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Application Note

Mechanical Microscopy of Surface Treatments

Application Note on Surface Treatments
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Surface treatments, such as coatings, nitriding, and shot peening, are invaluable to industry as a method to improve the functional and mechanical behavior of parts without changing the primary material. 

Cross-sectional mechanical microscopy was performed on two different anodized coatings, hard anodized and plasma electrolytic oxidation, on a 5052 aluminum alloy. Mechanical microscopy reveals the presence of different layers within the two coatings with varying mechanical properties and densities while accurately determining the mechanical properties throughout. This is only possible using an indentation system with a combination of high positioning accuracy, speed, and sensitivity. The application of mechanical microscopy to surface treatments and coatings offers higher resolution characterization of both microstructure and mechanical properties than previously possible.

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