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MICRAL : Microstructure Analysis


The main objective of the MICRAL (Microstructure Analysis) platform is to help in the development of high-performance multiphase materials, based on polymer or mineral matrix and with low environmental impact. The platform is specialized in the physicochemical characterization of formulations of heterophase materials at the nanoscopic and microscopic scale and responds to the optimization of formulations according to the industrial applications.

The platform proposes and supports innovative research and development projects aimed at improving the functional properties (mechanical, thermal, fire reaction, durability) and end-of-life management of polymeric and composite materials.


Main equipement

  • X-rays Diffractometry (D8 Advance) XRD
  • Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
  • Asylum Research Atomic Force Microscope (AFM MFP- 3D infinity)
  • Leica cryo-ultramicrotome (UMEC7)

Co-funded by « La région Occitanie »

Activities and fields of application

  • Training
  • Collaborative research
  • Feasibility studies
  • Service-provision
  • Expert assessments

In the fields of:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Electrotechnics
  • Medical
  • Sports and leisure activities
  • Marine industry

Scientific expertise & Knowhow

Physico-chemical characterisation of materials:

  • Microstructure analysis
  • Characterisation of surface state
  • Chemical composition analysis
  • Study of mechanical and electrical properties at microscopic and nanoscopic scales


  • Polymers and organic-matrix composites
  • Minerals or mineral-matrix materials

Recent projects

Study of combined effects of various additives on the dispersion state and reactivity of sulphoaluminate-belite cement pastes
CIFRE thesis in collaboration with the company CHRYSO: study of the principal action modes of accelerator systems on Portland and composite cements

Preparation of bio-sourced synthons from Cévennes region: chestnut-tree tannins for application to epoxy resins and flame-retardants

ADEME thesis with the INRA Montpellier UMR SPO research unit (Science for Oenology) and the SMACVG (Galeizon Valley development and conservation federation)


Influence of the functionalisation of halloysite nanoparticles on the morphology and viscoelastic properties of Polyamide 11 / SEBS-g-MA / halloysite blends.

AFM analysis of the microstructure and of rigidity evolution of different constituents in blends.

Sahnoune M. et al. Effects of functionalized halloysite on morphology and properties of polyamide-11/SEBS-g-MA blends. European Polymer Journal (2017)