MFS: Mechanical Sample Characterization with Temperature and Environmental Control Modules

Gaining insight into the micro-mechanical and thermo-mechanical properties of materials is increasingly significant. Present-day materials are being deployed in new surroundings, and unusual new materials are being designed to fulfill ever-increasing demands.

Sophisticated materials, like graphene and carbon fiber, are turning out to be the preferred materials for high end applications, for example, aircraft wings, surgical implants, cars and bike frames. Novel materials are being developed to support or substitute human body parts, like artificial corneas and artificial hips.

Although these new materials have several special and interesting properties and enable engineers to develop and make things that were not feasible before, it is still crucial to characterize the physical properties of such materials and clearly understand any failure modes.

The latest Modular Force Stage (MFS) is a modular system particularly developed to define the mechanical properties of users’ samples. The system is a new, enhanced model of the well-known TST350 tensile stage that has enhanced resolution, sensitivity and a modular concept.

The modular design enables users to have an increased level of control over their experiments with the potential to alter heater type, grips and force ranges. The extra options will accept an extensive range of different specimens and applications and can test compression, tension and multi-point bending.

The MFS can be utilized with transmitted or reflected illumination as well as other methods, like FTIR, X-ray and Raman. The sample chamber of the MFS is sealed and can be gas-purged through the integrated valves. Options are available for electrical contact posts and humidity control.

MFS on imaging station, with a sample under tension throughout the 350 °C heater block.

MFS on imaging station, with a sample under tension throughout the 350 °C heater block.

MFS on imaging station, with a sample under tension throughout the 350°C heater block. Image Credit: Linkam Scientific Instruments


  • Multi-point bending measurements
  • Tensile and compression force: Users can test the tensile and compressive properties of their samples in relation to temperatures and can capture high resolution pictures of the structural changes
  • Humidity: The RH95 humidity unit can be added to the system to precisely control the relative humidity throughout the samples
  • A broad range of control parameters: The distance moved, speed of jaws and the applied force can be modified with respect to temperature
  • Encoded distance measurement: Integrated high resolution encoder guarantees accurate measurement of variations in the length
  • Interchangeable grips and heaters: The temperature can be regulated from less than −195°C up to 350°C based on the attached heater. Grips and heaters can be changed to house an extensive range of sample types
  • Electrical connections: Optional electrical connections allow electrical measurement on the specimen at the time of tensile testing

Graphical Data


Image Credit: Linkam Scientific Instruments

Users can examine the mechanical properties of their samples with LINK software. They can integrate it with the LINK imaging module to view samples throughout their experiments. Real-time graphs are shown as the experiment is performed. Users can view their data in both force-distance and temperature-time graphs.

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