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Industrial Analytical Instrumentation

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University engineering and scientific research

The University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria
uses Deben tensile stages as an integral part of their
computed tomography research and testing facility

Deben, a leading provider of in-situ testing stages together with innovative accessories and components for electron microscopy, reports on the application of their in situ tensile stages for micro X-ray computed tomography for materials characterisation at the University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria.

The Computed Tomography Research Group of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria is located on the Wels campus and was host to the recent 2016 ICT Conference, a renowned event for industrial applications of computed tomography (CT). They engage in a variety of problems found in industry. These include defect detection and the quality assurance of materials and components using industrial grade CT. This is the only method which makes it is possible to look "inside" materials and components without influencing their further use or changing their shape, a truly non- destructive test. The inner structures are then reconstructed and virtually illustrated without damaging to the sample.

DI Dietmar Salaberger is the Research Project Manager of the Group that selected Deben stages to enhance their testing capabilities. His goals are to gain knowledge about damage mechanisms to improve materials and manufacturing. The main focus is on filled polymer materials. The stages have been used mainly for looking at glass fibre filled thermoplastic matrices. Interrupted tensile tests were performed in order to detect and quantify damage mechanisms. This is to support their customers in modelling the material's properties and to deliver detailed material properties such as fibre fracture and its dependence on fibre orientation.

Talking about the reasons for selecting Deben as their supplier, DI Salaberger said "The stages were selected because they allow us to detect damage at certain load levels together with high resolution CT. Since Deben provides stages that can be mounted within our CT device(s) (we have both Nanotom and RayScan systems) and are delivered, ready to use complete with software, Deben was our first choice of supplier."

Images: Slice image of PPGF30 scanned at 2 µm resolution near final fracture, stress distribution for selected fibres and corresponding damage on single fibre basis © B. Plank - FHOOE.at.

Continuing, he said "We have two stages. The design especially of the 500N stage fits perfectly to the Nanotom rotation stage. It allows for very high resolution and reasonable forces for small specimens. For bigger specimens and tougher materials, we have recently bought the 5000N stage. Since we didn't want to develop the stage or software ourselves, we appreciate the ready-to-use concept of Deben stages. The other stages that we found on the market were not designed in that way."

The Group has published data generated from the Deben 500N stage. One such paper was presented at the 16th European Conference on Composite Materials held in Seville, Spain. Here, DI Salaberger and his colleagues reported on the characterization of damage mechanisms in glass fibre reinforced polymers using X-ray computed tomography.1

The Deben Microtest CT tensile stages for µXCT systems allow samples to be examined using customised load cells in the range from 150N up to 5000N (5kN). Custom versions are available with Peltier heating & cooling from -20°C to +160°C, extended stroke and travel. To obtain full details of the Deben applications and product portfolio, please visit www.deben.co.uk.

Reference
The characterization of damage mechanisms in glass fibre reinforced polymers using X-ray computed tomography: D Salaberger, et al; ECCM16 - 16TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON COMPOSITE MATERIALS, Seville, Spain, 22 - 26 June 2014.

Deben in profile
Deben are a UK precision engineering company specialising in the field of in-situ tensile testing, motion control and specimen cooling for microscopy applications. Established in 1986 and named after a Suffolk river, Deben now operate from a large, modern business unit in Woolpit near Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk. The product groups are motor control systems, in-situ micro-tensile stages, Peltier heating & cooling stages, detectors for SEMs and electro-static beam blankers. The company also makes custom and OEM versions of these products to specifically meet customer requirements.

Deben provide consultancy, design and prototype manufacturing services. In house facilities include SolidWorks and SolidEdge 3D CAD and COSMOS finite element analysis software, CNC machining, electronics design and manufacture and software design using Visual C++, Microsoft.net and DirectX. Utilising these resources and experience, Deben manufacture products for OEMs and end users in the UK and overseas.

Deben UK Ltd. is a subsidiary company of UK based Judges Scientific plc. For details on Deben and all its products & solutions, view website: www.deben.co.uk

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