Lab Spaces & Equipment

Instruments are available to all ISU users, see below for rates and contact. Non-ISU users are also welcome; reach out by email for assistance.

Labs (Sweeney Hall)

3021, 3022, 3028, 3128, 3132, 3136 ,& 2152

Mechanical Properties

UTM equipped with a 1kN load cell and 10kN load cell available. Grips include compression, flexural, and tension

Impact tester capable of both IZOD and charpy testing

Plastics notcher capable of notching several different ASTM type notches. Can notch ~10 samples in one run

Viscometer capable of measuring very high (1M+ cp) and very low viscosities (>1cp). Heating unit available. Also has small volume and disposable sample attachments

Molecular Properties

Ultra High Pressure GPC. Capable of run times under 10 minutes even when using a 5 column bank. Currently configured on THF solvent and columns are configured for highest range of molecular weights, not highest resolution within a given range. Solvents other than THF are possible, and high resolution configurations are also possible if necessary

ATR Crystal FTIR. Samples are able to measured directly with this instrument rather than preparred between KBr (or comparable) plates

Leica flourescence microscope

Leica optical microscope. Capable of 100x magnification.

Capillary viscometer typically used for intrinsic viscosity measurements of polymers; however, can be used for any viscosity measurement. Depending on chip used viscosity can range from <0.2 cp up to 100k+ cp.

Simple balance coupled with heating unit to measure volatiles content in 1-3g of material. Non-destructive providing sample is not thermally sensitive.

Coupled small angle and wide angle x-ray scattering. Capable of measurements of angstroms up to 100’s of nm. Polymers, metals, ceramics, solutions are all possible to be studied in this instrument and a wide array of accessories are available. Examples include temperature stage, shear stage, tensile stage.

HFIP configured GPC for measuring molecular weight of, typically, polyamides and polyesters. Can be configured with different columns as well as different solvent as needed.

Processing Tools

Retsch cryomill capable of milling samples down to micron sized particles. Able to process ~20mL of plastic materials and is useful for milling tough or very low tg materials that can not be milled using room temperature milling equipment

Manufacture Info & resources


Heated hydrolyic press. Typically used for preparring plastic samples using molds, but can be configured for a wide array of high pressure high temperature molding/forming operations

Injection molder capable of producing various different plastic samples. Dogbones, IZOD, compression pucks, DMA bars, etc. Capable of handling almost all thermoplastic samples and uses relatively small volumes (as little as 5g)

Small extruder having a batch size of 5-7mL. Capable of recyle loop or single-pass

11mm twin screw extruder. Capable of batches as small as 12mL all the way to continuous feed at roughly 1kg/hr (depending on the material and other conditions). 8 temperature zones can be adjusted, screw design can be customized, and shear rate is easly modified. Can be pelletized, directly fed to the haake minijet injection molder, processed into sheets, wound into fillaments, spun into fibers, or extruded into tubes.

  • Mushashi M-808GX pneumatic driven dispensing controller, up to 800 kPa
  • Benchtop three Axis X-Y-Z type dispensing robotic base (Musashi SM200SX‐3A). With 200x200x50mm traveling range, control independently by teaching pendant or Musashi MuCAD software
  • Special version of MuCAD with G-Code input ability
  • Single-zone syringe heater up to 150˚C (Musashi PSY‐30FH‐P 150deg), using withPBT(for high temperature) or PP(for low temperature) 30c.c. syringe
  • Duo-zone syringe heaters (Sienda syringe heater and Eversharp EH1000), using with PBT(for high temperature) or PP(for low temperature) 30c.c. syringe, up to 200˚C for both zones

Bath and probe type sonicators are both available. Probe type sonicator is a high power sonicator probe (~1kW) that has programmable features.

Pellet Dryer capable of drying 5-10lbs of polymer. Uses heated air flow over the pellets to remove water from resin.

Thermal Properties

TA Discovery series DSC. Capable of autosampling ~50 samples. Equipped with a cryo-chiller that prevents the need for liquid nitrogen for most samples. Capable of wide temperature ranges as well as modulated DSC

Tool for determining the melt flow index (MFI) of polymers. Will auto-cut specimens to make for easy determination of the MFI

Versitile thermomechanical measurement tool. Capable of oscillitory measurements in both the axial (DMA) and radial (rheology) direction. Also capable of modes other than oscillatory such as flow, creep, constant force, constant strain, etc. Capable of temperatures ranging from liquid nitrogen to excess of 300 °C.

Other Tools

The MOCON instruments offer the ability to measure the permeability of gases through both package and homogenous films. The Permatran-W measures the water vapor permeability of films with a range of 0-100% RH. The Permatran-C measures the permeability of carbon dioxide. The Ox-Tran measures the oxygen permeability in both dry and humid conditions. Each unit contains two cells and the ability to change most test conditions, allowing measurements of a wide variety of properties for many different applications.

Glove box equipped with moisture and oxygen sensors, as well as a catalyst bed system for enabling low moisture and oxygen content

High Pressure (30MPa) reactor. Capable of small molecule synthesis, hydrogenation, oligomerization, polymerization, etc.

Flash chromatography system, capable of separations of mg’s to 100’s of g’s per batch. Fully automated, and capable of various different types of media (silica, reverse phase, diol, amine, alumina, etc.) as well as collection containers (vials, test tube, beakers, etc.

High Pressure (30MPa) reactor. Capable of small molecule synthesis, hydrogenation, oligomerization, polymerization, etc.

Large scale reactor, equipped with jacket for heating, coils for cooling, mechanically agitated with capacity to be mildly pressurized (5-10psi) for oxygen sensitive chemistries (i.e radical or anionic polymerization)

The lab is equipped with other standard processing equipment as well. Rotovaps, Ovens, Vacuum Ovens, Hi-Vac Lines, Centrifuges, a pH meter, and high purity solvent/ monomer systems purification systems are available for users. 

Fee for Service Rates*

Waters Acquity- GPC  (per sample) $115.42
Tosoh- HFIP GPC (attended, per sample) $216.53
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.