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Comparison of Microscratch Responses of Metals Between Berkovich and Rockwell C Indenters Under Progressive Normal Force


Microscratch test was conducted on sixteen metals by Berkovich and Rockwell C 120° diamond indenters to compare scratch responses of metals under progressive normal force linearly increasing from 5 mN to 30 N. Both penetration and residual depths obtained by Rockwell C indenter increase linearly with normal force, but the depths measured by Berkovich indenter increase nonlinearly. The asymptotic elastic recovery rate increases linearly with elastic modulus and yield stress. The asymptotic scratch hardness, lateral hardness and Knoop hardness increase linearly with yield stress. The asymptotic scratch hardness by Rockwell C indenter, the asymptotic lateral hardness by Berkovich indenter and Knoop hardness are the same and twice the asymptotic scratch hardness by Berkovich indenter.

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Data Availability

The data and material are available from the corresponding author on request via email: or


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This project is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51705082), Engineering Research Center for CAD/CAM of Fujian Provincial Colleges and Universities (Grant No. K201705), Development Center of Scientific and Educational Park of Fuzhou University in the city of Jinjiang (Grant No. 2019-JJFDKY-11), Fujian Provincial Minjiang Scholar Program (Internal Grant No. 0020-510759), and Fuzhou University Testing Fund of Precious Apparatus (Grant No. 2020T017).

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The first and corresponding author M.L. carried out the experiment, and supervised the project. The second author F.Y. wrote the draft, and contributed to the interpretation of experimental results. Both authors discussed the results, and contributed to the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ming Liu.

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Liu, M., Yan, F. Comparison of Microscratch Responses of Metals Between Berkovich and Rockwell C Indenters Under Progressive Normal Force. Tribol Lett 69, 157 (2021).

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  • Microscratch responses
  • Berkovich indenter
  • Rockwell C indenter
  • Progressive normal force