1mm, diameter=3mm)

- Overall dimensions of the mini-press are 50x100x100mm, which allows incorporation into the vacuum chamber of the SEM for in-situ testing.

- Test specimen displacement is effected using 4 stacks of 13 bespoke piezoelectric ring benders; the use of this mini-press has enabled the following operational characteristics:
--Range of force and stroke: max force=100N and max stroke=1mm
--Strain rate: from quasi-static to 1s-1

This mini-press provides the opportunity to perform tests on materials of miniature scale in an SEM, a feature that has not been available, to-date. The markets for this mini-press are materials testing laboratories, equipped with SEM¿s or Goniometers.

This mini-press is being developed further to enable a variable strain-rate, an improvement that would require the addition of force and displacement sensors; when features have been built into the Mini-press, the entire system may be automated using commercially available software, such as Labview, to effect force- and displacement-rate control.

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