Test at the microscale

There is an increasing demand, both from industry and research community, to characterize small-scale and scale-specific mechanical properties of materials.

The motivation behind such demand is two folds:

  • the need to reliably predict the performance of miniature mechanical systems (MEMS, UV-LIGA watch parts, coated components like machining tools etc.) and microelectromechancial systems (MEMS/NEMS/MOEMS);
  • a desire to develop detailed and accurate hierarchical models of the mechanical behavior of complex, multicomponent structural materials.

This requires the development of new methods and new micro-scale instruments to measure the mechanical behavior of small mechanical parts and to determine how the mechanical properties of small a volume of material change with the size.

In the specific case of the REMIQUA project, not only the components will be mechanically characterized, but also the quality and maximum strength of the assembly (gluing), of those parts will be assessed. The proposed method is to apply complex load cases (traction, compression, flexion, …) to the assembly. Static and cyclic loads will be used to determine creep, respectively fatigue behavior. Non-destructive and destructive tests will be conducted to determine the assembly stiffness and maximum strength respectively. These data will allow an optimization of the assembly process through several iterations.

The developed methods will be validated with a specific device provided by a PME (confidential). However, the methods are generic and can be extended to many different cases.