Micro Combi Tester: MCT³

  • One setup for instrumented indentation, scratch & tribology testing
  • Measurement of hardness, elastic modulus, coating adhesion, scratch resistance, wear, and other surface mechanical properties
  • For characterization of hard coatings, thermal/plasma spray coatings, cementitious materials, metals, and polymers

Micro Combi Tester: MCT³


The Micro Combi Tester (MCT³) is a universal measurement head for full mechanical characterization of coatings and bulk samples.

The unique wide load range of this instrument allows the determination of adhesion, scratch resistance, hardness, elastic modulus, friction, and wear for a wide range of samples. It is applicable to organic and inorganic as well as soft and hard coatings (between 1 µm and 20 µm), and also bulk materials.

Combine instrumented indentation testing heads with scratch testing heads, a nanotribometer, and even an atomic force microscope on a unique Step surface testing platform.

Key features

Three in one: Full scratch, instrumented indentation, and tribological testing

The unique mechanical design incorporates three different mechanical characterization measurement methods in only one measurement head without any compromises in the measurement quality. With one and the same head you can perform measurements of coating adhesion and scratch resistance by scratch testing, hardness and elastic modulus by instrumented indentation testing (IIT), and friction and wear by multi-pass tribological testing.

Fully automated mechanical characterization tester

Like all scratch testers from Anton Paar MCT³ has an automatic detection for critical loads. Using the signal of friction force, penetration depth, or acoustic emission, an algorithm analyzes these signals and automatically determines the critical loads without subjecting them to any operator influence. Furthermore, hardness and elastic modulus can be determined at various positions (user defined matrix) in a single measurement by the instrumented indentation technique.

The ideal load range to cover a wide range of applications

MCT³ is able to perform scratch and instrumented indentation (IIT) tests from small depths (a few nm for surface detection) to great depths (maximum 1 mm). Its wide range of applied and measured force
(from 10 mN to 30 N) matches almost all sample characteristics. This load and depth range is ideal for the mechanical characterization of hard coatings (PVD, CVD from 1 µm to 20 µm), thermal/plasma spray coatings, cementitious materials, metals, and polymers.

Patented Synchronized Panorama Mode

This unique feature automatically synchronizes the recording of all sensor signals with the whole scratch image in perfect focus. Thus the critical loads can be easily identified by observing the synchronized optical and signal recordings. Anton Paar is the unique holder of the U.S. patent 8261600 and the European patent EP 2065695.

Perfect results even for curved and uneven surfaces

Due to its unique force sensor control, the MCT³ scratch system detects every surface deviation and the active force feedback corrects these deviations.

Regardless of the shape of the sample, MCT³ is capable of performing perfectly reliable measurements on uneven and curved surfaces (e.g. lenses) by following the shape with total control of the desired load.

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