Materials Tester

Basalt®-MUST: Modular Universal Surface Tester

General Information

  • Basalt®-MUST is a modular and flexible high precision tester to measure surface interactions in a wide force range
  • Interchangeable modules for specimen motion in reciprocating and pin-on-disc mode are the basis for various experiments
  • Different modules for force measurements from the macro world to the micro world are available
  • Embedded PC with real time operating system guarantees high data acquisition rate in equidistant time intervals
  • Easy programming of automatic experiments by standard software (running on the embedded PC)
  • Graphical visualisation and analysis of large data sets with TETRA-VIEW® (Windows® PC software)


  • Basic research to elucidate the mechanism of friction, fatigue and wear in materials
  • Exploration of haptic properties
  • Testing of bio interfaces and structures
  • Time response gaging of mixed materials like glues and varnish
  • Analysis of micro electro mechanical systems and connectors
  • Micro rheology of thin layers and lubricants
  • Study of tribochemical reactions
  • Characterisation of thin layers and coatings
  • Quality management, process optimisation


  • Adhesion
  • Indentation
  • Friction
  • Wear
  • Scratching
  • Hardness
  • Viscosity

Technical Specifications

Module Position Device (x-y-z-axis):

  • Motor principle:
  • stepper motor
  • Resolution:
  • 1.25 μm
  • Velocity:
  • max. 2 mm/s
  • Force:
  • approx. 30 N
  • Moving range:
  • x 20mm / y 20mm / z 50mm

    The combination of Fiber Optical Sensor (FOS) for measuring the deflection of special cantilever and a high precision linear positioning system (LPS) is covering the force range from 1 μN to 1 N. The closed loop position control enables long stroke experiments up to 20 mm with a repeatability of 50 nm.

    A measuring module with strain gage extend the force range up to 10 N. Together with a high frequency motion module based on a voice coil drive facilitate fretting experiments between 2 μm@500Hz and 3 mm@15Hz. The RM120 enables Pin-on-Disc Experiments

    The tribo corrosion set up allows to measure tribochemical reactions in a pin on disc mode up to 250 rpm. To run the experiment in liquids the motion and measuring module are mounted upside down in the base unit.

    Measuring Module 1N

    2D Force Transducer – Cantilever
    • Double leaf spring
    • Various materials (glass, different steels, different bronzes, …)
    • Advantages of glass:
      • Excellent material properties
      • Easy to combine with other materials
      • Very good long-time stability
    • Spring constants down to 0.5 N/m
    • Easy handling
    • Simple adaptation (geometry, force range) to reach the customers needs

    Optical Displacement Sensor
    Light emitted from the sensor tip is reflected from the surface of a cantilever. The reflected light will be received by the same sensor tip and converted in a electrical signal. The signal is related to the distance between the sensor tip and a reflective area on the cantilever. This provides the possibility to measure the deflection of a cantilever and hence to measure forces.

    Due to the nature of the FOS it can be used in two measuring ranges of different sensitivity. It is possible to measure static and dynamic values such as displacements, extensions and mechanical vibrations.

  • Measuring range:
  • approx. 100 μm (MR1),
    1.5 mm (MR2)
  • Sensitivity:
  • 1/5000 of range
  • Bandwidth (-3 dB):
  • static up to 30 kHz … 150 kHz
  • Diameter of sensor tip:
  • different diameters from 1.5mm to 8mm
  • Temperature range of sensor tip:
  • -25°C … + 80°C
  • Length of the fiber bundle:
  • 1500 mm (standard)

    Measuring Module 10N

  • Measuring principle:
  • strain gage
  • Measuring range normal force:
  • 0.1 … 10 N
  • Measuring range friction force:
  • 0.1 … 10 N
  • Resolution:
  • 1/2000 MR

    Measuring Set-up Tribocorrosion

    Motion Module
  • Drive principle:
  • step motor
  • Speed:
  • 0 … 250 rpm
  • Speed steps:
  • 1 rpm
  • Resolution:
  • 0.144°
  • Torque:
  • 12 Ncm
  • Programmable speed profiles
  • Batch editor for various experiments

  • Measuring Module
  • Measuring principle:
  • magnetic hall sensor
  • Measuring range normal force:
  • 0.1 … 5 N
  • Measuring range friction torque:
  • ± 7.5 Ncm
  • Resolution:
  • 1/2000 MR
  • Specimen misalignment compensation:
  • ± 1.5°

    Motion Modules

    Reciprocating Module LPS20
  • High precision linear drive
  • Closed loop positioning controller
  • Drive Principle:
  • The LPS20 is a linear motor based on the electro- dynamic drive principle. The excellent characteristics are a result of the simple design, the highly precise guidance and the drive principle with moved magnets that avoids electrical connections to the actuator element.
  • Compact device
  • Size:
  • 90×90×53.5 mm3
  • Weight:
  • 730 g
  • Travel range:
  • 20 mm
  • Accuracy:
  • 1 μm
  • Resolution:
  • 50 nm
  • Maximum load:
  • 250g / 2.5N (more on request)
  • Blocking force:
  • >1 N
  • Acceleration:
  • 5 m/s2
  • Speed:
  • 0.02 … 10 mm/s (max. 30 mm/s)
  • Speed error:
  • 18 μm/s (2% for speeds >5 mm/s)
  • Operating voltage:
  • 12 V

    Pin-On-Disk Module LMR120
  • Drive principle:
  • step motor
  • Speed:
  • 1…120rpm
  • Resolution:
  • 0.225°
  • Torque:
  • 0.01 Nm / 1 Ncm
  • Size:
  • 90×90×70mm3
  • Weight:
  • approx. 800 g
  • Higher torque, resolution and speed on request
  • Software Highlights

    The batch editor enables the operator to set up many different experiments, while providing the possibility to vary each single parameter like load, number of cycles, speed etc. for each of the experiments.

    A built in computer with a specially adapted LINUX, capable to acquire real-time sensor signals, offers the possibility to control the tester such as setting up sensors, moving the specimen or the tool without an additional external computer.
    External PC (Windows) can be connected by Ethernet for customer specific controls. The data storage on a USB device or via Ethernet on an external computer allows long term experiments.

    The Basalt®-MUST facilitates the operator to inspect the measured data within the tester’s LINUX application software. For the visualisation and the analysis of large data sets TETRA-View® is available. This PC-software provides several functions which enable an easy generation of 2D- and 3D-charts to interpose them in test reports.

    Direct access to the system’s drives offers the possibility to position the specimen and the tools manually to prepare the experiments easily.