, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 1301-1312
Date: 19 Feb 2010

Loading Rate Effect on Nanohardness of Soda-Lime-Silica Glass

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To understand how hardness, the key design parameter for applications of brittle solids such as glass concerning contact deformation, is affected by loading rate variation, nanoindentation with a Berkovich tip was used to measure the nanohardness of a 330-μm-thick soda-lime-silica glass as a function of loading rate (1 to 1000 mN·s−1). The results showed for the very first time that, with variations in the loading rate, there was a 6 to 9 pct increase in the nanohardness of glass up to a threshold loading rate (TLR), whereafter it did not appreciably increase with further increase in loading rate. Further, the nanohardness data showed an indentation size effect (ISE) that obeyed the Meyer’s law. These observations were explained in terms of a strong shear stress component developed just beneath the nanoindenter and the related shear-induced deformation processes at local microstructural scale weak links. The significant or insignificant presence of shear-induced serrations in load depth plots and corresponding scanning electron microscopic evidence of a strong or mild presence of shear deformation bands in and around the nanoindentation cavity supported such a rationalization. Finally, a qualitative picture was developed for different deformation processes induced at various loading rates in glass.

Manuscript submitted September 1, 2009.