Adaptive Materials and Structures Laboratory

The Adaptive Materials and Structures Laboratory, directed by Professor John Shaw, is dedicated to the fundamental research of thermo-mechanical coupled field effects in complex materials, especially shape memory alloys (SMAs) and elastomeric components at elevated temperatures.

The AMS laboratory is equipped with three general purpose testing machines for stiff materials such as metals and composites, soft materials such as elastomers and for impact and cyclic tests. We can also control temperature through environmental chambers through air temperature, thermoelectric devices and a fluid circulator bath.

Thermal analysis equipment, including a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) and a dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA), is available for accurate thermodynamic materials characterization. It provides heat capacity and latent heat measurements as well as accurate dynamic and static measurement of thermomechanical properties of small, or low force, specimens.

Various optical imaging equipment and infrared imaging equipment are available for full-field deformation and temperature field measurements, respectively. This equipment can accurately measure and post-process temperature fields as temperature color contours. It has been used quite effectively in the past for the thermo-mechanical characterization of shape memory alloys that exhibit stress-induced exothermic (and endothermic) phase transformations.

A custom-built membrane inflation facility is available that can be used to perform experiments on pressurized thin membrane specimens, elastomers or thin film SMAs, at elevated temperature. Through the use of multiple CCD cameras, photogrammetry has been performed to measure to the non-uniform multiaxial strain field on the surface of the membranes.