Micromechanical testing

This is the practice of using new methods of testing mechanical properties at the micron scale. To achieve this, a combination of focussed ion beam (FIB) machining and other preparation techniques are utilised to produce micron-scale versions of typical mechanical testing methods, such as cantilever bending, indentation, pillar compression and tensile tests. A nanoindenter system is then used to test the specimens. Within the Nanoanalysis group, our focus lies within microcantilever deflection tests and nanoindentation. We are using these tools to exploring how well elastic, plastic and fracture properties can be extracted from the measured load-displacement data. The methods are being applied to testing individual grains and grain boundaries in polycrystalline metals and initiation of stress corrosion cracking and oxidation studies.

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