IMDEA Materials Institute sets up a GLEEBLE 3800 thermo-mechanical simulator at its Leganes site

The worldwide demand of improving quality and efficiency of metallurgical processes and decreasing cost of the final products stimulates intensive research to reach these goals. However, large-scale industrial experiments are too expensive and very time-consuming. To decrease the research costs and to accelerate the implementation of new or improved technologies, physical simulation of metallurgical processes has been used. Physical simulation involves the exact reproduction of the thermal and mechanical processes in the laboratory that the material is subjected to in the actual fabrication or during engineering application. A small sample of the real material is used in the simulation. The material is subjected to the same thermo-mechanical treatment that it undergoes in the full scale fabrication process or during its engineering application. When the simulation is accurate, the outcomes can be readily transferred from the laboratory to the full size production process. Actually, the physical simulation allows an improvement of existing technology or development of a new one in a little time at a very low cost. The GLEEBLE systems produced by Dynamic Systems Inc. (USA) have been widely recognised as the world leading tool for the physical simulation of the metallurgical processes due to their extremely high thermo-mechanical stability and versatility. They have been successfully applied for solving production problems in welding, casting, and metallforming (rolling, extrusion, forging, etc) for a wide range of metallic materials such as steels, light metals, superalloys, etc as well as for their mechanical characterization.

The GLEEBLE 3800 system of IMDEA Materials Institute

The GLEEBLE 3800 system of IMDEA Materials Institute

The GLEEBLE 3800 system is set up for the dilatometry studies

The GLEEBLE 3800 system is set up for the dilatometry studies


IMDEA Materials Institute has acquired the state of the art GLEEBLE 3800 thermo-mechanical simulator that arrived in November 2010. Through its powerful physical simulation capabilities, the GLEEBLE 3800 system will provide the researchers at IMDEA Materials Institute with competitive advantage in research on advanced metallic materials and will significantly strengthen the research capabilities of the institute in this area. The applications and capabilities of the GLEEBLE 3800 system are outlined in the tables below. It is expected that the system will be fully operative by January 2011.

Application of the GLEEBLE 3800 system

Thermal / Mechanical Characterization

  • Hot/warm tensile testing
  • Hot/warm compression testing
  • Melting and solidification
  • Nil strength testing
  • Hot ductility testing
  • Thermal cycling/heat treatment
  • Dilatometry/phase transformation studies
    • On heating and/or cooling
    • Continuous or Isothermal
    • Post deformation
  • Stress relaxation studies
  • Thermal/mechanical fatigue

Process Simulation

  • Hot rolling
  • Forging
  • Extrusion
  • Casting
  • Welding
  • HAZ cycles
  • Heat treating
  • Quenching

Testing capabilities of the GLEEBLE 3800 system

  • Maximum load
    • in tensión: 20 tons
    • in compression: 10 tons
  • Maximum heating/cooling rate: 10000oC/s
  • Maximum stroke rate in tensión/compression: 2000 mm/s
  • Minimum stroke rate in tension/compression: 0.001 mm/s