Fracture Testing at the Microscale with In-Situ SEM Material Testing

The systematic development of sophisticated steel alloys needs a systematic knowledge of their complicated heterogeneous microstructure and their properties. Moreover, the volume fraction of each constituent and their properties defines the overall performance of these steels. Consequently, the fracture behavior of each constituent and its interfaces must be understood to predict the material’s fracture behavior.

Fracture testing of FIB-machined microcantilevers that are pre-notched at a distinct location allow the direct measurement of yield strengths, elastic properties, and fracture toughness of a material (and its interfaces).

fracture testing at the microscale

Application Example: Micro- and Nano-Scale Chevron Notch Fracture Test

In the illustrated work by Prof. Mortensen (Laboratory of Mechanical Metallurgy, EPFL, Switzerland), fracture testing of microcantilevers with a chevron notch was conducted with the FT-MT03 Nanomechanical Testing System. For this intent, the tip of the FT-S Microforce Sensing Probe is initially aligned to the microcantilever, and a compression test with continuous forward motion is then initiated while recording the applied force as well as the deflection of the cantilever at a high sampling rate.

Micro- and Nano-Scale Chevron Notch Fracture Test

Micro- and Nano-Scale Chevron Notch Fracture Test

Application Example: Fracture Testing of Hollow Microbubbles

The systematic development of innovative, high-strength, lightweight materials needs the exact analysis of their mechanical properties. The illustrated work by Prof. Daniel S. Gianola from UC Santa Barbara shows the integration of stiff and hollow microparticles (bubbles) into a polymeric matrix. In order to develop such lightweight materials, the mechanical properties of the hollow microparticles are very important. Prof Gianola used in-situ SEM nanomechanical testing to show that thermal treatment of these nanoparticle-shelled bubbles will improve the strength and stiffness by a factor up to 14.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by FemtoTools AG.

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