Even for an institute with a major interest in theoretical research, experiments are necessary and helpful for validating models and determination of important parameters for numerical calculations.
The ISD operates 3 laboratories for the aforementioned purposes as well as showing students the experimental side of mechanics, structural analysis, and dynamics.
A major research focus of the ISD is on biomechanics. Testing of biological tissue needs especially fine and precise machinery to enable low-error measurements of delicate material. The biomechanics laboratory employs specially crafted measuring devices for mechanical properties as well as an NMR for in situ imaging of internal structures and reactions. The laboratory itself is certified for biological safety level 2 and can therefore handle non-contagiously contaminated tissue.
The biomechanics laboratory is currently under construction.
Materials Science Laboratory
The main teaching mission of the ISD is mechanics, structural analysis, and dynamics. Experimental experience is a great source for fully understanding mechanical properties and variables widely used in engineering.
In order to understand and mathematically describe a materials response to external forces, one needs to test its reaction under load. A part of this testing can be done with tensile experiments. For these, often "dog bone" specimen of certain materials, as can be seen on the right, are elongated until failure.
Whether soldering or desoldering equipment, infrared cameras or oscilloscopes are needed, this laboratory offers a varied selection of tools and expertise for electronical tasks. It's primary goal is to provide optical measurement systems (mainly strain gauges), but other projects can be realized as well. An interesting example is a setup for measuring heat distribution on a material permeated by differently running cooling channels.