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The scratch test consists of driving a probe, at a certain depth, through a material and is most likely the oldest technique for the mechanical characterization of materials. Scientists can use these tests to determine the fracture toughness of materials such as metals, ceramics, and polymers.
Journalists wishing to reproduce this image for news stories about related research should include this video credit: P.M. Reis, A.-T. Akono, F.-J. Ulm, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.