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Posted: Jan 13, 2011

Nanomechanical testing in materials research and development

(Nanowerk News) The novel field of miniaturized mechanical testing down to the nanometer length scale has evolved significantly in the last few years. The origin of most methods is based on nanoindentation testing - which is also called instrumented indentation testing - a well established technique in materials research although new developments still improve and extend the application field largely. Novel nano- and micromechanical methods include compression, tension and bending tests, thin film testing methods (e.g. bulge testing, thermal straining), different in situ testing techniques as for example micro-bending experiments combined with X-ray diffraction methods as well as fatigue and fracture experiments performed on a very local scale or on small specimens to determine mechanical material properties. The samples are prepared by focussed ion beam technique, lithography, etching of thin film and composite structures or growth of micro/nano-objects (whiskers, rods, spheres,…).
Since always very small volumes are tested size effects are very important. Modelling of the mechanical behavior is of special importance to gain an improved understanding of the measurements and underlying deformation mechanisms in the various test methods. For example, discrete dislocation dynamics and molecular dynamics provide meaningful and quantitative insights into the deformation processes around nanoindentations and small scale samples
Applications of these nano- and micromechanical testing methods become more and more important in all fields of materials research like metals, ceramics, glasses, polymers, coatings, composites, and biomaterials and will improve our understanding of the complex mechanical behaviour. Next to the hardness which is classically measured in an indentation test nanoindentations and other methods allow way more properties to be measured. For example the visco-elastic behaviour or time dependent properties, phase transformations, fracture phenomena and toughness can be quantitatively evaluated. For many applications also the temperature dependence and other environmental influences are of high relevance. These nano- and micromechanical testing techniques will help in the development of design concepts for materials based on their local mechanical properties.
The conference Nanomechanical Testing in Materials Research and Development from October 9-14, 2001 in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, will bring together all people working in the field of nano- and micromechanical testing in materials research. It will provide a forum for discussion of the latest activities in application of nano- and micromechanical testing methods. This conference will be a follow-up meeting to the ECI conference on Instrumented Indentation Testing (Fodele Beach, Crete from October 9 - 14, 2005) and Nanomechanical Testing (Barga - Tuscany, Italy from October 11 - 16, 2009
The major topics to be discussed are:
  • Fundamental studies in indentation testing (size effects, phase transformations…)
  • FIB/lithography based nano- and micromechanical testing
  • In situ techniques (synchrotron, electron microscopy…)
  • Deformation mechanisms
  • Modelling with focus on molecular dynamics, discrete dislocation dynamics and crystal plasticity
  • Novel preparation methods for micro- and nanoscale objects
  • Testing of nanostructures, thin films and coatings
  • Fatigue and fracture testing
  • Polymeric and biomaterials
  • Testing of metals, ceramics and composites
  • Testing at higher temperature and different environments
  • Future directions
  • Conference Chair
    Prof. Dr. Gerhard Dehm (Department Materials Physics, University of Leoben and Erich Schmid Institute of Materials Science of the Austrian Academy of Sciences), Austria. (
    Source: Engineering Conferences International
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