• Bioeconomy
  • Chemistry and Materials
  • Transport and Mobility

Material characterization and low stiffness assembly (SOFTMAT)



Our SOFTMAT platform consists of a set of equipment dedicated to the characterization of materials and structures under extreme conditions in temperature, loading and speed of deformation and for various materials (metallic, polymers, composites, organic). In particular, it makes it possible to identify laws of thermo viscoelastic and viscoplastic behaviour that can be damaged at different speeds and temperatures (PP, PP loaded, HDPE, bone, gel, etc.).

For this purpose, suitable measurement means have been developed (specific mounting, non-contact displacement measurement, 2D and 3D image correlation, etc.). This platform is therefore largely associated with both academic and industrial research activities.

This platform is part of the DM2SE regional platform and continues its development through the RITMEA project co-funded by the State, the Hauts-de-France region and the ERDF Fund(2021 - 2027)


  • Franck LAURO
    Scientific manager
  • Rémi DELILLE
    Technical manager


Le Mont Houy
Département Mécanique - Bâtiment CISIT
59313 Cedex 9 Valenciennes


Chiffres clés

On average 7 to 8 contracts per year of which 5 to 6 in industry



• Characterization of low-rigidity materials and structures (PP, PP-loaded, HDPE, biological, gel, etc.) at different deformation speeds (10-4 to 10² s-1 ) and temperatures (-100 to 350°C) under different loads (monotonic, alternating, cyclic, DMA)

• Architectural characterization (from microscopic to macroscopic scale) of the materials to be made density (biological, semi-crystalline, etc.)

• Non-contact measurement by optical extensometry, correlation and image stereo correlation, infrared temperature measurement.

• Static, Dynamic and Temperature Adhesive Characterization on Bulk or Dynamic ARCAN Tests

• Identification of behavior law parameters for finite element calculations

Example(s) of projects

• Identification of the mechanical behaviour of the human rib cortical bone under different loads.
• Identification of viscoelastic/viscoplastic parameters on semi-crystalline and bio-sourced polymers
• Dynamic behaviour of a head substitute subject to ballistic loading.
• Determination of short fiber distribution and orientation in polymer matrix
• Study of the evolution of the architecture and the distribution of deformations during µtraction tests on biological materials (cortical bone, sponge, etc) and polymers (PP charged talc, natural fibres, etc.)

Collaborations/Partners/Scientific clients

ONERA, LAMCUBE, Ministere de l'intérieur, DGA, U-Mons, NTNU, Université Gustave Eifel, UTBM, Université de Strasbourg, Wayne State University, Université de Sfax, IRDL

Collaborations/Partners/Private Clients


Services offers

Applications sectors

  • Defence
  • Automotive industry
  • Mechanics
  • Materials (Metal, Glass, Ceramic, Composite...)
  • Science / Research

Services provided

• DMA Tests (Time/Temperature Equivalence)
• Traction-compression, monotone/cyclic tests
• In situ tests under µtomograph
• Tests on specimen geometries to obtain different triaxiality rates
• Non-contact measurement of travel fields and temperatures
• µtomography X
• Dynamic Arcan Test

Consulting services

Consulting services on all our skills



Nom Modèle Marque
Electropuls testing machine E3000/ INSTRON
Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (DMA) DMA 850/ TA Instruments
µ tomography x with possible in situ testing 1172/ Skyscan Bruker
Thermal Enclosure (-100 to 350°c) 3119-605/ Instron


Affiliated institutions / organisations

Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France (UPHF)

Unit(s) of attachment


Regional strategic areas of activity

  • Bioeconomy
    • Biobased chemistry
  • Chemistry and Materials
    • Textiles, composites, materials
  • Transport and Mobility
    • Intelligent and autonomous vehicles
    • Reduction of pollution and energy consumption
    • Security and defense in transport