Mechanical engineering assistant professor Pania Newell received an University of Utah Research Instrument Fund (RIF) Award for a High-Temperature Stage for Nanoindenter. A nanoindenter is the main component for indentation hardness tests used in nanoindentation.

For researchers to develop high-temperature materials capable of reliable performance in extreme operational environments requires understanding and tailoring nanoscale mechanical properties. The transport of heat and fluids in materials can be affected by significant coupling between thermal, hydrological, mechanical, and chemical (THMC) processes. Furthermore, coupled characterization both in space and time in multi-physics systems is essential to underpin frontier interdisciplinary problems spanning the physical (physics, chemistry, materials), natural (biology, atmospheric and geological), engineering and mathematical sciences.

Bruker’s xSol High-Temperature Stage enables high-resolution nanomechanical measurements to be performed over a broad temperature range. The thermally stable xSol stage design provides superior feedback-controlled temperature accuracy, fast stabilization times (under tight proportional–integral–derivative (PID) control), and a thermally stable stage design that enables quantitative, accurate, and reliable nanomechanical characterization at elevated temperatures up to 800oC and beyond.

This award is supplemented with a cost share from the Dean of College of Engineering, Dean of College of Mines and Earth Sciences, chair of the Department of Mechanical, chair of the Department of Chemical engineering as well as the chair of the Department of Metallurgy Engineering, the Utah Nanofab and several faculty members across the campus.