Laboratories for materials science

The Faculty of Science and Technology at UiS has several laboratories within the field of materials science. Here is an overview of relevant equipment and facilities.

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Get to know our laboratories for materials science.


We have instruments that can measure heat exchange (DSC) and mass difference (TGA) in samples as a function of temperature. These techniques are typically used to determine properties such as heat capacity, phase transitions, melting points and enthalpies of the sample material. The instruments are used by students and employees at UiS in addition to researchers from NORCE and the industry.


The TGA instrument has an internal microbalance, but there is also an external balance with a resolution of 0.01 mg available. Mortar and pestles of different sizes are at disposal as well. The DSC device has been adjusted to work with liquid nitrogen, which is required if one is to use it outside a temperature range of circa 30–300 °C. With thermogravimetry, samples are placed in small crucibles at 40–70 µL (ca. 4.5 mm height and 6 mm diameter). Normally 5–20 mg of sample material in powder form is sufficient. Crucibles are available in aluminium, alumina and platina. There are lids for each type and those for aluminium can also be hermetically sealed. The aluminium crucibles are disposable, but can only be used up to ca. 660 °C. The other two can be used up to 1600 °C (which is the limit of the instruments). 

  • Mettler Toledo DSC 1
  • Mettler Toledo TGA/DSC 3+
  • Mettler Toledo XPE205
  • Mortar and pestle
  • DSC (differential scanning calorimetry): Measurement of heat exchange only (more accurate) 
  • TGA (thermogravimetric analysis): Simultaneous measurement of change in heat and mass

Contact person: Ioana Andreea Nes

Tensile, compression and bending testing 

The material sciences laboratories have several so-called universal testing systems (UTS), as well as dedicated machines for compression and bending tests. The facilities are used for both research and teaching, as well as external commissions.

Instron_5985_250 kN

Using a UTS, users can conduct a series of tests, including stress, compression, and bending tests. The systems permit a large degree of variation in tests and materials, and users can test everything from textiles to steel and concrete. A temperature chamber has also been installed in the Instron 5985 system, which enables experiments within a range of -80°C to +250°C. The laboratory is generally used for testing concrete and metals.

  • Instron 5985 stretching machine with temperature chamber (-80°C to +250°C)
  • Bending tests
  • Tensile tests
  • Compression tests

Contact person: Johan Andreas Håland Thorkaas

Impact testing

The impact testing laboratory is one of the material testing laboratories. Here you can study, for example, the toughness of materials using Charpy V notch testing.


Our machine is equipped with a 450 J pendulum and digital and analogue reading scales. There is also a cooling bath that can be chilled down to -90°C for testing at low temperatures. There is equipment for producing Charpy-V samples in the workshop at UiS. Impact testing is included as part of the teaching for mechanical students, through bachelor’s and master’s degree theses, and research.


  • Zwick/Roell RKP450
  • ISO 142 - Charpy impact testing

Contact person: Johan Andreas Håland Thorkaas

Hardness testing

The material technology laboratories are equipped with several hardness testing devices, primarily for metals. These can perform tests using the Brinell and Vickers methods on both manual and automatic systems. Depending on the geometry of what one wants to test the hardness of users can test the part directly or a cut off piece.

Falcon 5000 hardhetsmåler

For a cut-off piece, users may, depending on its geometry, either test it directly or have to cast the sample piece in plastic in order to test it. The laboratory has moulds available (Ø25, Ø40 and Ø50 mm cylinders, maximum height of approximately 30 mm). Hardness testing lies at the intersection of destructive and non-destructive testing. Such testing leaves marks on the surface, which may damage sealing surfaces or protective layers and coatings, etc. If users do not to need to test critical areas of the surface, this will not represent a problem. Vickers is the method we use most often and consists of a pyramid shape that is pressed into the material. Brinell, where a ball is pressed in, is not used as much, but is available.

  • NOVA 330 20g - 31,25kg Vickers
  • DuraScan 10g - 10kg Vickers
  • Falcon 5000 50g - 250kg Vickers, Brinell
  • Wolpert 1kg - 250kg Vickers, Brinell

  • Vickers
  • Brinell

Contact person: Johan Andreas Håland Thorkaas

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