Nanoindentation, or depth-sensing indentation, is a powerful technique for quantitative hardness measurements at the nanoscale and microscale. During traditional indentation hardness tests the size of a residual plastic impression in the test specimen's surface is physically measured as a function of the indenter load. The necessity of measuring the size of the residual indent impression during traditional indentation hardness testing places a lower limit on the scale of testing that can be reliably performed. During a nanoindentation measurement, the displacement into the surface of a geometrically well-characterized indenter probe is continuously measured as a function of applied force. The known geometry of the indenter probe combined with a high-accuracy measurement of probe displacement allows the size of the contact to be determined without the need for imaging the residual indent impression. Nanoindentation is a rapid means of reliably obtaining quantitative hardness values from the nanoscale into the microscale.
Bruker is the industry-leader in providing quantitative hardness measurements at the nanoscale and microscale. Unique, high-accuracy transducer technologies controlled by state-of-the-art electronics and nanometer precision test placement accuracy allow Hysitron instruments to perform high-throughput, quantitative hardness measurements on the broadest range of materials — from ultra-thin films to bulk materials with complex microstructures.