Environmental chamber for micromechanical testing under non-ambient conditions
Current state-of-the-art micromechanical testing systems are capable of unraveling the precise microstructure-mechanical property relationships, typically only under high vacuum conditions (inside an SEM) at quasi-static speeds and nominal temperatures. However, under service conditions, materials can be subjected to high/cryo temperatures, high strain rates and non-ambient atmospheric conditions (humidity, pressure and chemical nature of the gaseous atmosphere).
In this project, we will develop an environmental chamber specifically suited for in situ micromechanical testing of micro-to-mesoscale samples under an optical microscope at non-ambient atmospheric conditions. This will help characterize the mechanical behavior of small-scale materials under harsh application-relevant environments such as high-humidity, gaseous hydrogen environment etc. under a controlled laboratory setting. The goal of this project is to develop a unique testing platform that can help understand the structural and microstructural evolution of different microarchitectures such as micropillars and microlattices, as a function of simultaneous mechanical and environmental stimuli.