New Instrument Suite Expands Capabilities of Eugene Mindlin Laboratory

Jan 13 2020

The Eugene Mindlin Laboratory for Structural Deterioration Research has recently undergone a rapid expansion with the addition of several instruments that allow for detailed materials characterization for a wide variety of materials.

A Keyence IM-7030T optical comparator was purchased, allowing researchers to make micron-precision measurements of test samples at the touch of a button. This system augments the equally versatile and highly popular VHX-5000 digital optical microscope.

Keyence VHX-5000 Microscope and IM-7030T Optical Comparator

A Leco DH603 Hydrogen Analyzer and a SPECTROMAXx Spark Optical Emission Spectrometer were added to the suite of materials characterization instruments aimed specifically at examining environmental degradation of metals, most notably structural steel. These instruments allow the lab to determine the atomic hydrogen content of steels in the parts-per-million range, a critical measurement for determining the potential for hydrogen embrittlement of steel in the built environment, and the chemical composition of steels.

Leco Hydrogen Analyzer SpectroMaxx SparkOES

Two new instruments have been added to characterize materials at high temperatures. A TA Instruments Vertical Dilatometer allows users to very accurately characterize the coefficient of thermal expansion as a function temperature. The vertical configuration also allows for sintering analysis and powder analysis that is not possible with the traditional horizontal configuration of many dilatometers.

Additionally, a TA Instruments Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (DMA 850) was acquired with assistance from a Research Equipment Assistance Program (REAP) award made possible by the SEAS Dean’s Office and the many cross-disciplinary contributing Principle Investigators. The DMA 850 is capable of measuring mechanical properties of materials in a wide temperature range from -160°C to +600°C; equipped with an optical encoder providing 0.1 nm displacement resolution and loads as low as 0.1 mN, the DMA 850 is the most sensitive instrument in the Carleton Lab. The DMA 850 is an essential instrument for testing viscoelastic properties of many materials and is currently being used to study the mechanical properties of steel used in suspension bridges at high temperature.

We welcome all researchers to use and explore new avenues of research with the newly acquired instruments!

 Barbara Alper  Barbara Alper


Eugene Mindlin Laboratory for Structural Deterioration Research

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