Nanoindentation is an instrumented hardness testing method in line with EN ISO 14577-1 which allows for microscopic observation.
In traditional nanoindentation, the elasticity modulus and the hardness are measured in physical parameters. Due to low load forces in the range of 100 nN to 8 mN, the diamond indenter can only achieve low penetration depths, which makes it possible to analyze layers of coating that are only a few micrometers wide, for example. What’s more, the scratch resistance of a coating can be checked through scratch tests, while material wear can be checked with wear tests.
The combination of nanoindentation and atomic force microscopy (AFM) opens up new avenues for material development and testing, and defect analysis. It makes it possible to visualize deformation processes locally and measure mechanical properties close to the surface. In addition to these quasi-static indent measurements, it’s also possible to carry out frequency-dependent dynamic measurements.
The tensile test is a standard quasi-static material testing method used to determine the tensile strength, break resistance, elongation at break and elasticity modulus at room temperature. Tear propagation resistance tests can also be carried out on sample types such as polymer films using the trouser tear method in accordance with ISO 6383-1.
In-situ flexural tests make it possible to observe emerging cracks, and deformation and delamination processes either optically or using atomic force microscopy. The recorded flexural force and deflection values can be used to examine various material parameters within a structure in terms of force, displacement and time.
Quantitative atomic force microscopy
Conventional atomic force microscopy makes it possible to map topographies and material contrasts right down to their molecular structures. In addition to pinpointing individual components in plastic mixtures, the state-of-the-art quantitative technique can also calculate absolute mechanical parameters, such as the elasticity modulus and loss tangent. Combining high-resolution morphologies with their material properties provides a deeper understanding of the relationship between the structure and properties of a complex sample system. By looking at different areas of the sample surface with detailed statistics, it is possible to gain a three-dimensional understanding of the material behavior and the mixing quality of the product in a short space of time. As a result, this technology offers great potential for both polymer-based products and the further development of automobile tires.