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MTS Nanoindenter

Nanoindenter® XP is a mechanical properties microprobe that is designed to provide a fast and reliable way to acquire mechanical data on a submicron scale. The total system integration yields functionality for both standardized testing for common uses, as well as configuration capabilities of the highest order for more complex experimentation requirements. It is software-controlled and simple to use so that users need to make only two decisions: where to put the indentations and what experiments to perform.
The testing system include the following core components:

  1. Indentation head assemble
  2. Motorized sample manipulation and vibration isolation tables
  3. Optical imaging system with camera and video screen
  4. Pre-mounted Berkovich diamond indentation tip
  5. Complete Testworks® operating and data analysis software.

Common Applications

The Nanoindenter® XP system can test a variety of materials due to some of its novel features. Some noteworthy ones are:

  1. Superior means of nanomechanical characterization of film/substrate interactions
  2. Creep measurement on polymer thin films
  3. Improved understanding of strain-rate sensitive materials and time-dependent response
  4. Storage and loss modulus analysis for anelastic and viscoelastic materials
  5. Hardness and modulus calculations as a function of depth for elastic materials

The most common use of Nanoindenter® XP system is to perform indentation tests by pressing a diamond indenter into the specimen surface and dynamically collecting the applied force and displacement data [1].  Material properties such as hardness and modulus are derived from the load and depth data calculated by the Instrumented Indentation Testing (IIT) method [1-5]. The maximum load or depth for the indentation for routine hardness and modulus measurements has to be defined for conducting the tests. The measurements can be conducted via two modes: (a) CSM (Continuous Stiffness Measurement) mode that performs modulus calculations at hundreds of points during a single indent or (b) DCM (Dynamic Control Module) mode that allows highest resolution testing [5].

Apart from that it can also perform a scratch test to get information about wear and abrasion resistance of the material surface [1]. For this the Nanoindenter® XP has to be equipped with a system for lateral force measurement. This option measures the frictional force exerted on the diamond tip during a scratch test. It also enables it being used as a profilometer to examine the topography of a surface before and after testing.

The Nanoindenter® XP indeed can be thought as a general-purpose, micromechanical testing system [1]. As long as it stays within the operating limits of the system, many types of mechanical tests like flex, compression and fracture tests can be performed with suitable sample fixturing and test method designs.