30 April 2014

Nanoindenter Installed at SSW

SSW has acquired a Hysitron TI-950 TriboIndenter from the Department of Chemistry, Western University. With the assistance of Professor Emeritus Peter Norton, who was the PI on the NSERC grant application for the initial acquisition of the nanoindenter, we have updated the system with a new stage controller. The instrument operates by indenting a diamond tip into and withdrawing it from the sample, from which a load-displacement curve is obtained. The unloading portion of the curve can be used to estimate the mechanical properties (reduced modulus and hardness) for materials such as metals, oxides and plastics. We have tested a fused quartz standard and a polycarbonate sample using a Berkovich diamond tip with various loading forces. From the reduced modulus, one can calculate Young’s modulus if the Poisson’s ratio is known for the material under test. Shown below are example loading/unloading curves, for the fused quartz and the polycarbonate, with reduced modulus (Er) and hardness (H) obtained with various loading forces.

The system is now ready to serve the materials research community at Western. At a later date, nanoindenter analytical services for industrial clients and academic users from other universities will be offered.

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