• Chemistry and Materials
  • Transport and Mobility

Platform for Mechanical, Multiphysics, Multiscale Characterization of Materials and Structures (4Maat)



Our platform is equipped with mechanical testing machines that allow the characterization of metallic, polymer, composite or civil engineering materials according to loading paths and under complex conditions. It has the particularity of covering the scale of in situ testing with scanning electron microscopy up to the scale of large-scale structures (rotary bending on railway axles). Our tribological test benches allow to understand tribological, physicochemical, thermomechanical, vibro-acoustic and particle emission phenomena. In addition, the tests carried out are often coupled with increasingly fine in-situ investigation techniques: kinematic and thermal measurements on a macroscopic and mesoscopic scale, permeability measurements, acoustic emission... We are open to all academic and industrial collaborations and propose services in line with our expertise.


  • Arnaud Beaurain
    Technical manager
  • Nathalie Limodin
    Research director
  • Thomas Rougelot
    Scientific manager


Bâtiment ESPRIT, avenue Henri Poincaré
Campus Cité scientifique, Université de Lille


Platform for Mechanical, Multiphysics, Multiscale Characterization of Materials and Structures

Chiffres clés

• 4 laboratories involved
• 6 electromechanical machines
• 8 hydraulic machines
• 5 tribological test benches
• 1080 m² of hall
• 4.6 M€ of equipment
• 1 patent (FR 3 057 955)


Effectif total : 34



• Multiaxial, multiphysics, multiscale mechanical tests in a controlled environment
• Tribology under controlled environment
• "Micro-macro" instrumentation of mechanical and tribological tests (optical, thermal, accelerometric ...)
• Design of test benches
• Characterization of metallic, polymer, composite or civil engineering materials
• Mechanical, thermal, water and chemical characterization
• Complex loads and environments

Example(s) of projects

• Characterization of wear and overheating of an aeronautical structure in a crash situation
• Performance and aging of friction materials for braking
• Scale effect in the concrete of the storage tunnels
• Study of the process-microstructure-lifespan link under cyclic stress on railway components 🡭
• Multi-scale interactions in braking systems and in aeronautical compressors 🡭

Collaborations/Partners/Scientific clients

LAMIH, ONERA, LMCPA, Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France (UPHF)

Hamburg University of Technology (Germany), Technion (Israel)

Collaborations/Partners/Private Clients

MG-VALDUNES (joint laboratory SWIT’Lab)

Services offers

Applications sectors

  • Construction / Architecture / Urban planning / Real Estate
  • Aeronautics / Aerospace
  • Automotive industry
  • Materials (Metal, Glass, Ceramic, Composite...)
  • Science / Research
  • Railway industry

Services provided

Multiaxial mechanical tests
• biaxial tests, traction-torsion, traction-compression, monotonic / cyclic
• environmental testing
• multiaxial tests at different scales on laboratory specimens to real or model structures
• triaxial compression tests
• coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical and chemical tests
• very low permeability measurements
• shear tests under triaxial conditions in mode I and II
• infrared imaging measurements

• design of test benches
• pawn-disk tests
• friction brake tests
• wheel-roller contact tests
• particle emission measurements
• acoustic measurements

"Micro-macro" instrumentation for mechanical and tribological tests
• displacement field measurements
• temperature field measurements
• digital image correlation

Consulting services

We provide consulting services related to all our areas of expertise.


We possess a wide range of mechanical and tribological test equipment allowing the characterization of materials and structures under complex stresses and controlled environments:
• Multiaxial mechanical tests (traction machines, uni-, bi- and multi-axial machines, hydraulic compression machines...)
• Tribological tests (test benches, rotary and brake tribometers, wear bench, brake test bench, etc.)
• Mechanical tests on material microstructure scales with in-situ measurements (optical, thermal...) (cameras, microscope, particle analysers...)
• Triaxial cells and durability (shear, permeability, coupling, triaxiality, in-situ instrumentation, etc.)
• Concrete aging chamber


Nom Modèle Marque
TSI Model 3300 Particle Counter TSI
TSI Model 3900 Exhaust Particle Spectrometer
MSP 100-MOUDI particle analyzer
GRIMM 11-A Portable Aerosol Spectrometer
Laser diffraction particle size analyzer SALD-2300
Micromachine Kammrath


Affiliated institutions / organisations

Centrale Lille

Unit(s) of attachment


Competitive cluster


Regional strategic areas of activity

  • Chemistry and Materials
    • Industrial processes engineering, efficient processes
  • Transport and Mobility
    • Robustness and reliability