Nanoindentation and Scratch Testing

From protective laquer coatings all the way to hard PVD layers, the quality of the surface decides if a part works as intended. But how can we realiably assess the quality of a surface?

This is precisely where Fischer jumps in. With Fischer's Nanonidentation and Scratch Test instruments, you can accurately measure mechanical properties of thin surface coatings. Determining mechanical surface properties allows you to conclude on the performance of the surface. Is the laquer sufficiently cured to be resistant against certain chemicals and to withstand stone chipping? Is the adhesion of the TiN layer strong enough to hold on to the steel substrate even under stress?

Fischer's HM and ST series are powerful but easy to use instruments. The portfolio ranges from quick to use lab testers to production quality control instruments which can measure multiple samples fully automatic. Additionally, a choice of useful accessories lets you equip your instrument exactly the way you need it. Have look at our Nanoindentation instruments and Scratch Testers to find out more!

FISCHERSCOPE HM2000

Nanoindentation for professionals

In material testing, the dynamic method has increasingly come to complement classic nanoindentation. Analogous to dynamic-mechanical analysis (DMA), it allows testing of the visco-elastic properties of substances. The FISCHERSCOPE® HM2000 determines properties such as the indentation hardness and the depth-dependent elastic modulus – and all of that in the nanometer range!

If you want to measure a sample in multiple places or do automated testing, the FISCHERSCOPE HM2000 is ideal. In just a few clicks, you can program in the measuring points  – the instrument takes care of the rest.

In addition to quality testing in electroplating, a common area of application for the FISCHERSCOPE HM2000 is the characterization of polymers at different temperatures. For this purpose, the automated system can be equipped with a heating stage.

Features

  • Determination of the material parameters according to DIN EN ISO 14577-1 Annex A and ASTM E 2546
  • Dynamic mode for determining viscoelastic material properties (dynamic mechanical analysis)
  • Fast measurement: the zero point is determined within 30 seconds
  • Only minimal sample preparation required, even on dark surfaces
  • Suitable for testing solid materials and coatings > 1 µm thick, test-force range 0.1 – 2000 mN 
  • Thermally stable and resistant to vibrations: measures for several hours without external influences
  • Programmable sample stage for automated testing of multiple measurement points
  • Microscope with magnification levels from 4x to 40x for exact positioning of the measuring spot
  • Modular design enables customer-specific configurations or future upgrades of the device
  • Indenters: Vickers, Berkovich, carbide ball, Knoop or customized indenters
  • Powerful WIN-HCU software for intuitive operation and evaluation 

Applications

  • Measurement of the hardness and elasticity of paint layers, for example automotive paint finishes
  • Testing of anodized layers
  • Instrumented indentation testing of hard material coatings, e. g. on tools
  • Characterization of surfaces in research and development, for example hard chrome or ceramic coatings on medical implants
  • Series testing in electroplating
  • Quality assurance of circuit boards, e. g. testing thin gold coatings or insulating layers 
  • Hardness testing on complex-shaped parts like housings
  • Characterization of composite materials

PICODENTOR HM500

High-end technology for challenging measurement tasks

The PICODENTOR® HM 500 combines high-end technology with simple operation. The device is designed for extremely fine instrumented nanoindentation testing and dynamic mechanical analysis. It allows depth-dependent determination of material parameters such as Martens or Vickers hardness and the modulus of penetration.

The HM500’s excellent force and displacement resolution make it possible to analyze coatings in the nanometer range. This provides a level of accuracy usually found only in very complex – and much more expensive – measuring instruments.

Fischer believes in making your work as easy as possible. No matter whether the pieces you have to test have dark surfaces, complex geometries or are very small – just start measuring, no sample preparation required! And with the automated sample stage and powerful microscope, you can program automated tests with just a few clicks.

Features

  • Measurement and computation of material parameters according to DIN EN ISO 14577-1 Annex A and ASTM E 2546
  • Determination of numerous plastic and elastic properties such as Vickers hardness, modulus of indentation and creep
  • Dynamic measurement mode (dynamic mechanical analysis)
  • Suitable for testing solid materials and coatings in the nanometer range, test-force range 0.005 – 500 mN 
  • Modular design allows for easy adaption to your needs
  • Zero point determined in less than a minute, enabling quick measurements
  • Programmable XY stage with positioning accuracy of 0.5µm makes measuring on small areas like bond wires possible
  • Samples up to 13 cm tall can be measured
  • High-quality scientific microscope
  • Thermally stable: measures at constant temperatures for several hours
  • Powerful WIN-HCU software for intuitive operation and evaluation 
  • Indenters: Vickers, Berkovich or carbide ball, as well as special indenters on request

Applications

  • Measurements on extremely small test areas, e.g. bond pads in the semiconductor industry
  • Analysis of ion-implanted surfaces
  • Testing of nano layers with sensors
  • Measurements on biological materials
  • Dynamic-mechanical analysis of small samples
  • Measurement of the hardness and elasticity of PVD, CVD coatings like DLC (diamond-like carbon), as well as chemical nickel layers
  • Automated measurements on multiple samples
  • Determination of the mechanical properties of structural components in materialography

ADHESION TESTER ST30 AND ST200

Adhesion testers for paints and hard material coatings

Whether the functional coating on a drill bit lasts a long time or a car paint can withstand harsh weather – it all depends on how well the coating adheres to its substrate. Scratch and adhesive tests simulate in the lab the kinds of loads that a surface will normally be exposed to in everyday life.

The FISCHERSCOPE®-ST series is a modular scratch adhesion test system that offers two models to cover different measurement ranges. The ST30 scratches with low force and is ideal for testing soft materials such as paints or polymers, as well as for thin layers as used in the semiconductor industry. For hard coatings, the ST200 uses higher forces.

The resulting scratch is primarily evaluated optically. For this purpose, the FISCHERSCOPE ST has a high-resolution microscope that can be equipped with up to three lenses, as needed. In addition to the optical analysis, it can also measure the acoustic emissions, the tangential force, and the penetration depth.

Features

  • Robust, durable measurement technology for the analysis of the adhesive and cohesive strength according to ISO 20502, DIN EN 1071-3 and ASTM C1624-05
  • Fully automatic single and serial measurements
  • Various measuring modes with options for constant, progressive or incremental load
  • Motion feed-back control for measurements on curved surfaces
  • Measuring force range 0.01 – 30 N (ST30) and 0.5 – 200 N (ST200)
  • Determination of zero point directly at the measuring spot
  • High-resolution microscope with 5x and 20x magnification; additional lenses available
  • Various optical filters ensure optimum sample analysis and scratch detection
  • Additional analysis methods: friction force measurement, friction coefficient determination, noise emission measurement, measurement of the remaining scratch depth
  • The device can be connected to any computer and is easy to use via the intuitive, in-house developed WinSCU software
  • Software additionally combines tangential force, indentation depth and acoustic emissions (scratch noise) in one evaluation
  • Easy to generate test reports and to export data
  • Configuration of sensors possible thanks to modular design of scratch test systems
  • Large sample chamber with high traversable Z-axis for measurements of samples with up to 10 cm in height without sample preparation
  • Standard issue with a Rockwell indenter (radius 200 µm); other indenters available on request

Applications

ST30

  • Varnish layers
  • Automotive coatings, soft coatings / layers
  • Decorative anodized coatings
  • Hard gold coated plug contacts
  • Sol-gel coatings (dirt-repellent)
  • Wafers (thin layers up to more than 1 μm)
  • Polymer coatings (e.g. coatings on cables)
  • Solid plastics, furniture industry

ST200

  • Hard coatings
  • Measure scratch hardness
  • Scratch in cross-section of thick layers over 50 μm, adhesion strength
  • Cutting tools
  • Engine components
  • Dental prostheses
  • Artificial joints