Dustin Neill

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Physics and Astronomy

Committee Member

Weidian Shen, Ph.D, Chair

Committee Member

Alexandria Oakes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Patrick Koehn, Ph.D.


This study aims to characterize the mechanical and tribological properties of three different polymeric coatings—polyurethane, 2K, and melamine—deposited on steel by analyzing the hardness, elastic modulus, and scratch resistance of each coating. This was accomplished by making indentation and scratch tests on each sample with a nano-indenter and analyzing the results with a Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM). Results of indentation tests show that melamine, with a hardness of 0.164 GPa and a modulus of 3.367 GPa, was both the hardest and stiffest of the three coatings, while the 2K coating, with a hardness of .104 GPa and a modulus of 2.721 GPa, was both the softest and most flexible. Scratch test results showed that the highest average critical load, at which the adhesion to the substrate steel failed, was 100.03 mN for the 2K coating, thus indicating that the 2K coating had the greater adhesion strength.

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