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Effect of the Spherical Indenter Tip Assumption on Nanoindentation



Li Ma, Lyle E. Levine


Nanoindentation is increasingly being used to explore mechanical properties on a local scale. One of the interests and challenges of nanoindentation is determining the shear stress at the onset of plastic yielding, which corresponds to dislocation nucleation. To extract this stress information from experimental load-displacement data, a spherical tip shape is usually assumed. However, it is well known that indenter tips have irregular shapes, especially at the small length scales that are important for small loads. This will significantly affect the stress distribution under the indentation surfaces. In this work, an indenter tip shape is measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The measured indenter shape is input into a finite element model for indentation simulations on <111> oriented single crystal Al samples in the elastic regime. The stresses, indentation force and contact area calculated using the measured indenter shape are analyzed and compared to results from a fitted spherical indenter. The bias of the assumed spherical indenter tip from the real measured indenter tip is studied.
Journal of Materials Research


AFM, FEA, indenter tip, nanoindentation


Ma, L. and Levine, L. (2007), Effect of the Spherical Indenter Tip Assumption on Nanoindentation, Journal of Materials Research (Accessed July 25, 2024)


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Created May 31, 2007, Updated October 12, 2021