3D  Indentation  and Scratch Tester

ISO compliant instrumented Indentation and scratch tester. Patented, combined with an in-line 3D profilometer for comprehensive surface analysis.


Indentation and Scratch Tester SMT-5000 Overview

Main Features

  • Unique combination of indentation, scratch, profilometer, film thickness testing on one automatic platform.
  • Patented piezo and capacitive sensor technology.
  • Patented image correlation between scratch data and 3D images.
  • Nano, micro indentation and scratch tests on same platform using fast exchange heads.

The Surface Mechanical Tester SMT-5000 is a versatile instrument. It merges the ability to measure mechanical properties, such as hardness, modulus, scratch adhesion, film thickness, in addition to surface roughness and many others. All this power is consolidated in one single platform. To that end, the IST module provides both indentation and scratch. Combining piezo actuation and capacitive sensing technologies, the IST brings the highest precision measurements from nano to micro ranges.

Besides the IST module, the SMT-5000 incorporates spectral reflectance film thickness with 3D profilometry and environmental modules. All these capacities cater to demanding engineers and researchers in many fields.

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    A Surface Material Tester Like No Other

    Customize the SMT-5000 To Fit Your Needs
    Combination of Indentation and Scratch Module

    The IST module combines indentation and scratch testing capabilities in one single module.

    Patented In-line Profilometer

    3D profiler automatically combines high resolution surface topography with indentation and scratch data.

    Lower automated XY Stage

    The high precision cross-roller XY stage yields smooth and very accurate test positioning. 

    Rtec Instruments Surface Material Tester, SMT-5000
    Non Destructive Film Thickness

    Based on spectroscopic reflectance, film thickness measurement (FT-100) module provides a super fast and direct non contact film measurement.

    Upper Z Structure

    High precision multiple Z drives with high resolution encoders to move testing and inspection modules.


    Open platform architecture for superior modular testing and ease of use.

    Instrumented Indentation Tester

    Automatic load and displacement curves, Hardness (Traditional and instrumented), Elastic Modulus, Creep, and many more calculations.

    • Easily interchangeable indentation head covering multiple load ranges from mN to 40 N
    • Unmatched performance with patented capacitive sensor technology
    • Berkovich, Vickers, Spherical, Cube Corner, Knoop, various diamond indenter tips, and more
    • Standard Vickers hardness or other traditional micro indentation scales.
    instrumented indentation Rtec Instruments IIT curves

    Scratch Testing

    Characterize coating adhesion, scratch resistance, scratch hardness and more.

    Automatic Stitching of In-line 3D Images

    Scratch Data Visualization. Complete failure analysis and correlation to scratch data.
    coating failure data after scratch adhesion test on scratch tester

    The complete 3D image of the scratch is obtained via automatic post-test imaging. The critical loads are easily positioned on the 3D panorama. In addition to the critical loads, the typical measurements enabled by this 3D imaging include scratch volume, penetration, residual deformation, roughness, and volume wear.

    Load Profile and Custom Motions

    Switch Quickly From Indenter to Scratch Tester

    Load Profiles: constant, linear or user defined load profiles. The applied normal force and resulting friction forces measured using precise NIST traceable sensors.

    Versatile XY Stage: The automatic  XY stage allows to perform multiple scratch or indentation on single or multiple samples automatically. Tests can be customize to achieve any motion profile such as straight, curved, circle, zigzag, and more.

    scratch test using Rockwell tip on 3D scratch tester
    Indentation With Rockwell Tip
    Scratch Adhesion Test Using cutting tool
    Scratch With Cutting Tool

    Non Destructive Film Thickness Measurement

    Ultra fast coating thickness determination

    The film thickness measurement module uses spectral reflectance to obtain the thickness of a coated surfaces.

    • Extensive materials library (500+)
    • Real-time, one-click measurement and analysis of thickness, n&k and roughness measurement
    • Ease of use, no expert knowledge required
    • Powerful analysis package scaling correction, multi-sample measurement, dynamic measurement.
    SMT-5000 film thickness diagram

    Patented Integrated Four Mode Profilometer

    The profilometer is optimized to image scratch and indentation marks with high resolutions.  Automatic multiple imaging modes selection  to image any sample surface – transparent, glass, mirror, rough, smooth, steep slope, and much more with ease.

    Dark Field Mode

    Allows detection of cracks at the surface with notable contrast

    White Light Interferometer Mode

    Allows high resolution images of flat surfaces

    Lambda universal profilometer rtec-instruments
    Spinning Disk Confocal Microscope Mode

    Measures steep slopes,  transparent, dark or rough surfaces

    Bright Field Mode

    2D profiles with high resolution and real colors

    Sensors and Chambers

    Application specific solutions

    Environmental chambers and a variety of sensors create numerous test variations that replicate real-life scenarios.

    Electrical Contact Resistance

    Identifies the coating failure point via the measure of the electrical resistance change during the scratch.

    Acoustic Emission

    Identifies brittle material failures by measuring the shock vibrations during the scratch.

    Corrosion Setup

    Allows scratch corrosion studies.

    Environmental Chambers

    Temperature, Humidity, and More.

    Additional Sensors

    Various sensors on coating scratch adhesion tester provides more information during the test.

    Correlation of Deformation, Failure, and Surface Morphology Data

    Pre & Post Test Image

    Automatic surface deformation assessment with the comparison of before and after 3D images of the surface.

    Scratch Test

    Single or multiple scratches can be performed using predefined recipes.

    Continuous Cross Profiler Analysis

    Cross profiles measurements are available anywhere along the scratch.


    A simple and customizable report is generated with 3D images correlated to scratch data. Moreover, each critical load is presented with separate zoomed images. Additionally, other measures such as friction, roughness, residual depth, volume wear and permanent deformation are also provided.

    3D Scratch tester data showing panoramic image  combined with scratch adhesion data

    The Scratch Tester and Indenter Solution

    Best the  SMT-5000 can easily switch from a hardness tester to a scratch tester, it is used extensively across a wide range of industries:

    • Thermal Spray Coatings
    • Turbine, engine, components
    • Anti corrosive coatings
    • Marr Resistance 
    • Thermal Spray Coatings
    • DLC
    • Paints
    • Bio compatible coatings
    • Medical devices
    • Joints
    • Valves, pumps
    • Ceramic coatings
    • Bulk materials
    Hard Coating
    • Cutting tools
    • Thermal spray
    • DLC
    • Bulk Materials
    • Coatings
    • Textured surfaces
    Optics and Glasses
    • Lenses
    • Touch screen
    • Consumer goods
    • Coatings on tablet
    • Marr resistance
    • Coating
    • Bulk materials
    • Screens
    • Thin coatings
    • Protective coatings
    • Consumer goods

    Want to learn more?

    Get in touch, and request a demo.

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