Advanced Nanomechanical Testing for Accelerated Material Development

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Verena Maier-Kiener

Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria


Verena Maier-Kiener is a Senior Lecturer and Group Leader at the Department of Materials Science at the Montanuniversity Leoben.

She holds a PhD from Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, where she finished her thesis in 2013 on the development of advanced nanoindentation methods to probe thermally activated deformation behavior locally.

Since the end of her masters, she is very active in the field of micro- and nanomechanical testing. Especially the development of advanced testing protocols and the application of these to high performance materials as well as under realistic, application-closed conditions are focused in her research.

In 2022 she was elected as Leader of Workgroup 2 “Experiments and Simulations” in COST Action 21121 MecaNano (Mechanics of Matter at the Nano-Scale).


Advanced Nanomechanical Testing for Accelerated Material Development

In recent years, micromechanical testing techniques based or derived from nanoindentation experiments became a versatile tool for testing local mechanical properties, providing access to properties way beyond hardness and modulus. While standard methods can be easily used for conventional mechanical properties analyses, also a high throughput screening of various materials conveniently achievable [1]. Moreover, smart adjustments of standard nanoindentation protocols open an even wider range of applications. For example, it was possible to directly probe dominating thermally activated deformation processes in materials by applying abrupt strain-rate changes within the indentation process [2]. In addition to these advanced testing methods, setups can be modified in order to probe in-operando materials deformation behavior under ambient, but more importantly under non-ambient conditions, such as temperature ranges from -150 °C to ~ 1000 °C and under electrochemical conditions [3,4]. Especially the latter allows studying hydrogen materials-interactions and hydrogen embrittlement.

This talk will focus on the wide range of possibilities to investigate by micro- and nanomechanical testing methods and their correlation and implementations with respect to computer driven models, as well as to the newly started COST action 21121 MecaNano (European Network for the Mechanics of Matter at the Nano-Scale), which aims to bring together different research areas of micro- and nanomechanical testing, nanomechanical simulations as well as data driven machine learning approaches.