Materials Characterization

Our facilities include extensive equipment for the characterization and test of any type of material, specifically:

Phase and microstructure characterization

X-Ray Diffraction

Instrument: Philips X’Pert 1710
Conditions: Cu-Kα radiation λ = 1.5405 Å

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

Instrument: Agilent Cary 630 FTIR Instrument ZnSe
Conditions: Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) module, diamond crystal
4000 – 650 cm-1

Optical microscopes

Metallographic: Nikon metallographic microscope Epiphot TME
Objectives: 10, 20, 40, 100X
VisiCam 10.0 digital image acquisition camera
Stereoscopic:Nikon Stereomicroscope SMZ-U
Objective: up to 20X
VisiCam 10.0 digital image acquisition camera

Scanning Electron Microscopy-EDS

SEMZeiss Leo Supra 35 FEG-SEM
EDSOxford instruments EDS INCA X-sight

Metallographic sample preparation

Linear precision saw:Buehler Isomet 4000
Polishing machine:Officine Galileo Polimet 200

Thermal Characterization

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

Instrument: Netzsch DSC 214 Polyma
Conditions: From -70 to 600°C, nitrogen or air atmosphere

Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)

Instrument:Perkin Elmer Pyris 1
Conditions:From room temp. to 900°C, nitrogen or air atmosphere, 0.1 to 200°C/min

Hot Disk measurement

Measurement of thermal transfer properties (thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, specific heat) via Transient Plane Source (TPS) technique (ISO 22007-2).

Instrument:Hot Disk TPS 500 S
Conditions:Room temperature, on materials with conductivity in the range 0.03 – 200 W/mK.

Mechanical Characterization

Instron Universal Testing Machine

Measurement of mechanical properties in different stress configurations of metals, ceramics and polymers.

Instrument:Instron 5869
Conditions:50 kN load cell, extensometer.
Tensile, compression, 3-point bending, shear.

Lloyd Universal Testing Machine

Measurement of mechanical properties of polymeric samples and films in different stress configurations.

Instrument:Lloyd LRX single column
Conditions:50, 100, 500 and 2500 N load cells.
Tensile, Compression.

AML Universal Testing Machine

Measurement of mechanical properties of polymeric samples and films in different stress configurations.

Instrument:AML Instruments Z3 tensile tester
Conditions:1kN load cell.
Tensile, Compression

Impact testing

Measurement of the impact energy of plastics, composites and metals up to 50 J.

Instrument:United Test XJJUD-50F
Test conditions: Charpy: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7.5, 15, 25, 50 J
Izod:: 1, 2.72, 5.5, 11, 22 J

Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis (DMA)

Measurement of dynamic mechanical thermal properties of polymeric samples.

Instrument:Triton Tritec 2000 DMA
Test types: Temperature scan (single or multifrequency), frequency scan, creep test, relaxation test, thermal expansion coefficient measurement
Conditions:Air furnace, from -190 to +600°C.
Frequency 0 – 300 Hz.
Tension, compression, single cantilever, double cantilever, 3-point bending, shear.

Microhardness test

Instrument:Future Tech FM-700
Conditions:Vickers and Knoop indenter, load range 5 – 2000 g

Microscale abrasion test

Ball crater test: measurement of coating thickness and wear rate of bulk and coated samples.

Instrument:Custom, according to BS EN 1071-6: 2007
Conditions:50-2000 rpm, steel balls, alumina balls

Moving sled with stationary plane tribometer

Static and Kinetic Coefficients of Friction of Plastic Film and Sheeting.

Instrument:ASTM D1894-14 tribometer fixture compatible with Lloyd LRX universal machine
Conditions:Sliding speed range 1 – 500 mm/min, normal force 25N, substrates with different Ra



Viscosity measurement of liquids.

Instrument: Brookfield MODELLO


Instrument:Malvern Kinexus Lab+
Conditions:Torque 10 nNm – 200 mNm
Frequency 1 µHz – 100 Hz
Geometry: cone-plate, plate-plate

Rubber Process Analyzer (RPA)

Oscillating rheometer (cone-cone) for the characterization of curing behaviour and rheology of elastomers and rubbers.

Instrument:Alpha Technologies RPA 2000
Test types: Curing test, temperature sweep, frequency sweep, strain sweep.
Conditions:Max. temp. 230°C
Max. frequency 33 Hz

Melt Flow Index (MFI)

Measurement of the ease of flow of a thermoplastic polymer melt under a constant weight of 2.16 kg through a standardized nozzle (ASTM D1238)

Instrument:Tinius Olsen MP 1200
Conditions:Max. temp. 450°C
Weight 2.16 kg

Physical Characterization

Density determination kit

Measurement of sample density via buoyancy method.

Instrument: Sartorius YDK 03


Measurement of conductivity of liquids and solutions.

Instrument: MeterLab CDM 230

Electrical measurement

Digital Multimeter Keithley

Instrument:Keithley 2700

Van der Pauw

Measurement of electrical sheet resistance (Rs)

Instrument: Custom, according to ASTM F76-08

Vector Network Analyzer

Measurement of magnitude and phase of reflection and transmission for passive devices (e.g. antennas, waveguides, passive filters).

Instrument:Anritsu 37247d
Frequency range:40 MHz to 20 GHz

Electrochemical and corrosion analysis

Anodic-cathodic polarization

Instrument:Solartron Potentiostat 1285

Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS)


We have also access to:

  • Scratch test facility, to characterize coatings and surfaces (according to ASTM C1624-05 and UNI EN 1071-05)
  • FT-IR (Fourier Transform InfraRed Spectroscopy), Perkin Elmer
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