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Institute Applied Materials

Surface Hardness Laboratory


This laboratory provides facilities to characterise the hardness of materials on varies length scales. Depending on how high loads are we distinguish between

  • Macrohardness
  • Microhardness
  • Nanohardness

The laboratory is open to the users of our large scale synchrotron X-ray and neutron beam lines. Typical applications include:

  • Macroscopic plastic behaviour of engineering materials (steel, aluminium, etc.)
  • Local variations of hardness across grains or inclusions in engineering materials, thin films, photovoltaic layers etc

Three devices are available

Macrohardness tester

  • Brinell hardness
  • force: 1 kgf to 62.5 kgf

Mikrohardness tester MHT-10 (Anton Paar)

  • Vickers hardness
  • force: 0,5 gf to 400 gf
  • holding time: 15 s, 20 s, 30 s
  • prerequisites: well-polished surface

Picodentor Hm500 (Fischer)

  • Martens hardness HM, Vickers hardness HV, elastic parameters (DIN EN ISO 14577-1)
  • force: max. 500mN
  • penetration depth: max. 150 µm
  • prerequisites: very well prepared and flat/parallel surface