Lab, Facilities & Services

The PolyCy Instrumentation Center is available to all Iowa State University users. Please see below for rates and contact information. 

Not affiliated with Iowa State University? Please contact us to see how we can work with you!

MECHANICAL PROPERTIES

Mechanical properties testing analyzes the impact resistance, ductility, bending, or fatigue of a material.

Izod Impact Tester

Description

The Izod impact test is a standard test that measures the impact energy needed to fracture a material. This test helps engineers and scientists assess the fracture properties of a given part or component. The information obtained from the Izod impact test is used to determine how various materials will perform when subjected to impact loading.

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Tensile Tester

Description

A tensile tester, also known as a pull tester or universal testing machine (UTM), is an electromechanical test system that applies a tensile (pull) force to a material to determine the tensile strength and deformation behavior until break.

A typical tensile testing machine consists of a load cell, crosshead, extensometerspecimen gripselectronics, and a drive system. It is controlled by testing software used to define machine and safety settings, and store test parameters defined by testing standards such as ASTM and ISO. The amount of force applied to the machine and the elongation of the specimen are recorded throughout the test. Measuring the force required to stretch or elongate a material to the point of permanent deformation or break helps designers and manufacturers predict how materials will perform when implemented for their intended purpose.

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Izod Notch Cutter

Description

This machine can cut various depths for V shapes according to standards. It is used to produce IZOD and CHARPY specimens, the user will cut a V angle along the middle of the specimen to decrease the diversity. The cutting speed of this machine can be adjusted according to the material of the specimen, as well as, to different angle depths, where the user can adjust or change the shape of the cutting tool to produce different angle cuts.

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Instron

Description

Instron electromechanical universal testing machines can perform a wide range of mechanical tests including tensilecompressionbendpeeltear, friction, and shear testing. These systems are designed to test materials, components, and products in accordance with ASTMISO, and other industry standards.

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Brookfield Viscometer

Description

The digital display ensures easy and accurate readout of test results for simultaneous measurement of viscosity and torque.

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THERMAL PROPERTIES

Ares G-2

Description

The ARES-G2 is advanced rotational rheometer best suited for soft matter research and material development. Equipped with a dedicated actuator for deformation control, Torque Rebalance Transducer (TRT), and Force Rebalance Transducer (FRT) for independent shear stress and normal stress measurements.

Full Specifications enlisted at: https://www.tainstruments.com/ares-g2/

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DSC TA Discovery 2500

Description

Offers a single fusion cell that measures heat flow using thermal resistance, thermal capacitance and heat rate imbalance allowing for heat capacity measurement is a single run. Also allows for modulated heat flow mode and in depth understanding of kinetic and heat capacity events. One touch app functionality with the latest Trios interface and unattended DSC operation from -120℃ to 400℃.

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MFR

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Thermal testing measures a materials ability to operate safely at different temperatures. This gives insight to safe operating limits, the material’s general characteristics and potential lifespan.

MOLECULAR PROPERTIES

Molecular properties testing is used to determine physical and chemical properties in regards to application.

Biotage Isolera One (Flash Chromatography)

Description

Is a high performance FC system equipped with solvent resistant touchscreen LCD control and display, sample fraction collector, a pump module with variable flow rate control and an internal detector for recording absorbance of light through samples and solvents. Also compatible with UV detection modules i.e. Spektra which attributes a lambda-all functionality allowing detection of compounds in near UV range.

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Tosoh- HFIP GPC

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Acquity GPC

Description

Waters acquity gpc that permits high resolution advanced gel polymer chromatography in shorter run times that combines refractive index (RI), ultraviolet (UV) analysis, light scattering (LS) and intrinsic viscometry (IV) for reliable data acquisition. Compatible with columns for a wide range of molecular weight for polymers.

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FTIR

Description

Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is a technique used to obtain an infrared spectrum of absorption or emission of a solid, liquid or gas. An FTIR spectrometer simultaneously collects high-resolution spectral data over a wide spectral range.

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Fluorescence Microscope

Description

Fluorescent microscopy is often used to image specific features of small specimens such as microbes. It is also used to visually enhance 3-D features at small scales. This can be accomplished by attaching fluorescent tags to anti-bodies that in turn attach to targeted features, or by staining in a less specific manner.

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Optical Microscope

Description

Optical microscopy is used extensively in microelectronics, nanophysics, biotechnology, pharmaceutic research, mineralogy and microbiology. Optical microscopy is used for medical diagnosis, the field being termed histopathology when dealing with tissues, or in smear tests on free cells or tissue fragments.

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Brookfield Rheosense Viscometer

Description

It is an easy-to-use, stand-alone instrument for measuring viscosity and yield stress. Rheometers are supplied with an internal spring used to calculate the viscosity of a material. These springs have different measuring capabilities:

LV is for low viscosity materials and can measure the thinnest materials. Typical examples include inks, oils, and solvents.RV is for medium viscosity materials than those measured with an LV torque. Typical examples include creams, food, and paints.HA is for higher viscosity materials than those measured with an RV torque. Typical examples include gels, chocolate and epoxies.HB is for even higher viscosity materials than those measured with an HA torque spring. Typical examples include asphalt, caulking compounds, and molasses.

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Moisture Analyzer

Description

A moisture analyzer is a device that determines the moisture content with the loss on drying method and consists of a weighing and halogen heating unit.

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Xeuss SAXS

Description

Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is used to measure the elastic scattering from a material over an angular range of ca. 0.05 – 5°. These scattering profiles can be used to determine information about the sizes and shapes of these structures as well as the average distance between them.

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CHEMICAL PROCESSING TOOLS

Centrifuge

Description

A centrifuge is a device that uses centrifugal force to separate various components of a fluid. This is achieved by spinning the fluid at high speed within a container, thereby separating fluids of different densities (e.g. cream from milk) or liquids from solids.

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Glove Box

Description

A glove box is a closed chamber filled with Argon and protectively lined, as to prevent contamination. Items stored in the glove box are typically elements or substances that are highly volatile and explosive when in contact with Oxygen and Water. In order to work with these chemicals safely they are placed inside the sealed box and are handled with the gloves protruding outside of the box.

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Biotage FC

Description

When a step in a molecular synthesis is completed and workup has been performed, the resultant reaction mixture is often complex containing many chemical species. These include starting materials, catalysts, side product and solvent as well as the target product of the reaction. To progress the synthesis, the product needs to be isolated in sufficient purity for the next step. Traditionally, this has involved column chromatography with a packed glass column, involving solvent addition through the top of the column and gradual elution of the components in a steady solvent from through chromatographic interactions.

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Vivtek 1.3L Pressurized Reactor

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Heating Ovens

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Vacuum Ovens

Description

Also called drying ovens are used to remove moisture from objects without cooking them. Heat is produced from the side walls and requires an external vacuum pump to provide a low-pressure environment which minimizes oxidation during drying.

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Parr Reactor

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10L Glass Reactor

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50L Glass Reactor

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Pressure Filtration System

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Rotovaps

Description

A rotary evaporator (also called as “rotavap” or “rotovap”) is a device used in labs for the efficient and gentle removal of solvents from samples by evaporation.

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pH Meter

Description

pH meter, electric device used to measure hydrogen-ion activity (acidity or alkalinity) in solution. Fundamentally, a pH meter consists of a voltmeter attached to a pH-responsive electrode and a reference (unvarying) electrode.

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Hi-Vac Lines

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High Purity Solvent System

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High Purity Monomer System

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Chemical processing and analyzing tools determine, characterize, and quantify chemical components and help determine quality of materials and substances. 

OTHER PROCESSING TOOLS

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Process 11 Parallel Twin-Screw Extruder

Description

Save time and money developing formulations for polymer and food products with the Thermo Scientific™ Process 11 Parallel Twin-Screw Extruder. Use as little as 20 gm of material per experiment with this parallel co-rotating extruder to optimize your process parameters and formulation.

This lab bench extruder is ideal for a variety of compounding workflows with accessories such as: dyes, 3D filament spooler, sheet take-off system, pelletizer, and a melt pump for Pulsation-free metering of melt that enables production suitable for filaments, sheet film or fiber spinning.

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Thermo Scientific HAAKE MiniJet Pro- Piston Injection Molding System

Description

Thermo Scientific™ HAAKE™ MiniJet Pro Piston Injection Molding System allows for ~3.5g max(mold dependent) injection of various thermoplastics in the form of pellets, powder, and melt with a wide range of compatible mold-geometries. Heated cylinder is compatible with extrusion equipment. A list of full specifications is given below:

  • Air Pressure Max. 1.100 bar
  • Electrical Requirements 230V ±10%; 110V ±10% 50/60 Hz
  • Height (Metric) 710 mm
  • Power Consumption 3.15Å
  • Hertz 50/60 Hz
  • Injection Pressure Max. 1,200 barVoltage 230V ±10%; 110V ±10%
  • Length (Metric) 300 mm
  • Width (Metric) 420 mm
  • Cylinder Pressure Max. 400°C
  • Mold Material 1.2767
  • Mold Temperature Max. 250°C
  • Injection Volume 3.5 g max. (depending on mold)
  • Max. Cylinder Temperature 400°C
  • Max. Mold Temperature 250°C

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Retsch CryoMill

Description

The CryoMill is designed to use liquid nitrogen for cryo-grinding. Before and during the grinding process, the grinding jar is continuously refrigerated with liquid nitrogen from the integrated cooling device. The sample is thus embrittled and volatiles are prevented from escaping. Liquid nitrogen circulates through the unit and is constantly replenished by an Autofill system in the exact amount required to retain the temperature at -196 °C. Strong impact ball milling results in flawless grinding efficiency. Autofill prevents direct contact with LN2 and makes cryogenic grinding very clean. Its flexibility (cryogenic, wet and dry grinding at room temperature) makes CryoMill an ideal grinder for amounts of up to 20 ml.

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Thermo Scientific Haake MiniLab-II- Mini Extruder

Description

The Haake-MiniLab-II is a micro extruder with a sampling capacity of ~5g; equipped with a conical twin flow compounder (offers both co and counter -rotating screws) with an integrated back-flow channel and inert gas system. This permits melt flow viscosity measurement. Circulation mode allows for precise control of reaction time during reactive extrusion. Software (RS232) interface offers evaluation of rheological parameters such as viscosity, shear stress.

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Melt Flow Indexer

Description

This Melt Flow Index Tester is widely used to determine melt mass flow rate(MFR), melt-volume flow rate(MVR) of a wide range of thermoplastics (viz. polycarbonates, nylon, ABS, PS, PE etc.) in both academic and industrial setups, as well as for QA & QC and complies with GB/T3682-2000, ASTM D1238-98, JB/T5456, ISO1133 etc. similar standards.

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Carver Press

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Cryomicrotome

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Liquid 3D Printer

Description

a liquid 3D printer uses a UV light to solidify photopolymer resin. The result is a much finer resolution

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Pellet Dryer

Description

The dryer works by heating up air while removing moisture, using desiccants, and then forces the air through the pellets in the hopper. The movement of the hot air wicks the moisture back to the base of the machine and the pellets are dried with ease.

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Single Screw Filament Extruder

Description

Single-screw extruders are used extensively in the plastics industry for melting polymers, incorporating additives (for example fillers, coloring pigments, stabilizers) and delivering a homogenized melt at high pressure to a die prior to shaping processes.

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Humidity Controlled Desiccator Boxes

Description

Desiccators are sealable enclosures containing desiccants used for preserving moisture-sensitive items such as cobalt chloride paper for another use. A common use for desiccators is to protect chemicals which are hygroscopic or which react with water from humidity.

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Sonicators

Description

Sonication is widely used in the laboratory to disperse nanotubes into the polymer matrix. This process utilizes ultrasound energy to agitate nanoparticles in the polymer matrix. It is usually carried out by an ultrasonic bath or a horn/probe.

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Fee for Service Rates*

Services
Internal** 
Waters Acquity- GPC  (per sample) $115.42
Tosoh- HFIP GPC (attended, per sample) $216.53
Malvern- High Temperature GPC (per sample) $100.00
TA ARES G2- Rheometer (per hr) $118.94
Carver Press (per hr) $10.00
Retsch CryoMill (per hr) $15.00
Thermo Scientific Haake MiniLab-II- Mini Extruder (per hr) $15.50
TA Discovery 2500- DSC (per sample) $30.61
Thermo Scientific Nicolet is5- FTIR (per sample) $55.01
Biotage Isolera One- Flash Chromatography (per hour) $18.98
Thermo Scientific HAAKE MiniJet Pro- Piston Injection Molding System (per hr) $10.00
Melt Flow Indexer (per sample) $8.00

*All prices subject to change

**All internal prices are listed for unattended use of the instruments, for attended pricing please e-mail: Andrew Becker, PolyCy’s Manager.