Departamento de Ciencia de Materiales

Departamento de Ciencia de Materiales

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
E.T.S.I. de Caminos, Canales y Puertos


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Departamento de Ciencia de Materiales
Mechanical Tests
Auxiliary Services


The mechanical properties of materials, including fracture toughness, are a consequence of their microstructure. Therefore, to determine its constituents and quantify their size, spacing and relative fractions are a primary aspect of material characterization. Additionally, the study of the fracture surfaces and the next underlying material is essential to identify failure mechanisms. To that end, the department has a laboratory sample preparation-both materialographic as fractographic studies, a wide range of microscopes and computer systems for capturing digital images, documentation on paper or other media, and the quantitative characterization of the microstructure.

The sample preparation laboratory allows all stages from extraction on different materials to its mirror polishing and chemical attack, electrochemical or thermal to reveal the microstructure.

A range of cutters ranging from robust to modern cutting-off workshop diamond wire cutters or equipped with precision positioning systems based on piezoelectric, conventional materials can cut and highly sensitive materials and in any case, with high spatial resolution in the location of the cut.

Several semi-automatic and manual polishing can prepare surfaces materialographic high flatness and low underlying deformation so that the subsequent attack to reveal the true microstructure of the material.

A sputtering and a thermal evaporator can coat surfaces with noble metal surfaces attacked or fracture of some drivers whose observation in an electron microscope would be difficult otherwise.

Available microscopes allow observation range that goes from the low magnification of a binocular microscope to the possibility of atomic resolution atomic force microscope (AFM).

Apart from the above, there is metallographic microscope plate inverted light microscope for observation in reflection or transmission, metallographic bank, and two scanning electron microscopes (SEM), existing in all possible digital image capture. One of the SEM is primarily devoted to mechanical testing in situ, and the other for general use, is equipped with a system element analysis by energy dispersive X-ray, capable of detection to Be.

A modern computer system allows us to characterize quantitatively the microstructures, the digital storage of images and spectra, and their immediate impression on paper.