Hardness and modulus of elasticity

Nano-indentation permits the local determination of hardness and the modulus of elasticity on ultra-thin films (> 300 nm) with a lateral resolution in the micrometer range, and thereby also enables local hardness measurements or hardness mappings on inhomogeneous specimens. In addition, the viscoelastic properties of polymer films or for example the self-healing behaviour of scratches in coatings can be characterized by means of creep or relaxation tests. Micro-indentation (Fischerscope) can be used for thicker films > 3 µm. This also allows the Vickers, Martens or universal hardness to be determined.

Nano-indentation with high lateral resolutions

Series of nano-indents with CrN precipitation in nitrided steel. With hardness profile of the CrN particle in the steel matrix.
© Fraunhofer IST

Series of nano-indents with CrN precipitation in nitrided steel. With hardness profile of the CrN particle in the steel matrix.

Creep and relaxation tests on polymers

Creep and relaxation tests on polymers
© Fraunhofer IST

Determination of creep or relaxation modulus for a time interval of 1-1000 seconds, suitable for viscoelastic materials (coatings, polymers).

Self-healing of polymers

Self-healing of polymers
© Fraunhofer IST

Self-healing of damaged coatings/polymers. The graphic shows the depth reduction of a defect over a period of three days.