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A new station for heavy duty sample environments

This project will design a roll-in station, and procure equipment, for enabling experiments using larger and bulkier sample environments at the Swedish Materials Science beamline.

Schematic of the Swedish Materials Science beamline, showing its three experimental hutches.

Purpose and scope

With the aim of opening up the range of industrial research and innovation experiments that can be conducted at the Swedish Materials Science beamline, this project will extend the SMS beamline’s current capability for supporting sample environments from 200kg to bulky and heavy sample environments that weigh up to 1.5 tons.  

It is envisaged that such heavy sample environments will be relevant to both academic and industrial research and innovation.

Location and key component

The station will be located at the SMS beamline's Experimental Hutch 2, which is currently not instrumented.

One important component in the roll-in station's design will be a hexapod for mounting and traversing heavy sample environments - aligning these precisely relative to the x-ray beam.

A hexapod, mounted on a rotating pad, that is supporting a sample environment at another facility.

Project activities and time plan

This work has started, with the following activities and a timeline.


  • Survey of current heavier sample environments and likely future needs
  • Overall design of the roll-in station
  • Identification of components and their tentative specifications
  • Briefing to the Swedish community to get feedback and input about the proposed design of the station and likely specifications of key components
  • Design and component specification update as input to the Procurement Process
  • Testing the performance of the hutch's floor
  • Procurement process

An illustration of the instrument and other equipment in the experimental hutch is shown below. It shows the relative locations of beamline optics, detectors and hexpaod, when the hexapod is located in the X-ray beam as well as when parked in the corner of the hutch. Other relevant installations such as the crane for lifting heavy equipment and electrical power are also included in the schematic. 

Schematic diagram of the instrument, hexapod and other installations in experimental hutch 2.

During the design specifications, a more sophisticated concept for the detector portal was conceived. In addition to flexible mounting of large angle detectors and fast imaging detectors, this design concept ought to enable straightforward traversing of the detectors during experiments.

Schematic of the envisaged detector portal.


  • Procurement process continued 
  • Delivery of components


  • Installation during the scheduled close-down period
  • Commission testing
  • Development of user manuals, training etc

Do you have a heavy-duty sample environment?

Do you have, or plan to have, a heavy/industry sample environment that you'd like to use at the Swedish Materials Science beamline? If so, we'd like to know more about your plans. That way we can aim to ensure that the station design will support as many large sample environments as possible.

Please get in touch!