Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) studies the deformation and flow of materials. This technqiue provides insight into the major transitions, as well as the secondary and tertiary transitions not easily identified by other methods. For DMA, an oscillating force is applied to the sample and the material's response to the force is analyzed.

MCL has a TA Instruments Q800 DMA.

DMA instrument

Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer with Relative Humidity attachment

Technical Poster
DMA Technical Poster
Maximum force 18 N
Minimum force 0.0001
Force resolution 0.00001 N
Strain resolution 1 nm
Modulus range 103 to 3x1012 Pa
Modulus precision ± 1%
Tan δ Sensitivity 0.0001
Tan δ Resolution 0.00001
Frequency Range 0.01 to 200 Hz
Dynamic Sample Deformation Range ± 0.5 to 10 000 µm
Temperature Range -150 to 600°C
Heating Rate 0.1 to 20°C/min.
Cooling Rate 0.1 to 10°C/min.
Isothermal Stability ± 0.1°C
Time/Temperature Superposition Yes

MCL has the following clamps: tension (film), shear sandwich, single/double cantilever. The maximum smaple dimension for each sample are noted in the table below. If you would like to fail your sample in tension, you will need to ensure the maximum force required to reach the failure stress is below 18 N. 

Clamp (experiment) type Maximum dimensions
Tension  30 mm (length) by 6.5 mm (width) by 2 mm (thickness)
preferred: 15-20 (l) x 3-6 (w) x 2-3 (t) mm
Shear sandwich 10 mm (width) by 10 mm (height) by 4 mm (thickness)
* requires 2 samples of the same size (one for each side of clamp)
Single cantilever 30 mm (length) by 15 mm (width) by 5 mm (thickness - 1.75 mm preferred)
Length/thickness ratio ≥ 10
Double cantilever 55 mm (length) by 15 mm (width) by 5 mm (thickness - 1.75 mm preferred)
Length/thickness ratio ≥ 10

MCL also has the DMA-RH attachment, which allows for characterization of the mechanical response of a material under controlled humidity and temperature. The specs for this attachment are: 

  • Temperature Range: 5 to 120°C
  • Temperature Accuracy: ±0.5°C
  • Heating/Cooling Rate: Maximum ±1°C/min.
  • Humidity Range: Maximum 95% RH (dependent on temperature)
  • Humidity Accuracy: 5-90% RH: ±3% RH
    • >90% RH: ±5% RH
  • Humidity Ramp Rate (increasing and decreasing): 2% RH/min.