The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Device Characterization facility

Device Characterization Laboratory

Located on the 4th floor in the Life Science Laboratories the Device Characterization facility provides gold-standard verification of wearable and point-of-care devices and other medical devices. This lab offers a full suite of mechanical testing capabilities to fully characterize materials, manufacturing processes, and their fabricated devices.

We offer training to users to conduct experimentation for use on a fee for service basis to both internal and external researchers, academic or industry based. Following an initial consultation, covering experimental parameters training and access is arranged through the director.

  • 3D Systems Capture

    The Capture 3D scanner allows rapid characterization of the surface geometry and shape of an object. The scanner allows rapid creation of a digital model of a physical object. Industrial uses include fields as varied as quality control, orthotics, and prosthetics. Though not as accurate as a coordinate measuring machine, the 3D scanner requires no physical contact.

  • KLA Tencor Alpha D-500

    The Alpha D-500 stylus profiler allows high resolution characterization of 2D surfaces. The measurements can be used to ascertain step height, roughness, bow, and shape of a piece, as well as measurement of stress. The device also allows high resolution visualization of surface features. Such measures are used in a variety of fields, including materials research and medical devices.

  • Nikon Altera 7.5.5 Coordinate Measuring Machine

    The Nikon Altera 7.5.5 allows high precision characterization of device geometry in critical to function locations. Using a 5-axis measuring system and a number of probe options, the system measures with volumetric accuracy on the order of 1.8 microns, allowing a designer to confirm part dimensions to tight tolerances.

  • Edibon EBVR

    The Brinell, Vickers and Rockwell Hardness Testing Unit (EBVR) consists of a hardness testing machine that determines the three main types of hardness (Brinell, Vickers and Rockwell).

    It can be adapted to determine hardness of ferrous materials (steel, casting pieces, etc.), nonferrous materials (aluminum and copper alloys, etc.), test pieces and alloys.

  • Instron ElectroPuls 10000

    The ElectroPuls 10000 can test material properties under large linear and torsion loads and at high strain. Using the system a material or device’s material and fatigue responses can be tested to determine its performance and validate its manufacturing process.

  • Stress Photonics GFP 1500 Full Field Strain Measurement System

    The GFP 1500 allows location specific characterization of stress and strain, allowing a designer to finely adjust their design to withstand loads and validate engineering models. The part is painted with a photo elastic coating, and then illuminated with circularly polarized light. The light becomes elliptically polarized proportional to maximum shear strain at the object surface.

  Campus Users Other Academic Institutions Industry
Instron E10000 Dynamic Force Tester $25/hour $34/hour $45/hour
Nikon CMM $20/hour $26/hour $34/hour
Stress Photonics Full Field Strain Profiler $10/hour $14/hour $18/hour
KLA Surface Roughness Tester $10/hour $13/hour $17/hour
Capture 3D Scanner $5/hour $7/hour $9/hour
TEC Wilson Rockwell Hardness Tester $8/hour $11/hour $14/hour
Consultation $45/hour $64/hour $84/hour
Rates are subject to change, contact facility to verify current fees.
Updated May 31, 2017

Training for new users consists of:

  • lab safety training,
  • operation of the instrument and associated software,
  • use of data analysis software,
  • exporting or presenting data,
  • clean up and shutdown of the instrumentation.

Once the training is complete, researchers may schedule their experiments through the director of Device Characterization (David Follette) or online through FOM (Facilities Online Manager) at