A multi-loading, climate-controlled, stationary ROI device for in-situ X-ray CT hygro-thermo-mechanical testing

N.H. Vonk, E.C.A. Dekkers, M.P.F.H.L. van Maris, J.P.M. Hoefnagels (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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In-situ CT mechanical testing yields a full 3D description of a sample material’s behaviour under specific loads. In the literature various devices are proposed which enable in-situ CT hygro-, thermo- or mechanical testing, each with its own merits and limitations. However none of them is able to perform advanced hygro-thermo-mechanical tests on specimens subjected to multiple loading modes, while accurately controlling and measuring the force, displacement, temperature and relative humidity in real time. Therefore, this work proposes an in-situ CT device which allows such multi-faceted experiments. Improvements to the current state-of-the-art devices include: (1) a compact, lightweight and rotationally symmetric design that enables high-resolution CT scans by minimization of wobble during scanning, in practically all lab-scale CT scanners; (2) a stationary region of interest by loading the sample from both sides, which enables high resolution CT characterization of materials exhibiting a large fracture strain; and (3) improved testing modularity by exchanging clamping methods to allow samples of various sizes (e.g., circular or rectangular) to be inserted in a variety of ways, thereby facilitating complex experiments such as three- or four-point bending tests. Validation experiments demonstrate that stringent requirements on CT resolution, loading and displacement accuracy and climate control are met. Furthermore, the in-situ testing capabilities of the device were validated by CT characterization of the creasing and folding process of multi-layer cardboard under varying (controlled) levels of relative humidity and temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-308
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • Climate control
  • In-situ mechanical testing
  • Micro-mechanics
  • Multi Loading
  • Stationary ROI
  • X-ray computed tomography


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