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Home > Who We Are > The world of materials

The world of materials

We have an increasing number of materials at our disposal to solve today’s problems in metallurgy, energy, transportation, civil engineering,… Over the last decades, materials (metals, polymers, ceramic, …) have known a constant evolution. Nowadays, we can easily adapt mechanical properties by modifying the manufacturing process or the chemical composition (alloy elements, composite metals, …).

The increasing complexity of materials and the different applications have shown the importance of precise material characterizing. Therefore we need to develop new tools in order to analyze them on different scales.


The vision

During the last 20 years, the vision of material mechanics has dramatically changed thanks to three major progresses :

The democratisation of hitec analyzing instruments (SEM, DRX, etc.), new thermo-mechanical tests have been introduced to the scientific community : in situ analysis, allowing direct observation inside the SEM enclosure or under a diffraction instrument. We gain a better understanding of material behaviour, because it is finally possible to characterize all type of material in real time : observation of the microstructure, as well as its evolution (plasticity, damaging, cracking and breaking), residual/internal stress analysis, determining the behaviour law and the evolution of the volumetric fraction of each phase (shape-memory alloy, austenite steel), and everything can be done during the thermo-mechanical loading.


A new approach

The approach of material design has been completely revolutionized : by characterizing materials on every scale, new studies are launched every day to update our knowledge on material behaviour and to create better numerical models.

MicroMecha takes part in this change by delivering high quality micromachines, allowing the three main mechanical tests (tensile, compression and bending) in situ under the SEM and with the various diffraction techniques : DRX and Larger Instruments (synchrotron radiation and neutron diffraction). These tests can be executed in a temperature range of -180°C and 300°C, using different types of materials and applications : cryogenic for low temperatures (for exemple, chips for blood bag storage), various applications between -50°C and 80°C for the industrial sectors (extreme temperatures in the northern countries or in the dessert : aeronautics, automotive, civil engineering), high temperatures for motor components.