Tensile Stage

Technology Principles, Products, and Applications

MTI Instruments offers the SEMTester tensile stages in flexibly designed frames to fit most popular Scanning Electron (SEM), Atomic Force (AFM) and Light (LM) Microscopes. This premier set of analytical tools for materials testing has a working load range across the whole product line from 10 to 9000 Newtons (2lbf to 2,000lbf).

In-situ Miniature Tensile Stage for Scanning Electron Microscope Micro Tensile Stage for Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)
In-situ Miniature Tensile Stage for SEMs Micro Tensile Stage for AFMs

To provide maximum versatility, the SEMTester is available in three different size frames, the SEMTester 100, 1000, and 2000. Each of these is optimized to provide the perfect balance of size, weight, and functional stiffness while offering the ultimate performance over its given working range. For increased accuracy each frame can be easily fitted with interchangeable load cells with a more accurate lower limit. All three frames share the same core design principles that make the MTII/Fullam SEMTester uniquely suited for testing under a microscope. The dual lead-screw design symmetrically works the samples while keeping the deformation zone centered in any scope’s field of view.

Photo of the dual lead-screw design of the SEMTester frame

All SEMTesters share our custom Digital Controller and its software MTESTQuattro. This software provides advanced features, including a variety of testing options for data and analysis. An aggregate of this data can be used to produce in-software analysis for material characteristics, or output as a simple data set to be used in other software. Interactive tutorials guide an operator through set up, testing and data collection.

types of tests/analyses available for tensile stage

Through a series of easy to use interactive tutorials an operator can quickly learn to set up a test procedure and begin collecting data. An aggregate of this data can be used to produce in-software analysis for a variety of material characteristics or output as a simple data set to be used in other software.

Example of

The flexibility of the system is enhanced with the availability of add on features such as heaters, coolers, clamps, grips, and anvils.

heater options for tensile stage

Primary among these is our Contact Heater System. This system consists of a Controller, Power Supply, and a Heater Unit which mounts in the Tensile Unit Base to contact samples from the underside, leaving the top clear for observation by a Microscope, SEM, or AFM. Heater Units are available for use either in vacuum only (for use in an Environmental Chamber or Vacuum Tank) or for use in open air or vacuum. The Heater Unit itself is capable of generating temperatures up to 1,200 C and the resulting temperature of a specimen in contact with the heater will be based on specimen size & composition but temperatures of 800 C are achievable under the right conditions.

heater for tensile stage

The Heater Unit is controlled by a built-in Thermocouple that is accurate to +/- 5 C and a second Thermocouple is available for use on the sample to provide additional data for subsequent analysis. We’ve recently added a Dilatometer to the available inventory of SEMTester tools. This device is used for making extremely accurate measurements of the change in the free length. This data is read by Digital Controller and the MTESTQuattro software uses it for calculations such as Modulus of Elasticity. In addition to this measurement device we offer several options for Compression testing with the SEMTester. Each of these is customized to fit on the matching frame and the designs include 3 or 4 point bending (on strips) or straight compression (for Plane Strain or Flow Stress style testing).

SEMTesters are built at our factory in Albany, NY using the highest quality aircraft-grade aluminum and non-ferritic stainless steel. All lubricants are vacuum-rated to 7 x 10-11 Torr so all SEMTesters are factory ready for any vacuum tank or environmental chamber. Our experienced application engineers can help you with the stress and strain of selecting the correct stage, ensuring you have all the tools needed and assisting with your implementation.