Industries-CoatinsThinFilmsThousands of products require coatings or thin films in order to operate as intended. Their uses span many industries and their functions can vary depending on the substrate material and the intended use of the film. Although a coating or thin film may be functional, it is possible that it may not have all desired characteristics. The services supplied by Ebatco will integrate seamlessly into your company’s design process by giving you all of the data to determine which coating or thin film is best for your product.

A material’s surface properties can be easily changed by adding a thin film or coating. When investigating a thin film or coating, it is important to know that it will provide the product with the desired characteristics. At Ebatco, we have the tools and skills to perform precise analysis, using our array of instruments, for your thin film or coating. Whether you are looking to test the mechanical properties, the reaction to a given stress, or physiochemical properties – Ebatco can be your partner in nanotechnology.

Ebatco can provide the highest quality micro- and nano- mechanical tests to quantify the scratch resistance, interfacial adhesion, thickness, anti-friction, and more. The expert team at Ebatco will provide quality laboratory services and in-depth reports in order to help you develop high quality products in an efficient manner. If you have any questions about the services or instrumentation available at Ebatco, feel free to call or email and a member of our team will be able to further assist you.


Anti-friction and anti-wear Characterization of sealant formula Characterization of unknown substance Interfacial adhesion of coatings Comparison of mechanical properties for two films
Film surface finishing and thickness Film scratch resistance Quantification of additives Quantification of dyes


“Thank you so much for the data! It looks really nice and is a vast improvement over the testing from the other company we used. I really appreciate your effort and quick turnaround! We will definitely be using Ebatco for future testing. I am very impressed.” –Kristin Taton, Staff Scientist/Lab Manager, Coatings Company

For more information please read our application notes:
SEM EDS Analysis of Bicentennial Penny Patina
Advancing and Receding Angles of Biomedical Catheters
Coating Scratch Resistance and Interfacial Adhesion Evaluation through Nanoscratch
Fracture Failure Analysis of Steel Wire
In-situ and Small-Volume Fracture Toughness Measurement via Nanoindentation
Interfacial adhesion evaluation of paint coating on Pepsi Can through Scratch Testing
Light Load Reciprocating Wear of Computer Hard Disk Coatings
Melting Temperature and Latent Heat of Fusion of Indium
Micro Contact Angle Measurements on Single Particles, Filaments and Patterned Surfaces
Nanoindentation for hardness and elastic modulus measurements at nanoscale
Optical Inspection and Profiling of Defects on a Coated Wafer Surface
Scratch Failure Characteristics of DLC Coating on M2 Steel
SEM EDS Analysis on Scratch Failure of PTFE Coated Stainless Steel Guide Wire
Vickers Hardness Testing of Metallic and Ceramic Materials
Wear Resistance Evaluation and Debris Generation Study through Nano Wear
Zeta Potentials of Solid Surfaces


Coating Scratch Resistance and Interfacial Adhesion Evaluation through Nanoscratch


Protective coatings are designed to prevent substrate from corrosion, erosion, oxidation, scratch, and wear. A high performance thin and sometimes an ultra-thin film coating are used to protect or decorate a substrate for economical reasons and for conservation of precious and rare materials. Nanoscratch testing is an important technique for characterization of surface properties of these protective and decorative coatings. Knowing the characteristics of a coating in the aspects of scratch resistance and interfacial adhesion can aid the development of coating material with desired performance, functionality and lifetime.


One of the nanoscratch systems equipped in Ebatco’s Nano Analytical and Testing Laboratory (NAT Lab) is capable of carrying out nanoscratch tests under ramp or constant load, pre-selected scratch length and other control parameters. During a nanoscratch, four parameters: normal force, normal displacement, lateral force, and lateral displacement are measured and recorded as a function of time. From these parameters, comprehensive information about a material’s nanoscratch properties can be characterized. Commonly characterized nanoscratch properties include friction between the sample surface and the scratch probe, critical load of interfacial failure, and scratch resistance.




Nanoscratch testing has been widely accepted as a way of evaluating interfacial adhesion of thin film/substrate systems. Failure events may be found where the probe produces delamination, debonding, crack, fracture, or breakthrough at the film/substrate interface. The failure events of the film are normally symbolized by a combination of sudden changes in the lateral force, normal displacement, and/or normal force data. The critical load is defined as the normal force applied to the scratch probe at the time when interfacial failure is detected and can be determined by analyzing the scratch data graphs. The critical load of adhesion failure is a good indication of interfacial adhesion strength. Normally, a higher critical load represents a higher interfacial adhesion. However, the true relationship between interfacial adhesion and critical load is relatively complicated and may be affected by many factors such as the fracture toughness of the materials involved, film thickness, and the scratch testing parameters.


In addition to determination of the critical load at interfacial failure, the nanoscratch tests can be applied to evaluate a material’s resistance to scratch such as for clear coat of auto body. It can be used to simulate mar resistance by quantifying the minimum load for generating visible scratches or change of surface gloss or by measuring the scratch width and depth under a selected load.


The friction measurement through nanoscratch is deemed very useful in studying thin film and coating frictional characteristics under extremely lighter load or under very high contact pressure. It is regarded as an invaluable tool for research on friction mechanisms and debris generation under the terminology of nanotribology.