Thermal strain analysis

Thermal strain analysis evaluates the strain behaviour of a material under temperature load.

A test specimen is clamped on one side in a material testing machine and its change in length is determined as a function of temperature.


This method is suitable below the glass transition temperature Tg of the material to determine the shrinkage behaviour and to evaluate the residual stresses.

The change in gauge length can be determined with a mechanical extensometer (strain transducer) or a non-contact measuring laser extensometer. The laser extensometer enables an accuracy of up to 0.05 mm and is therefore particularly interesting for small strains, which are recorded locally at different positions.

Sample preparation

  • Removal of test specimens from plates or components
  • Conditioning at standard climate
  • Priming of the test specimen with black matt varnish for measurements with the laser extensometer
  • Application of reflectors for measurements with the laser extensometer

Test conditions

  • Testing in the temperature range from -40 °C to 250 °C
  • Temperature regime freely selectable
  • one-sided clamping
  • mechanical extensometer (capacitive extensometer) or
  • laser extensometer

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