In-situ tensile testing of propellants in SEM: Influence of temperature

Giuseppe L. Di Benedetto, Marthinus C.J. van Ramshorst, Willem Duvalois, Peter A. Hooijmeijer, Antoine E.D.M. van der Heijden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


A tensile module system placed within a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) was utilized to conduct in-situ tensile testing of propellant samples. The tensile module system allows for real-time in-situ SEM analysis of the samples to determine the failure mechanism of the propellant material under tensile force. The focus of this study was to vary the experimental parameters of the tensile module system and analyze how they affect the failure mechanism of the samples. The experimental parameters varied included strain rate and sample temperature (-54, +25 and +40°C). Stress-strain diagrams were recorded during the in-situ tensile tests, and these results were coupled with the in-situ images and videos of the samples captured with SEM analysis. The experiments conducted at -54°C showed a different failure behavior of the propellant sample due to its rigidity at this low temperature, while experiments conducted at +25 and +40°C displayed a similar failure mechanism. For future testing using this tensile tester, special attention should be given to improved temperature control of the specimen, especially at low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1396-1400
JournalPropellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • In-situ SEM
  • In-situ tensile testing
  • Micromechanical deformation
  • Propellant
  • Temperature effect


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