When determining the mechanical properties of functional surfaces, sensitive indentation and scratch test processes with depths smaller than 100 mm are required in many applications. This is of particular importance in the examination of coatings, to differentiate between the properties of the coating and the substrate.
Procedures for nanosensitive studies on scratch resistance, mechanical stability and degradation are well-established at Fraunhofer IOF. The methods are based on AFM nanoindentation techniques as well as processes developed in-house for the defined creation and measurement of scratches and indentations down to the micro-Newton range.
The research topic is being investigated in the VERDE project, financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).