Nanoindentation is a standard and efficient method to study the mechanical properties of materials at small scale with minimal sample preparation. The technique is ideal for the study of thin films or low material volume. In addition to hardness and elastic modulus, nanoindentation gives useful insight into the creep, fracture and fatigue properties of materials. The multiaxial stress-field underneath the indenter enables the activation of slip systems in different planes and therefore comprehensive investigation of complex plasticity mechanisms. Making use of size effect in miniaturized samples also enables to study the plastic behavior of quasi- brittle materials.
By combining ultra-high load and displacement resolutions with in-situ SEM observation, FT-NMT04 enables to measure the mechanical properties of specific submicron-scale microstructural features and to directly visualize the formation of pile-up, slip bands and cracks . Making use of an innovative sequential nanoindentation/EBSD protocol, it also enables to study the evolution of strain localization and phase transformation during successive indentations.
While standard nanoindentation provides measurement data at the onset of unloading, using Continous Stiffness Measurement (CSM) enables to record both hardness and elastic modulus as a function of the indenter penetration depth. With high load and displacement resolutions, CSM nanoindentation with FT-NMT04 enables to quantify the evolution of the mechanical response from shallow penetration depths and the onset of plasticity, to the bulk material. Furthermore, the extended harmonic frequency range of the FT-NMT04 system (up to 500Hz with very little contribution from the measurement system), combined with a fast data acquisition rate will enable the unprecedented quantitative dynamic mechanical analysis of the viscoelastic and viscoplastic behavior of materials.