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Instrumented Indentation Quad Group’s Instrumented Indentor, Alexandra I, is designed to measure the hardness, Young’s Modulus, yield strength, strain hardening and a number of other parameters from the evaluation of continuous load-displacement data. This is accomplished by computer controlled indentation of a rigid indentor into the sample’s surface. The Alexandra I is intended to characterize all materials of thickness above 5 micrometers and is especially valuable in determining the properties at various depths, such as with Ion-Beam Modified Materials, IBMM.

The major application for Quad Group’s Alexandra I Instrumented Indentor is a simple and quick method for determining the mechanical properties associated with the TOUGHNESS of solid materials, or the capacity to absorb energy. The degradation of toughness (durability) as a function of exposure to various environments are readily appraised.

The major advantage over traditional tensile and hardness tests is the amount of time involved in sample preparation and testing. The ALEXANDRA I requires only a flat sample specimen with a smooth surface, so preparation is minimized. Also, a single analysis can be accomplished in approximately 100 seconds. Statistically significant numbers of tests can be done in a few hours.

Its advantage over common hardness testers is the ability to customize the loading and deloading schedule and to continuously record load displacement data. Moreover, the Alexandra I is able to evaluate all these mechanical properties without optically measuring the diameter or diagonal of the indentation. Thus, operator judgment and associated errors are eliminated. The depth resolution is in the nanometer range. The applied load is accurate to 1/4000 of the selected range. Also, the Alexandra I can fully analyze up to 40 sequential depths in a single test; and more if desired.

While precision rate of loading is normally employed, an optional constant rate of indentation is available for those applications where such facilities are desired; such as durometric analysis.

MECHANICAL DESCRIPTION: The Instrumented Indentor is one of numerous platforms designed to be installed into Quad Group’s Romulus Universal Strength Tester. The upper body of the platform contains the indentor unit and the indention depth sensor. The indentor unit can be equipped with virtually any standard indentor shape, including a Vickers or Rockwell diamond, any sized hemispherical diamond, or a carbide sphere. Stainless spheres measure plastics or durometer values.

TESTING OPTIONS: The Instrumented Indentation unit can be equipped with any preferred indentor; diamond, carbide or metal indentor tip. The software is equipped with several standard load profile patterns, which can easily be customized by the user to fit any indentation and deloading schedule - no matter how complex.

TESTING: The Alexandra I is completely computer controlled and eliminates most of the traditional errors associated with hardness testing. Once the operator has chosen a suitable indentor tip and the desired load function, the sample can be indented. When the test begins, a graphical representation of the data appears on the screen, so the user can follow the load/displacement plot in real time. Data interpretation is minimized by the software computing the properties described above. From these calculated values, a complete characterization of the materials ability to absorb energy or TOUGHNESS is graphically represented or in a stress/strain plot if desired.

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