ODP 868 Optical Dilatometry Platform

The ODP 868 from TA Instruments is the result of more than two decades of R&D of optical instruments for the exploration of the thermo-mechanical behavior of materials.

The ODP 868 makes possible the analysis of samples beyond the limits of classical heating microscopy. The versatility of this instrument makes it the most innovative tool for production and R&D laboratories for the enhancement of all the industrial processes that involve thermal cycles.

The Heating Microscope mode uses a 5 MP high resolution camera to examine the physical behavior of the materials during the industrial firing cycles.

With the Morphometrics applicative it is possible, in real-time during the analysis, to automatically calculate and visualize various parameters and characteristic temperatures selectable by the user.

The ODP 868 is capable of analyzing samples in a wide range of shapes and sizes (for example a 3 mm sample and simultaneously a 10 mm sample), and can simultaneously analyze up to eight samples of ISO standard size.

The Horizontal Dilatometer mode has two HiRes video cameras and is used to examine expansion and shrinkage of samples 30 to 60 mm long. It is possible to easily establish the most important parameters like coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), linear thermal expansion, glass transition temperature (Tg) and the dilatometric softening temperature.

Used to study the sintering of materials without significant vitreous phases, can follow contractions of up to 50% with heating rates up to 100 °C/minute. For samples that melt, a disposable holding plate is provided.

The complete measuring system is thermostated and thermally isolated from the furnace chamber.

The Vertical Dilatometer mode has two HiRes video cameras, and is used to investigate expansion and shrinkage of samples less than 20 mm, positioned vertically in the furnace chamber. It is possible to follow the sintering process of materials that present contractions up to 100% with heating rates up to 100 °C/minute. The development of vitreous phases does not interfere with the test result because the top of the samples is permitted to move though its lower base interacts with the sample holding plate.

The Fleximeter and Absolute Fleximeter modes, through three high resolution independent cameras, enable non-contact bending measurements mimicking real industrial heat treatments so as to enhance manufacturing processes of ceramic products as well as have a better and deeper understanding of the materials.

In absolute fleximetry mode, the three cameras allow simultaneous measuring of the sample position in three different points (TA patent), removing the need of a correction curve.

The bending experiments can be performed on samples 80-85 mm or 25-30 mm long and it is possible to:

  • examine bending caused by the variance in thermal expansion between coupled materials (i.e., body and a glaze)
  • determine coupling temperature (previously done with a Steger tensiometer)
  • measure bending caused by the variance in sintering behavior between several coupling materials (i.e., engobe, glaze and ceramic body)
  • measure bending during cooling, caused by the volume disparity of the glassy phases
  • measure bending caused because of absorption of water on one face of the green material
  • examine pyroplastic deformation and speed of deformation occurring in the material at high temperature because of its weight


Optical measuring system Optical bench with 4 independent optical measuring systems, each equipped with a high-resolution camera and fully automated focus
Operating modes Heating microscope, optical dilatometer both vertical and horizontal, optical fleximeter and absolute fleximeter
International Standards ASTM D1857, CEN/TR 15404,
BS 1016:Part 15, CEN/TS 15370-1, DIN 51730, IS 12891, ISO 540,
NF M03-048
Sample displacement Bidimensional
Sample number From 1 up to 8, depending upon samples sizes
Temperature range on specimen RT – 1650 °C
Temperature resolution 0,2 °C
Heating rate 0,1 – 100 °C/min
200 °C/sec in Flash mode
Resolution 3 ppm with ISO Standard sample
Sample number Up to 8 simultaneously with ISO standard size
Sample dimensions: Up to 85 mm (depending upon operating mode)
Morphometrics Height, Width, Contact angle, Height/Width Ratio, Perimeter, Area, Roundness, Eccentricity, Center of mass.
More and freely user-selectable also possible
Atmosphere air, oxidizing, reducing, quasi-inert
Light source LED
Software Misura 4 Thermal Analysis software


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ODP 868 Optical Dilatometry Platform

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