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Nanoindentation 1

Hardness tests with additional gained mechanical and elastic parameters

During nanoindentation, a pyramidal probe tip, only a few micrometers large, is pressed into the sample surface to be examined. Both, the penetration force applied as well as the penetration distance of the probe tip into the sample surface, are measured simultaneously. By means of the data obtained from nanoindentation numerous classical hardness parameters, such as Martens hardness, can be determined.

In addition, the very precise, nearly non-destructive nanoindentation enables, contrary to conventional destructive hardness tests, also the determination of a variety of further material properties and parameters within smallest sample volumes (nano- and micrometer range).

Nanoindentation 2
Nanoindentation 3

Examples of possible analyses:

  • Determination of the material homogeneity of polymers, metals or ceramics (elastic and plastic parameters)
  • Analysis of thin layers (less than 1 μm thickness) without being affected by the substrate material, since smallest forces and indentations are sufficient for the determination
  • Examination of changes in elasticity and plasticity to analyze the aging behavior of polymers (evaluation of brittleness)
  • Hardness determination of deposited layers such as gold pads and nickel coatings
  • Examination of welds or soldering areas in view of their material homogeneity based on microsections

Further benefits of nanoindentation at a glance:

  • Objective and error-free parameter determination even within smallest sample volumes
  • Fast and simple sample preparation
  • Variable sample geometry
  • Temperature-dependent measurements up to 200 °C

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