NanoIndenter Training – My experience

A NanoIndenter machine equipped with AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) was completely installed at Advanced Materials Research Centre (AMREC), SIRIM Berhad on 9 May 2008. Nanoindenter is a known tool for investigating microhardness of small materials. Purchased from Micro Materials Ltd, UK, this RM1.1 million equipment is considered as one of the most expensive equipments in AMREC and need to be handled with extra care. When I was appointed as one of the care takers of this machine, my feeling was mixed – I was excited but worry at the same time. Excited because I always like to deal with something new and sophisticated. Worry because I’m not sure whether I’m capable enough and have enough time to spend for this equipment.

The Nanoindenter training started on 11 May (Sunday) and ended on 15 May (Thursday). Joining me were Mr Amin and my college Shuhada Shaari. We were trained by Mr Alex Blythin, who served more than four years at Micro Materials UK as technical personnel. During the training, I slowly discovered that Nanoindenter requires many tedious processes. Is it hard, yes for begineers but very easy after having some experience. Overtime we will surely build up confidence. What I like about Nanoindenter is that it can be programmed to perform indentation at specific locations of sample.

The only challenge during the training was to understand Alex’s Welsh accent… huhu. My colleagues and I were having hard time to understand.

For those who are interested in performing nanoindentation on your samples, please know your samples well. If you want to test your thin coatings, please know the thickness of your coating first. Indentation should not penetrate more than 20 percent of your coating thickness, otherwise the results might be misleading. Your sample size should not exceed 1" diameter. Also make sure that your samples are flat (as flat as possible) and more importantly smooth.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Izat
    Jul 30, 2008 @ 09:13:51

    After weeks of practical experience, I have a new opinion about this NanoIndenter machine. Operation wise – NOT difficult. I know how to calibrate the Bridge Box, focal plane (sample stage) and crosshair. I know how to perform nanoIndentation and scratch test. The only thing left is the data interpretation. Alhamdulellah…


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