Force measuring is used in various surface characterization techniques such as indentation, scratch tests, tribological analysis, determination of gas content, etc. The main problems related with force measurement under extreme conditions have been analysed. A strategy that should be followed to solve these problems has been discussed and several examples of successive solutions that recently were developed by the authors are presented. The need to carry out the characterization under extreme conditions poses serious problems for the designers of the measuring systems that may include the incompatibility of the sensors with the test conditions, undesirable interactions with other components, stability, precision and uncertainty issues, the measurement range, etc. Resolving these problems must be based on a global approach in which the characterization system is considered as a whole, while the designer must analyse and solve the possible conflicts between the subsystems. The way how an appropriate force measuring system can be selected is described. The proposed method is illustrated by an example in which an indirect force measurement using optical fibre displacement sensor was used. Another example describes measuring system developed for vacuum high-temperature nanoindentation. At high temperature, proper heat management based on non-contact heating and laminar flow cooling system is mandatory to avoid experimental data being affected by external noise and thermal drift.
Part of the book: New Trends and Developments in Metrology