In situ mechanical testing

The mechanical properties of materials are to a large extend determined by their microstructure. It is therefore crucial to understand how the microstructure evolves when the material is subjected to an external thermo-mechanical treatment. Over the past two decades various new tools have been developed to perform in situ mechanical testing at synchrotrons X-ray and neutron facilities. Sample sizes range from 40nm thin films up to 25cm large cruciform specimens. Many different material systems have been studied, such as nanocrystalline metals, single crystal micropillars, advanced steels, etc.

We welcome collaborations with research teams that seek to perform in situ mechanical testing. The tools that were developed have been optimized for usage at PSI's large-scale facilities (the Swiss Light Source and the Swiss Neutron Spallation Source). However, several of them have been employed at other European facilities, including the ESRF, PetraIII, Diamond and Soleil. 

  • Godard P, Verezhak M, Sadat T, Mignerot F, Jacques VLR, Le Bolloc'h D, et al.
    In situ compression of micropillars under coherent X-ray diffraction: a case study of experimental and data-analysis constraints
    Journal of Applied Crystallography. 2023; 56(2): 381-390.
  • Simutis G, Bollhalder A, Zolliker M, Küspert J, Wang Q, Das D, et al.
    In situ uniaxial pressure cell for x-ray and neutron scattering experiments
    Review of Scientific Instruments. 2023; 94: 013906 (7 pp.).
  • Härtel M, Illgen C, Panzner T, Bruder E, Schmaltz S, Van Petegem S, et al.
    Mechanical, microstructural and in-situ neutron diffraction investigations of equi-biaxial Bauschinger effects in an interstitial-free DC06 steel
    International Journal of Plasticity. 2022; 159: 103478 (19 pp.).

Dr. Steven Van Petegem
Structure and Mechanics of Advanced Materials
Photon Science Division 
Paul Scherrer Institute
Forschungsstrasse 111, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
Telephone: +41 56 310 2537