Materials Characterization Lab


Researchers at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center have the ability to probe the internal structure and properties of materials.  This allows for understanding the fundamental properties of the material from the nano to macro scale. Technical capabilities include computer analysis, advanced visualization, and multiscale microscopy.


Photo of Atomic Force MicroscopeAtomic Force Microscope

The AFM is used to take measurements of wood, fiber and wood polymer surface properties from micron scale down to nano-scale including long z-scan range above 25 microns to account for the microscope roughness of wood cellular structure.




Photo of X-Ray MicrotomographyX-Ray Microtomography

The internal three dimensional structure of materials can be nondestructively imaged at resolutions down to 2.4µm. Computerized image analysis permits identification of void structure and phase separations.



Photo of Dynamic Mechanical Thermal AnalyzerDynamic Mechanical Thermal Analyzer

Rheometric Scientific DMTA-IV, computer-controlled, frequencies of 0.001 Hz to 200 Hz, temperature range of 150 °C to 600 °C, displacement amplitudes from 0.5 to 128 microns. Used to determine physical material properties through tension, compression, three-point-bending, shear, and single- and dual-cantilever testing.



Photo of Thermogravimetric AnalyzerThermogravimetric Analyzer

Mettler Toledo TGA, for determining for the weight changes in relation to change in temperature. Such analysis relies on a high degree of precision in weight, temperature, and temperature change up to 1,100°C.



Photo of Inverse Gas ChromatographInverse Gas Chromatograph

Surface Measurement Systems (SMS) IGC, an advanced instrument for the characterization of particulates, fibers and thin films. IGC gives information of surface chemistry, surface adsorption and bulk properties.



Photo of Quintek Vertical Density ProfilerQuintek X-Ray Vertical Density Profiler

The GDP X-Ray Profiler is a complete vertical density profiling system for manufactured panel products, including, but not limited to, oriented strand board, particleboard, and medium density fiberboard. The Density Profiler scans 2″ square samples for 2″ to 2.5″ round samples.



Photo of Surface Measurement Systems IGCSurface Measurement Systems IGC

This equipment uses a gas-phase technique for characterizing surface and bulk properties of powders, particulates, fibers, films and semi-solids.





Herzan Atomic Force Microscope with Nano IndenterHerzan Atomic Force Microscope with Nano Indenter

A powerful tool for structural determination at sub-nanometer resolution and nano-mechanical characterization with pico-Newton molecular force sensitivity.