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What Is Nanoindentation Used For?

Nanoindentation testing, as the name might imply, is a method which is intended to measure the mechanical properties of small volumes and quantities of materials – using an indentation technique which essentially presses a nanoindenter into the material. From the mark, a lot of details about the material can be ascertained.

Properties in materials which are measured include the elastic modulus (how much of the material warped around the indentation), the hardness (How much pressure was required to make a mark onto the material), how the material stands up to being fractured (are there any cracks? Chips?), the creep (A creep essentially denotes on a microscopic level, if the material has warped from the process)

More intricate properties are observed on a molecular level such as material storage and the loss moduli. Nanoindentation is far more than marking or scratching an object and taking measurements, individual phases of each material are tested in order to ascertain which components and which particles of the material are responsible for what.

Nanoindentation testing is particularly popular in thin film testing. Manufacturers typically coat a material in their product, a protective coat, and then subject the material to different conditions such as extreme heat, extreme cold, and then they subject the material to nanoindentation. Typically, the aim with protective coatings, is to have a quite rough coating, where the particles and molecules of such are uneven and therefore difficult to pierce. Of course, nanoindentation results are recorded and processed stage by stage in order to place a coating on a pre-defined list of hardness according to ISO standard.

Nanoindentation indeed has other uses, and applications among a wide variety of materials, both in thin films and bulk materials due to the fact that it provides accurate and precise measurements and is also vacuum compatible. Nanomechanics is an American company which produces a series of simple to use and affordable nanoindenters which are perfect for very many fields, including science and academia.


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