Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 130–136 | Cite as

Characterization of viscoelastic properties of polymeric materials through nanoindentation

  • G. M. Odegard
  • T. S. Gates
  • H. M. Herring


Nanoindentation testing was used to determine the dynamic viscoelastic properties of eight polymer materials, which include three high-performance polymers and five densities of high-density polyethylene. It was determined that varying the harmonic frequency of nanoindentation does not have a significant effect on the measured storage and loss moduli of the polymers. Agreement was found between these nanoindentation results and data from bulk dynamic mechanical testing of the same materials. Varying the harmonic amplitude of the nanoindentation had a limited effect on the measured viscoelastic properties of the resins. However, storage and loss moduli from nanoindentation were shown to be sensitive to changes in the density of the polyethylene.

Key Words

Dynamic viscoelasticity instrumented indentation nanotechnology 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Gates, T.S. and Hinkley, J., “Computational Materials: Modeling and Simulation of Nanostructured Materials and Systems,” NASA/TM-2003-212163 (2003).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Oliver, W.C. andPharr, G.M., “An Improved Technique for Determining Hardness and Elastic Modulus Using Load and Displacement Sensing Indentation Experiments,”Journal of Materials Research,7,1564–1583 (1992).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    O'Connor, K.M. and Cleveland, P.A., “Indentation Creep Studies of Cross-linked Glassy Polymer Films,” MRS Spring Meeting (1993).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Strojny, A. andGerberich, W.W., “Experimental Analysis of Viscoelastic Behavior in Nanoindentation,”Fundamentals of Nanoindentation and Nanotribology, Moody, N.R., Gerberich, W.W., Burnham, N., andBaker, S.P., editors, Materials Research Society, Warrendale, PA, 159–164 (1998).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cheng, L., Xia, X., Yu, W., Scriven, L.E., andGerberich, W.W., “Flatpunch Indentation of Viscoelastic Material,”Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics,38,10–12 (2000).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Klapperich, C., Komvopoulos, K., andPruitt, L., “Nanomechanical Properties of Polymers Determined from Nanoindentation Experiments,”Journal of Tribology,123,624–631 (2001).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    VanLandingham, M.R., Villarrubia, J.S., Guthrie, W.F., andMeyers, G.F., “Nanoindentation of Polymers: An Overview,”Macromolecular Symposia,167,15–43 (2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lu, H., Wang, B., Ma, J., Huang, G., andViswanathan, H., “Measurement of Creep Compliance of Solid Polymers by Nanoindentation,”Mechanics of Time-Dependent Materials,7,189–207 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Nowicki, M., Richter, A., Wolf, B., andKaczmarek, H., “Nanoscale Mechanical Properties of Polymers Irradiated by UV,”Polymer,44,6599–6606 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Park, K., Mishra, S., Lewis, G., Losby, J., Fan, Z.E., andPark, J.B., “Quasi-static and Dynamic Nanoindentation Studies on Highly Crosslinked Ultra-high-molecular-weight Polyethylene,”Biomaterials,25,2427–2436 (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Loubet, J.L., Lucas, B.N., and Oliver, W.C., “Some Measurements of Viscoelastic Properties with the Help of Nanoindentation,” NIST Special Publication 896: International Workshop on Instrumented Indentation (1995).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Syed Asif, S.A., Wahl, K.J., andColton, R.J., “Nanoindentation and Contact Stiffness Measurements Using Force Modulation with a Capacitive Load-displacement Transducer,”Review of Scientific Instruments,70,2408–2413 (1999).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Loubet, J.L., Oliver, W.C., andLucas, B.N., “Measurement of the Loss Tangent of Low-density Polyethylene with a Nanoindentation Technique,”Journal of Materials Research,15,1195–1198 (2000).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Syed Asif, S.A., Wahl, K.J., Colton, R.J., andWarren, O.L., “Quantitative Imaging of Nanoscale Mechanical Properties Using Hybrid Nanoindentation and Force Modulation,”Journal of Applied Physics,90,1192–1200 (2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lu, H., Wang, B., and Huang, G., “Measurement of Complex Creep Compliance Using Nanoindentation,” 2003 SEM Annual Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics, Charlotte, NC (2003).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nicholson, L.M., Whitley, K.S., Gates, T.S., andHinkley, J., “Influence of Molecular Weight on the Mechanical Performance of a Thermoplastic Glassy Polyimide,”Journal of Materials Science,35,6111–6122 (2000).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Findley, W.N., Lai, J.S., andOnaran, K., Creep and Relaxation of Nonlinear Viscoelastic Materials, Dover Publications, New York (1989).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sneddon, I.N., “The Relation between Load and Penetration in the Axisymmetric Boussinesq Problem for a Punch of Arbitrary Profile,”International Journal of Engineering Science,3,47–57 (1965).zbMATHMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    King, R.B., “Elastic Analysis of Some Punch Problems for a Layered Medium,”International Journal of Solids and Structures,23,1657–1664 (1987).zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pharr, G.M., Oliver, W.C., andBrotzen, F.R., “On the Generality of the Relationship Among Contact Stiffness, Contact Area, and Elastic Modulus During Indentation,”Journal of Materials Research,7,613–617 (1992).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kampf, G., Characterization of Plastics by Physical Methods: Experimental Techniques and Practical Application, Hanser Publishers, New York (1986).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Menard, K.P., Dynamic Mechanical Analysis: A Practical Introduction, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL (1999).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. M. Odegard
    • 1
  • T. S. Gates
    • 2
  • H. M. Herring
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering MechanicsMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA
  2. 2.Lockheed Martin Space Operations, MS 188ENASA Langley Research CenterHamptonUSA

Personalised recommendations