The IND-1000 instrument is designed to impart a controlled load and deformation of the material being tested. The mechanical response of the material is measured by force and displacement sensors. The range and resolution of the actuator, force and displacement sensors are very small (in the mN and μm range with nN and nm resolution). The precise nature of the measurement enables events on the micro- to nanoscale to be recorded. Macro-scale damage can thus be interpreted and explained by events on the sub-micron scale thus allowing the fundamental properties of the sample to be studied and tailored for specific applications.
IND-1000 uses rugged LVDT sensors for both force and depth measurements. AC amplification provides a mV noise floor in this sophisticated package. Special circuitry offsets the signal to take advantage of the full range of the analog to digital interface.
The use of the LVDT measurement sensors for nanoindentation applications was pioneered by CSIRO in the late 1980s. Since then, experience has proven the technique, offering low noise sub-nanometer resolution and a very rugged package. Unlike competitor instruments that use a capacitance sensor, the IND-1000 system is almost immune to mechanical breakage due to the overloading of the indenter shaft, because the indenter shaft passes right through the sensor and can undergo several millimetres of accidental deflection without cause for any concern.
The force sensor is completely separated from the load actuator, and measures the force applied to the indenter directly and without any subtraction of signal from the support springs. The force and depth sensors are independently calibrated against international standards. Closed loop feedback can be selected from either the force or the depth sensor. Open loop mode of operation for high speed data acquisition is also selectable.