Manually operated scratch tester for characterization of mechanical properties of thin films

H. Wang, Chung Wo Ong, Y.C. Tsui, W.M. Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Based on the assumption that the results of a scratch test would not be affected significantly by some degree of variations of the rising rate of normal load and the speed of scratching, a manually operated scratch tester was developed for investigating the adhesion properties of coatings. The system can detect the friction force and normal load generated during a test, and identify the critical normal load L[sub c] where the friction force becomes unstable. Measurements were made on glass, zirconium nitride coatings and aluminum oxide coatings for examining the reliability of the system. L[sub c] of the three samples were 2.0±0.41 N, 1.4±0.32 N, and 0.52±0.13 N. Results show that the system is good enough to serve as an economical replacement for a conventional scratch tester.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


  • Glass
  • Zirconium compounds
  • Aluminium compounds
  • Test equipment
  • Adhesion
  • Friction
  • Force measurement
  • Strain gauges

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

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