Instrumented Indentation Testing

As the validity of Instrumented Indentation continues to expand throughout all materials research, many throughout the community are still unclear as to what exactly can be achieved. Although advances in technology will continue to grow the list of capabilities of Instrumented Indentation, we will review a list of what can be expected as of now with the Nanovea Mechanical Tester. This will also be the focus of our mechanical application notes over the next several months. But first lets quickly review how Instrumented Indentation works.

An Indentation System utilizes high-resolution instrumentation to continuously monitor and control the displacement of the indenter as it enters and pulls back from the material. The software then applies various loading algorithms including sinus mode and multi-cycle testing. The data points collected during the indentation are plotted directly as depth versus load and unload curve. All of this data, depending on software function, can then be analyzed by any number of specifically known, or custom, algorithms to determine an endless list of other useful material properties other than just hardness. Therefore, in essence, the Nanovea Mechanical Tester can evolve based on the instructions, or algorithms given.

During a standard Instrumented Indentation test: Hardness, Elastic modulus, Work of Indentation, Volume of indent, Maximum Stress & Maximum Strain, Plastic Work & Elastic Work and % of Plastic work in relation to the total work of indentation are obtained. More specific tests can include Creep, Stress-Strain & Yield Stress, Fracture Toughness, Compression strength and Fatigue testing and many others. As you can see, there are endless uses for the Instrumented Indentation technique which ultimately makes educating in its totality very difficult. For example, after all that has been said, now keep in mind that this can be done at the nano through macro range and that Nanovea's Mechanical Tester also provides scratch and wear testing modes; its a lot to swallow. And it is for this very reason that the Nanovea Mechanical Tester has widest testing capability of any Instrumented Indentation system in world.
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