Tensile Stress Stage for Microscopes Allows Real Time Observation of Materials

Linkam are pleased to announce the latest addition to their range of material characterization systems – the TST350 tensile stress stage for the visualisation and measurement of physical properties of samples.

The TST350 replaces the standard sample stage on most light microscopes including those with spectroscopy options enabling the user to view their sample using either reflected or transmitted light and have the ability to digitally capture images of the sample. Alternatively, it may be used in conjunction with Linkam’s own versatile Imaging Station.

About the applications: For 25 years, Linkam has been producing specialist stages to enable sample morphology to be viewed as a function of change of temperature. As with many techniques, users are now requesting more information from a single experiment and Linkam’s TST350 stage delivers this for samples in the mm length range and thicknesses down to a few microns. Early evaluators (adopters) of the system have demonstrated its use to study polymer and adhesive films. It is expected to find applications in many other industries from pharmaceuticals and the life sciences to consumer products. Systems are in use in laboratories in the USA, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands ensuring the validity and performance of the new system as it is now commercially released.

About the product: The TST350 is built with two precision ground stainless steel lead screws to maintain perfect uniform vertical and horizontal sample alignment. Sample jaws move in opposite directions to maintain sample in both reflected and transmitted microscope fields of view. This also means other transmitted techniques such as x-ray, needed for internal observation of sample structure can be used. As is expected of Linkam equipment, temperature control and accuracy is second to none, with a range from -196 to 350°C with 0.1°C control and rates up to 30°C/ min. Most importantly, there is virtually no temperature feedback to the measurement of force. The sample chamber is gas sealed and can be controlled with various gases via the gas valves built onto sides of the stage. The intuitive Linksys 32 DV software enables full control of temperature, motor for jaw position, data and high resolution image capture.

Speaking about the new stage, founder, Arnold Kamp, says discussions with our users have shown that the addition of the new stage will provide insight into materials properties monitored in real time. As well as being able to view and capture changes with varying temperature, we can now offer the user the ability to apply tensile stress to the sample leading to quantitative comparisons.”

Linkam, with a continuing eye to future developments, see the tensile stage as a new platform for materials characterisation measurements on the mm/micron scales thus meeting the multi-disciplinary requirements of the modern analysis and R&D laboratories.

 

Posted March 2007

 

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