Department of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

$mainhead

Facilities and Equipment

Materials Lab

The Materials Lab, located on the first floor of the Engineering and Computer Center building, offers students an opportunity to evaluate and test a variety of materials, including biological, metals, polymers and more.
Instron Model 1331 (Instron Servo Hydraulic Material Test System)
This machine allows our students to test the strength of metals and plastics. The Instron tests how much force the material can withhold. An example of on-the-job application includes a vehicle suspension fatigue test to see how the materials are expected to hold up over time.  

858 Mini Bionix II Material Test System858 Mini Bionix II Material Test System

Similar to the Instron, this machine tests the strength of materials. This machine is primarily used for biological materials. Students are able to take a skin graph and learn about how the material behaves in different situations. Common uses for this machine includes: fatigue certification studies, bone, joint and soft tissues studies, implantable orthopedic device studies, external prostheses studies, and in vitro biomaterials studies.

Charpy Impact Toughness TesterCharpy Impact Toughness Tester

Our students are able to test the amount of energy absorbed when materials are hit with force. Tough materials are able to absorb a lot of every while fractured and brittle materials absorb very little energy. Through using our Heat Treating Oven to change the temperature of materials, students are also able to study how the strength of materials react in different temperatures. An example of on-the-job application includes testing the amount of force nuts and bolts can withstand in structures like a bridge.

Olympus Metallograph MicroscopeMicroscopes

Our Materials Lab offers a number of microscopes for students to take a closer look at materials they are testing.
Olympus Metallograph Microscope: Metallography has grown increasingly complex with more exotic alloys developed for today’s advanced products. Our students will learn about the different enhancing materials used in metal and will be able to take an up-close look.
Leica Luminescence Stereo Microscope: This microscope allows our students to evaluate fractured surfaces at magnifications up to approximately 250 times with full apochromatic lens. The large depth of field supports assessment of failure initiation.

Hardness Testers

This machine allows our students to learn about the strength of materials. The machine applies force on the material, leaving a dent. Students examine the dent to determine the strength. An on-the-job example includes testing the strength of materials used in building vehicles.

Creep Tester

Over time, plastics tend to droop when continuous force is applied. This machine emulates a continuous force with use of weights and allows our students to test and evaluate different plastic materials. 

Heat treating ovenHeat Treating Oven

Metals change properties with heat. This oven allows students to heat materials up to 1650 degrees Fahrenheit and evaluate how heat treatment affects the material properties.

Clean Room

The Clean Room, located in the basement of the ISELF building, is equipped for our students to study micro-scale sensors and actuators, such as accelerometers (the components that set off air bags). It is available to properly trained and certified undergraduate and graduate students.

Thermal Sciences Lab

The Thermal Sciences Lab, located in the basement of the ISELF building, is equipped for our students to study thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer and related subjects.
Wind Tunnel - Flotek 360
Students learn about the drag force and down force of cars, airplane wings, and more through testing various replicas in the wind tunnel. In class, students have had competitions to design and build cars on one of the department’s 3-D printers and then test the cars to see which one has the least amount of drag force while maximizing the down force. Students have tested various wind turbine designs and evaluated how much power each turbine design would generate.

Refrigeration trainerRefrigeration Trainer

Through a partnership with St. Cloud Technical and Community College, students built a small commercial freezer with visible components. This refrigeration trainer helps bring the textbook to life, allowing students a hands-on opportunity to learn.   

Rankine cyclerRankine Cycler

The Rankine Cycler models the cycles of a power plant, reinforcing students’ understanding of the power cycle. This hands-on approach allows students to understand what happens at each phase of the power cycle, giving students tangible experience.

Robotics Lab

Robotics labThrough use of a dozen industrial robots, students learn skills for jobs in the engineering field. Students gain experience through programming the robots to perform tasks. The industrial robots in the lab, located on the third floor of the ISELF building, are similar to the robots graduates will work with in their professional fields.

Imaging Center

The Imaging Center, located in the basement of the ISELF building, is designed to allow analysis and characterization of materials. The Atom Force Microscope (AFM) can measure at the nanometer scale. This is ideal for many applications including physics, material science, polymers, chemistry, nanolithography, bioscience and quantitative nanoscale measurements. The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) allows material surfaces to be studied to analyze fracture surfaces, coatings, and other surface effects.

Rapid Prototyping Lab

The Rapid Prototyping Lab, located on the second floor of the ISELF building, is equipped with a variety of 3-D printers. These printers are used in many of the MME classes. Students can use a variety of materials to visualize designs and make functional prototypes.