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Which Nanoindentation Instrument Is Right for You?

Hardness Testing
14. June 2021

Which Nanoindentation Instrument Is Right for You?

Itโ€™s essential to measure the hardness of even the thinnest surfaces accurately so that you can determine your materialโ€™s efficacy and functionality. Doing so requires nanoindentation equipment that simplifies the measurement process and produces precise results. However, many nanoindentation devices are available on the market today, each with its own features and capabilities. So, how do you decide which product is right for your specific application?

Start by considering five key points:

  1. Ease of Use โ€“ Look for an instrument that does not require a specialist to use it, saving your business both time and money.
  2. Features That Enable Simple Sample Preparation โ€“ The right nanoindenter will minimize indenter crashes due to user errors and allow for simple and fast sample preparation.
  3. Fast Measurements and Data Processing โ€“ High-quality instruments are equipped with special design features that allow for fast measurements. They also come with operating software and automated processing tools that produce data quickly.
  4. Stability โ€“ Consider whether the environment in which youโ€™ll be measuring will be stable in terms of vibration and temperature, or if youโ€™ll need an instrument that can accommodate a less controlled setting.
  5. Ergonomic Design โ€“ Instruments will vary in size, layout, and electronic components. Therefore, you should look for options that maximize performance while accommodating your design needs.

Fischer Technology offers nanoindentation instruments that deliver far more than traditional microhardness measurements. Our devices are highly precise and can analyze fine coatings and surfaces down to the nanometer range. Youโ€™ll be able to measure parameters that include the elastic modulus of indentation, the Martens hardness, and the indentation hardness. 

To determine which product is right for your application, we offer a comparison and overview of our three instruments below:



The FISCHERSCOPEยฎ HM2000 S is our entry-level device for organizations that strive for cost-effectiveness without sacrificing accuracy. With it, you can achieve nanoindentation measurements of samples with simple geometries. Use it to:

  • Determine the mechanical properties of paint coatings to assess hardness, elasticity, and stability. 
  • Test thin anodized layers on aluminum profiles.
  • Determine Martens and Vickers hardness, elasticity, and creep behavior.
  • Provide the scratch and abrasion resistance of coatings.


This instrument is purpose-built for professionals looking to measure a sample in multiple places or conduct automated testing on various samples. Featuring all of the capabilities of the HM2000 S, it also adds the ability to:

  • Determine indentation hardness and depth-dependent elastic modulus within the nanometer range, as well as test visco-elastic properties of samples. 
  • Perform hardness testing on complex geometries.
  • Conduct quality assurance of circuit boards.
  • Test the toughness and strength of metal foils.

For organizations that need to characterize polymers at different temperatures, the FISCHERSCOPEยฎ HM2000โ€™s automated system can also be equipped with a heating stage. This product provides fast measurement, a thermally stable and vibration-resistant structure, microscope magnification levels from 4x to 40x, a modular design, and more.


For the most challenging measurement tasks, weโ€™ve designed the PICODENTORยฎ HM500 to combine unparalleled precision with simple operation. This instrument is ideal for applications that require extremely fine measurements and dynamic mechanical analysis. The PICODENTORยฎ HM500 enables you to: 

  • Analyze coatings in the nanometer range with superior force and displacement resolution.
  • Measure extremely small sample areas, items with complicated geometries or dark surfaces, and biological materials.
  • Conduct analysis of ion-implanted surfaces.
  • Achieve accuracy typically only found in devices much higher in price.

The PICODENTORยฎ HM500 delivers Martens or Vickers hardness and allows users to program automated tests with minimal effort. With the highest-quality scientific microscope, modular design, powerful WIN-HCU software, and thermal stability, there is no material too small or complex for this device to measure accurately. 

Improve Your Hardness Testing Process with Help from Fischer Technology

The right instrumented indentation tool can eliminate uncertainty for your organization. All Fischer Technology devices provide measurement and computation of material parameters according to DIN EN ISO 14577 and ASTM E 2546.

Contact us today to learn more about our products or speak to one of our customer service representatives.

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