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Expert Lab Service provides the tools to answer the right question and compete in ceramic excellence.

Do not hesitate to contact us to discover our lab instruments and services and also ask for consultancy.

You can schedule a meeting and an exclusive conference call.

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Products and services


Heating Microscope

To study the fusibility of materials (ceramic raw materials, glazes, frits, ashes, glasses);. More information available


Optical Dilatometer

To study the coefficient of thermal expansion and sintering behaviour during firing, also to determining the best firing cycle; More information available


Optical Fleximeter

To study the pyroplasticity and the state of tension between the glaze and the ceramic body. More information available

Research and development and quality control on raw materials

Quality control on raw materials, ceramic bodies and glazes; ceramic body formulations; study of emissions concerning digital inks and glues. More information available

Consultancy and education

How to solve industrial issues Contact us

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Our Customers take advantage of our services and our measurement instruments to carry on research on advanced ceramic materials, for quality control in industrial ceramic tile manufacturing, for the characterization of raw materials, to study the interaction between different materials, and much more.

ELS-MDF: Microscope, Dilatometer, Fleximeter

ELS-MDF is the new contact-less optical thermal analysis instrument able to reproduce industrial heating cycles, by unifying the following measurement techniques:

  • Heating Microscope to study the fusibility of materials (ceramic raw materials, glazes, frits, ashes, glasses);
  • Optical Dilatometer to measure the coefficient of thermal expansion, the glass transition temperature, the volume variation caused by fast cooling and to observe the sintering behaviour during firing well beyond the the softening point, thanks to its contactless nature;
  • Optical Fleximeter to study the piroplasticity and the state of tension between the glaze and the ceramic body.

The instrument reproduces a real industrial firing cycle:

  • Up to 80°C/min
  • Up to 1600°C
  • With shock cooling

Ceramic process simulation

How to determine the best firing cycle?

The Optical Dilatometer is the best instrument to study the sinterization and to determine the best firing cycle avoiding any risk of damage thanks its optical technology.

How to assess the stability interval of a ceramic body?

Take advantage of the Optical Dilatometer to study of the interval of stability of a ceramic body avoiding the risk of bloating.

Take advantage of the Optical Fleximeter to study the piroplasticity of the ceramic body, which is its tendency to deform under its own weight.

How to verify the compatibility between a ceramic body and a glaze?

The heating Microscope can indentify the softening temperature, which must be suitable for the ceramic firing cycle.

The studies run thanks to the Optical Dilatometer can match those run taking advantage of the Optical Fleximeterto determine the state of tension in final products.

Reliable quality control thanks to precise and repeatable measurements

How to study the fusibility of raw materials and glazes?

The heating Microscope can identify the softening and the melting point. It is really useful to study the fusibility of both raw materials and glazes

How long does it take to cool until room temperature?

Both the refracotry kiln and the heating elements are designed to heat and cool in the short time. The laboratory techincians can use also an electric fan to cool the instrument.

How many CTE (COE) can I determine per day?

ELS-MDF can run up to five dilatometry tests per day thanks to the optical system and the heating equipment.

How many microscope samples can I analyze at the same time?

ELS-MDF Heating Microscope can run up to four simultaneous analyses.

Heating Microscope

The Heating Microscope measurement technique, included in ELS-MDF:

  • Is able to store images of the test piece at predetermined temperature or time intervals;
  • Works in the range between 25°C and 1600°C;
  • Automatically identifies characteristic shapes.

The applications of heating microscopes include:

  • Identifications of charactristic shapes of glasses, glazes and frits;
  • Determination of melting point;
  • Comparison between different kind of samples that undergo the same thermal cycle;
  • The study of behaviour of mold powders for continuous casting.

We can provide custom-made heating microscopes for specific fields:

  • A special 1750°C variant, for advanced ceramics, ashes fusibility, etc;
  • An high-throughput variant, able to analyze 8 concurrent samples.

Case study: Fusibility of glazes, ceramic bodies and frits

Optical Dilatometer

The Optical Dilatometer measurement technique is included in the ELS-MDF instrument.

  • Is based on two optics which are framing both the ends of the sample that is free to expand in both directions;
  • Allows to extend the range of research to temperatures higher than the softening point;
  • Works in the range between 25°C and 1600°C.

The applications of optical dilatometry include:

  • Measurement of thermal expansion. ELS-MDF can be used also to measure the thermal expansion of ultra-thin materials and soften ones;
  • Sintering studies;
  • Optimization of the firing cycle of ceramic bodies;
  • Quality control of raw materials.

Case studies:

Optical Fleximeter

The Optical Fleximeter measurement technique, included in ELS-MDF instrument:

  • Performs flexion measurements on a sample placed on two holding rods, 70mm spaced;
  • Is equipped with a camera that frames the center of the sample. It is free to move downwards or upwards during the test.

The applications of fleximeter include:

  • Measurement of ceramic body pyroplasticity
  • Study of deformation after firing of glazed ceramic materials and identification of coupling temperature
  • Bending of green tiles due to consecutive applications of water

Case studies:


We provide testing services as a contract laboratory. In addition to ELS-MDF, we are equipped with a wide range of analytical instruments and we developed testing protocols for the ceramic industry.

Complete Characterization of Ceramic Bodies and Raw Materials

Expert Lab Service carries detailed analyses on ceramic bodies and raw materials in order to understand if they are suitable for porcelain tile technology.

Our lab is equipped to run the following tests:

Determination of the chemical and mineralogical composition:

  • XRF analysis
  • Loss of Ignition
  • Carbon e Sulphur
  • Computed mineralogical analysis

Study of mechanical properties:

  • Modulus of rupture (MOR)
  • Study of viscoelastic properties: storage modulus (elastic) and loss modulus (viscous)

Determination of the best top firing temperature:

  • Sintering analysis
  • Pyroplasticity analysis
  • Thermal expansion analysis
  • Residual stresses analysis

Study of drying kinetic:

  • Study of the mass variation
  • Study of dimensional variation

Other analyses

  • Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential thermal analysis (DTA) with mass spectrometer to detect any evolved gasses
  • Water absorption
  • Particle size distribution
  • Slip milling residue
  • Calcimetry
  • pH measurement
  • Specific surphace according to the MBI method


  • Ceramic body formulation
  • Sample preparations (milling, pressing and cutting)


Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) measures weight changes in a material as a function of temperature (or time) under a controlled atmosphere. Its principal uses include measurement of a material’s thermal stability and composition.

Differential thermal analysis (DTA) is a thermal analysis technique that measures the difference in temperature between a sample and an inert reference material, when they both are heated under the same controlled temperature conditions.

Evolved gas analysis involves the qualitative investigation of the evolved gas products from a TGA experiment. These products are generally the result of decomposition, but can also evolve from desorption, evaporation or chemical reaction.

Evolved gas analysis is typically performed by interfacing a mass spectrometer (MS) or Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) to the exit port of the TGA furnace.

Our lab can run simultaneous TGA-DTA-MS analyses using a thermobalance equipped with a mass spectrometer.

Expert Lab Service

Expert Lab Service

Advanced solutions and instruments for the ceramic industry

About us

Expert Lab Service produces tailor-made thermal analysis instruments specifically designed for the ceramic industry. The company also provides skilled assistance in the ceramic field, from laboratory analyses to scientific instruments, from raw materials to excellence products. It is situated in Modena, Italy, at the core of the ceramic district, and benefits from the renown experience of its founder, dott. Mariano Paganelli.

Long-staning experience

Expert Lab Service enjoys the unique experience of Doctor Mariano Paganelli.


MDF: Microscope Dilatometer Fleximeter

Expert Lab Service

Jan 2019 – Present Italia
Since 2019 ELS started to develop and sell new optical laboratory equipment, characterised by the fact that all the measurements are made with no contact with the specimen. The new machines show an innovative design, both in their hardware and in their software. The new instruments are designed to reach higher performances than before in the thermomechanical field. For example, they can reproduce complex industrial firing cycles (flash heating and flash cooling) and the heating microscope can run up to four simultaneous analyses.

Price giving ceremony: Aldo Villa 2018

Expert Lab Service

Oct 2018 – Present Italia

Mariano Paganelli shows an innovative method developped by Expert Lab Service to solve issues concerning ceramic industries and the introduction of digital inks. The main focus is digital ink emissions.

Mariano Paganelli is rewarded for his for his extraordinary ability to apply research to industrial processes in an incisive and original way, for his effort to the advancement of scientific knowledge in ceramic production and for the brilliant development of measurement techniques and technological solutions for improvement of ceramic products and processes.”


Establishment of Expert Lab Service

Expert Lab Service

Jan 2014 – Present Italia
Establishment of Expert Lab Service Srls, again under the guidance of Mariano Paganelli. The company started its activity as a laboratory for ceramic industries.

Expert System Solutions sale

Expert System Solutions

Jan 2013 – Jan 2014 Italia
Expert System Solutions Srl was sold to TA Instruments.

Establishment of Expert System Solutions Srl

Expert System Solutions

Jan 2000 – Jan 2013 Italia
Establishment of Expert System Solutions Srl, which was a company focused on the development of equipment for the ceramic field, both software and hardware. Under the leadership of the president Mariano Paganelli, new laboratory instruments were designed, such as Optical Dilatometer and Optical Fleximeter.

Establishment of Expert System Srl

Expert System

Jan 1989 – Jan 2000 Italia
Establishment of Expert System Srl, which was a company that putted into practice Mariano Paganelli’s ideas. The company developed new software extremely useful for ceramic industries, nowadays Mariano Paganelli still holds its copyright. He designed also the first Heating Microscopes equipped with computerised images analysis techniques, they are still in operation all over the world.


Contact us to discover our lab equipment, available analyses, ask for consultancy and any further information. You can schedule a meeting or book an exclusive presentation.