CSM Instruments manufactures instruments for surface mechanical properties characterization. In addition they offer a complete contract testing and consulting service. The main groups of instruments are as follows:

Indentation : Micro- and nano-scale instrumented indentation for measuring Hardness and Elastic Modulus of very thin films and coatings, as well as small material volumes. This technique is also very powerful for measuring fracture toughness, compressive stress and other mechanical properties of MEMS and Microsystems devices (e.g., assessing the spring constant of a Si beam in a MEMS accelerometer). Standard tests to ISO 14577, ISO 6507-2, DIN 50359, DIN 4516, ASTM C1326, ASTM C1327, ASTM E384

Scratch : Macro-, micro- and nano-scale scratch test instruments for evaluating the adhesion of coatings to their substrates. This is a much more quantitative and reproducible test than the “tape-peel test” which remains the standard in some industries. The scratch test has become standardized in the hard coatings industry (cutting tools, thermal barrier coatings, metallic plating, etc..) but has also become much used in the polymer industry for assessing the surface scratch resistance (or “mar” resistance) of polymeric topcoats and paints/varnishes. Standard tests to ISO 1071, ASTM G171, ASTM C1624, ASTM D7187

Tribology : Tribometers are used to measure friction and wear of different materials in contact under load. The friction coefficient is measured over a period of time and can be monitored to evaluate the lifetime of a particular material pair. High-temperature (up to 1000ºC) and High-Vacuum (down to 108 Torr) machines are available for specific applications. Standard tests to ASTM G-99, G-133, DIN 50324

Imaging : Micro-scale profilometry (Conscan) and nano-scale imaging (AFM) modules are available with their instruments.

Calotest/Calowear : Simple ball-cratering instrument for measuring thickness of coatings. The Calowear uses the same principle to measure the wear rate of the coating.

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Technical Articles

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