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Heating microscopy is a non-contact technique that, based upon an advanced image analysis of a specimen subjected to a thermal treatment reproducing industrial firing conditions, identifies several characteristic shapes and related temperatures key to the optimization of manufacturing processes in ceramics, metals, and alloys.

The characteristic temperatures the system can automatically identify include the beginning of sintering, softening, sphere, half-sphere, and melting/fusion. Morphometrix, the latest TA Instruments image analysis software, can also determine the following: flattening curve, contact angle curve, sample area variation curve, ratio curve between width and height, bloating effects, combustion, theoretical glass viscosity (V.F.T. equation) and surface tension (glasses) using the Young-Laplace equation.

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Technical Specifications

HM 867 ODP 868
Design Heating Microscope Scalable Optical Dilatometry Platform: Patented Dual Beam Dilatometer, Heating Microscope, Patented Absolute Fleximeter, Relative Fleximeter
Sample Length 1 to 6 mm 0.5 to 85 mm
Sample Height 0.5 to 19 mm 0.5 to 19 mm
Displacement System HD camera HD camera in Heating Microscope
Dual optical system in Dilatometry
Triple optical system in Fleximetry
Dimensional Change Resolution 5 ppm 3 ppm in Heating Microscope
250 nm in Dilatometry
500 µm in Fleximetry
Measuring Range 19 mm 19 mm

Available models

HM 867 Heating Microscope

The Optical Dilatometry Platform HM 867 is a stand-alone Heating Microscope that is a standard instrument for process optimization in the ceramics industry. A single camera on the optical bench frames the entire sample and records the sequence of the characteristic shape changes and the temperature throughout the experiment. 


Key Features

  • High-temperature capability: The HM 867 can reach temperatures up to 800°C, which allows for the observation of sample behavior at high temperatures.
  • In-situ observation: The microscope allows for the observation of the sample during heating, providing real-time information on changes in the sample's physical and chemical properties.
  • High-resolution imaging: The microscope is equipped with high-quality optics and a high-resolution camera, which allows for the observation of fine sample details and changes.
  • Automatic image analysis: The HM 867 comes with advanced software that enables automatic image analysis, making it easy to track changes in the sample properties over time.
  • Multiple observation modes: The microscope can be used in different observation modes, including transmitted light, polarized light, and reflected light, providing a range of options for material characterization.
ODP 868 Optical Dilatometry Platform

Result of over twenty years of R&D of optical instruments for the study of the thermo-mechanical behavior of materials, ODP 868 makes possible the analysis of samples beyond the limits of classical heating microscopy. Its versatility makes of ODP 868 the most innovative tool for production and R&D laboratories for the optimization of all the industrial processes that involve thermal cycles.

The Heating Microscope mode uses a 5Mpix high resolution camera to study the physical behavior of the materials during the industrial firing cycles.


Key Features

  • Analyze bending caused by the difference in thermal expansion between coupled materials (i.e.: body and a glaze)
  • Determine coupling temperature (formerly done with a Steger tensiometer);
    measure bending caused by the difference in sintering behaviour between several coupling materials (i.e.: glaze, engobe and ceramic body)
  • Measure bending during cooling, caused by the volume variation of the glassy phases
  • Study pyroplastic deformation and speed of deformation occurring in the material at high temperature due to its weight;

The New ODP860 Series - Optical Dilatometry Platform

TA instrumentsTA instruments provides innovative material characterization instruments that are widely used for research, analysis, and quality control in the evaluation of physical properties. We are the world’s leading supplier of thermal analysis, rheology, and microcalorimetry instruments, and our product areas have expanded to include thermal conductivity & diffusivity, dilatometry, rubber testing, and dynamic mechanical characterization.