Micro-indentation as a material characterization method

Current material characterization methods are based on uniaxial tensile or compression experiments. These methods require a significant amount of material to describe intrinsic material behavior. The information of interest can be for example a determination of yield stress evolution during physical ageing. The goal of this project is to find a method for characterizing material from small-scale indentation. An advantage of this method is that it requires only a small amount of material, much smaller than in compression testing.

Some experimental aspects, for example roughness of the used polymer samples, influence the measurements. The influence of these aspects is investigated and modeled to get a good understanding of contact problems during the experiments. This is important in order to give an answer on the possibilities and limitations of using small-scale indentation as characterization method.