In-Situ Deformation Testing of Light Weight Materials

National Laboratory: 
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Characterization Class: 
Extreme Environment Testing
Mechanical Behavior of Materials

LANL can perform tensile testing in selected regions of a microstructure to obtain insight on local deformation and failure modes. Using electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), focused ion beam (FIB), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), FIB'ed foils can be made and tested in situ. This technique has been utilized most extensively to examine deformation at interfaces in magnesium and its alloys to isolate failure mechanisms as a function of texture or crystal orientation and chemistry.

Capability Bounds: 

Typical specimen size is 10 microns by 5 microns by 100 nm thick.

Unique Aspects: 

LANL's robust collection of electron microscopy techniques and fixtures for in-situ mechanical testing allows for direct visualization of defect movement during testing. An experienced team of scientists, with specific expertise for the study of lightweight metals such as Ti, Mg, and Al conducts this work in an open facility.


No major use limitations.

Single Point of Contact: 

Benjamin Morrow, Staff Member,, 505-665-9224

  1. B.M. Morrow, E.K. Cerreta, R.J. McCabe, C.N. Tome. 'Toward Understanding Twin-Twin Inter-actions in HCP metals: Utilizing Multi-scale Techniques to Characterize Deformation Mechanisms in Magnesium,' Materials Science & Engineering A, 613 (2014) 365-371.
  2. B. Morrow, E.K. Cerreta, S. Mathaudhu, J.P. Escobedo-Diaz, and D. Trinkle 'Multi-scale Perspectives in Plasticity in HCP Metals' Materials Transactions A, 45 (2014) 5876.
  3. B.M. Morrow, R.J. McCabe, E.K. Cerreta, C.N. Tome. 'Observations of the Atomic Structure of Tensile and Compressive Twin Boundaries and Twin-Twin Interactions in Zirconium,' Materials Transactions A 45 (2014) 5891-5897.
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