A note on the reliability of nanoindentation: Effect of sample standing

Fengzai Tang, Haihui Ruan, L. C. Zhang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper discusses the experimental reliability in carrying out nanoindentationson a generally-purposed nanoindentation facility using a stage with magnet buttons for sample holding. The instability of the testing results was found to happen during the nanoindentation on both silicon and quartz samples bonded on different types of stands. It was detected that the maximum indentation depth under the same load function could deviate considerably when such a sample was positioned beyond a certain distance from the centre of a magnet button. It was identified that the application of a thin sample stand led to large deviations, and that using a thick stand would provide more reliable measurements. The most reliable outcome was found to be associated with the testing on the sample directly waxed to the indentation stage without using a sample stand. A systematic analysis revealed that such instability of nanoindentation was caused by the improper contact between a sample stand and the indentation stage, including the insufficient bending rigidity of the stand. It was concluded that a simple solution tothis technical problem is to use a thick enough stand of high bending rigidity and to guarantee a stable contact with the stage surface to obtain sufficient mechanical support to the nanoindentation. This study alerts to the fact that even though the force and deformation in a nanoindentation test are small, the effect of the mechanical support to a sample on the reliability of the testing result can be significant.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Applied Mechanics Research, Conference Proceedings - 7th Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics, ACAM 2012
PublisherNational Committee on Applied Mechanics
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781922107619
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event7th Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics, ACAM 2012 - Adelaide, SA, Australia
Duration: 9 Dec 201212 Dec 2012


Conference7th Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics, ACAM 2012
CityAdelaide, SA


  • Mechanical support
  • Nanoindentation
  • Quartz
  • Sample stand
  • Silicon
  • Testing reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials


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