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      A method for measuring the contact area in instrumented indentation testing by tip scanning probe microscopy imaging


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          The determination of the contact area is a key step to derive mechanical properties such as hardness or an elastic modulus by instrumented indentation testing. Two families of procedures are dedicated to extracting this area: on the one hand, post mortem measurements that require residual imprint imaging, and on the other hand, direct methods that only rely on the load vs. the penetration depth curve. With the development of built-in scanning probe microscopy imaging capabilities such as atomic force microscopy and indentation tip scanning probe microscopy, last generation indentation devices have made systematic residual imprint imaging much faster and more reliable. In this paper, a new post mortem method is introduced and further compared to three existing classical direct methods by means of a numerical and experimental benchmark covering a large range of materials. It is shown that the new method systematically leads to lower error levels regardless of the type of material. Pros and cons of the new method vs. direct methods are also discussed, demonstrating its efficiency in easily extracting mechanical properties with an enhanced confidence.

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          A method for interpreting the data from depth-sensing indentation instruments

          Depth-sensing indentation instruments provide a means for studying the elastic and plastic properties of thin films. A method for obtaining hardness and Young's modulus from the data obtained from these types of instruments is described. Elastic displacements are determined from the data obtained during unloading of the indentation. Young's modulus can be calculated from these measurements. In addition, the elastic contribution to the total displacement can be removed in order to calculate hardness. Determination of the exact shape of the indenter at the tip is critical to the measurement of both hardness and elastic modulus for indentation depths less than a micron. Hardness is shown to depend on strain rate, especially when the hardness values are calculated from the data along the loading curves.
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            The Elastic Field for Conical Indentation Including Sliding Friction for Transverse Isotropy

             M. Hanson (1992)
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              Effect of surface roughness in the determination of the mechanical properties of material using nanoindentation test.

              A quantitative model is proposed for the estimation of macro-hardness using nanoindentation tests. It decreases the effect of errors related to the non-reproducibility of the nanoindentation test on calculations of macro-hardness by taking into account the indentation size effect and the surface roughness. The most innovative feature of this model is the simultaneous statistical treatment of all the nanoindentation loading curves. The curve treatment mainly corrects errors in the zero depth determination by correlating their positions through the use of a relative reference. First, the experimental loading curves are described using the Bernhardt law. The fitted curves are then shifted, in order to simultaneously reduce the gaps between them that result from the scatter in the experimental curves. A set of shift depths, Δhc , is therefore identified. The proposed approach is applied to a large set of TiAl6V4 titanium-based samples with different roughness levels, polished by eleven silicon carbide sandpapers from grit paper 80 to 4,000. The result reveals that the scatter degree of the indentation curves is higher when the surface is rougher. The standard deviation of the shift Δhc is linearly connected to the standard deviation of the surface roughness, if the roughness is high-pass filtered in the scale of the indenter (15 µm). Using the proposed method, the estimated macro-hardness for eleven studied TiAl6V4 samples is in the range of 3.5-4.1 GPa, with the smallest deviation around 0.01 GPa, which is more accurate than the one given by the Nanoindentation MTS™ system, which uses an average value (around 4.3 ± 0.5 GPa). Moreover, the calculated Young's modulus of the material is around 136 ± 20 GPa, which is similar to the modulus in literature.

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