National Physical Laboratory

Nanomechanical Testing, Nano-indentation and Surface Acoustic Wave Spectroscopy

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NPL is one of the leading laboratories in the development of measurement techniques for nano-scale instrumented indentation. Much of the underpinning work that underlies the new ISO standards for instrumented indentation was developed through EU projects where NPL was a major partner or coordinator.

More recently, NPL has been working on scanning probe techniques allied to atomic force microscopy that offer the potential for direct measurement of mechanical properties of engineered surfaces on a sub-micrometre scale.

DataSure-IIT - Data assurance for instrumented indentation

Instrumented indentation is a well-established nano-scale measurement method able to derive both the elastic and plastic properties of small volumes of material. ISO 14577 provides standard indentation methods for determining elastic modulus, hardness, creep, relaxation and work of indentation for surfaces and coatings.

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DataSure-IIT is a new instrumented indentation data assurance package being offered by NPL, which includes a range of certified reference materials (CRMs) individually certified for modulus using a combination of indentation and acoustics. A user's guide is included, which shows how the package can provide an easy route for the improvement of measurement accuracy as well as:

  • Quality Control / Data Assurance (control charts)
  • Instrument uncertainty determination and optimisation
  • Instrument fault diagnosis
  • Interlaboratory comparisons for acceptance testing

Data assurance : Improved measurement accuracy : ISO compliance

DataSure-IIT provides the necessary data assurance when generating important, high value or high accuracy measurements, or when test results are to be compared between instruments, or over a significant time gap. It is a powerful diagnostic tool that rapidly provides essential, low uncertainty validation between-users in multi-user facilities.

Users benefit from: improved accuracy with higher data confidence (improves databased decision-making and reduces acceptance disputes), cheap and rapid system diagnosis (reduces costs for fault-finding and service visits) and a better understanding of their uncertainties (increases testing output and saves costs by ensuring only necessary control and calibrations are performed).

DataSure-IIT provides ISO-14577 compliance for:

  • Verification of indentation equipment calibration
  • Calibration of an indentation-derived indenter area function
  • Validation of instrument frame compliance

NPL also offers a measurement service to calibrate indenter area function using metrological atomic force microscopy. This generates an improved area function with a lower uncertainty than the indentation-derived method. In combination with DataSure-IIT, this gives state-of-the-art equipment calibration and allows the user to attain reproducibility with the lowest uncertainty achievable with their instrument.

Click here to download DataSure-IIT flyer Adobe pdf file


Customer Service tel: +44 20 8943 8681

Last Updated: 29 May 2012
Created: 10 May 2010


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