Nanoindentation (instrumented indentation test)

Nanoindentation as hardness tests with additional gained mechanical and elastic parameters

Applied standards

  • DIN EN ISO 4516
  • DIN EN ISO 14577-1
  • ASTM E 2546

Possible applications:

  • 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
  • Examination of changes with regards to elasticity and plasticity to analyze the aging behavior of polymers (evaluation of brittleness)
  • Hardness determination of separated layers such as gold pads and nickel coatings
  • Examination of welds or soldering areas in view of their material homogeneity based on microsections

During nanoindentation, a pyramidal test 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).

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