Saxonian Institute of Surface Mechanics

Real Material Property Profiles by Multi-Load Indentations

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Coatings grow not exactly homogeneous often due to the nature of the deposition pocess or surfaces are affected stronger by surface treatments than subjacent material (substrate). Both cases may lead to a gradient or stepwise transition of structure, phase or composition from the coating or surface to the substrate. What, in turn, usually results in changing mechanical properties in terms of a gradient or quasi layers. We can determine each exactly by means of multi-load indentation tests and our „Oliver & Pharr method extended for coatings”.

Hint: By this are meant true mechanic properties (e.g. elastic modulus and yield strength) of the gradients, quasi layers, or layers as a function of sample depth, but not only effective properties of an assumed homogeneous halfspace (classic Oliver-Pharr method) as a function of indentation depth. Only the latter one is a feature of many instruments nowadays.

E-modulus and yield strength profile of a homogeneous functional layer
E modulus (left) and yield strength profile (right) of a homogeneous functional coating plotted against sample depth
profile of E modulus and yield strength of a inhomogeneous functional coating
Profile of E modulus (left) and yield strength (right) of an inhomogeneous functional coating plotted against sample depth

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