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Rebound-Indent Field Tester for PV Module Backsheets

DuraMAT is developing a new form of a portable, rebound-indent tester for characterizing the susceptibility to cracking, delamination, and mechanical degradation of the polymer backsheet on installed photovoltaic (PV) modules.

Unlike conventional rebound-hardness testers designed for characterizing the hardness of metals, this new design will be more suitable for characterizing thin polymer backsheets with features that include:

  • Sharper indenters
  • Lower impact energy
  • Detection of acoustic emissions.

Core Objective

Fielded Module Forensics


SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory


This capability will provide a valuable research and development tool for determining a deeper understanding of how backsheet degradation occurs. It will also provide feedback for optimization of the backsheet material so as to minimize the risk from backsheet degradation and premature failure of PV modules.


When development of this characterization tool is completed, it will be available to anyone wishing to do laboratory or field testing of a PV module backsheet.


To learn more about this capability, contact Mathew Mate.

Image of a portable, rebound-indent tester being used on a polymer backsheet.

An indent tester is used to measure the rebound of a small sample of a polymer backsheet.