What is Mechanical Testing?

Understanding the mechanical properties of new materials during the development and design is of utmost importance. Testing measures such as compression, shear strength, load displacements, impact resistance, fatigue, and stress-strain are vital to setting a materials standard in new material product development.

Accurate material testing and properties of materials such as Young’s Modulus, hardness (Vickers, Shore), creep rates, fracture toughness, yield point, and fracture strength is needed for the complex design challenges from MEMS to jet engines. Nanoindentation testing serves as a method of choice for the measurement of mechanical properties of materials, while nanomechanical testing allows measurement of geometry dependent properties of materials.

We perform testing you need to reduce your uncertainty in your material development process and increase your confidence in the information you use to make important business decisions.

*Sample Requirements: We can accommodate a wide range of sample sizes. Contact us for details on sample submission.

Why Nanoindentation?

Nanoindentation, also known as instrumented indentation, is a superior cutting-edge technique delivering reliable mechanical properties of materials. It is used for measuring bulk materials, thick coatings, thin films, composite materials, and soft materials. Properties of materials such as hardness, modulus can be determined with a single indent. The load-displacement curve and unload curve of the indentation test is computer controlled and not influenced by the operator’s judgment of the depth or shape of the imprint.

We perform testing on a wide variety of small-scale mechanical tests delivering ISO standard (ISO 14577) results.

Indentation Hardness

We provide hardness testing data to provide you with insight into how resistant your material is from changing when it is compressed. Hardness measures your material’s resistance to deformation, generally, a smaller indentation indicates a harder material. We will work with you to determine which hardness test is the right one for your material:

  • Vickers hardness test is one of the widest scales used for various metal materials and surface coatings
  • Knoop hardness test is ideal for measurements over small areas and is typically used on glass or ceramic materials
  • Shore hardness test is ideal for polymers and is typically used for composite materials

Elastic Modulus

We perform instrumented indentation on a variety of materials from bio-gels to superalloys to measure hardness and elastic modulus (Young’s modulus, complex modulus as a function of frequency) of the material with continuous stiffness measurements in addition to complex modulus measurements (storage modulus, loss modulus, loss factor) for polymers, removing substrate effect in thin film properties, fracture toughness, 3D property maps for heterogeneous surfaces and 4D property maps for depth-dependent properties of materials.

Fracture Toughness

It is impossible to avoid flaws during processing of a material or component, but it is important to understand the impact of these flaws on the materials being tested. Fracture toughness is one measurement we use to provide data on the property of a material’s resistance to brittle fracture and crack propagation. Materials with high fracture toughness will tend to undergo ductile fracture. Materials with low fracture toughness normally have a brittle fracture.

Models can be used to calculate the fracture toughness and correlate to high load nanoindentation data. Typically these methods consider the flaw size and component geometry and load condition. The fracture toughness is used to evaluate the ability of a component with pre-existing flaws to resist fracture

Questions about Mechanical Testing Services?

Contact us for additional indentation and mechanical characterization capabilities.

We provide expert guidance for your analytical needs.