High throughput exploration of process-property linkages in Al-6061 using instrumented spherical microindentation and microstructurally graded samples

  • Jordan S. Weaver
  • Ali Khosravani
  • Andrew Castillo
  • Surya R. KalidindiEmail author


Recent spherical nanoindentation protocols have proven robust at capturing the local elastic-plastic response of polycrystalline metal samples at length scales much smaller than the grain size. In this work, we extend these protocols to length scales that include multiple grains to recover microindentation stress-strain curves. These new protocols are first established in this paper and then demonstrated for Al-6061 by comparing the measured indentation stress-strain curves with the corresponding measurements from uniaxial tension tests. More specifically, the scaling factors between the uniaxial yield strength and the indentation yield strength was determined to be about 1.9, which is significantly lower than the value of 2.8 used commonly in literature. The reasons for this difference are discussed. Second, the benefits of these new protocols in facilitating high throughput exploration of process-property relationships are demonstrated through a simple case study.


Sample libraries High throughput Hertzian indentation Al alloys Aging 



The authors wish to thank Mr. Scott Henry and Mr. Larry Berardinis at ASM International for their leadership on the Structural Materials Data Demonstration project under which this study was started. We also want to thank Dr. Warren Hunt of Nexight Group and Mr. Kevin Anderson of Mercury Marine for their expert knowledge of Al-6061 and careful selection of the material and processing parameters. In addition, we wish to acknowledge Dr. Carelyn Campbell and Dr. Yaakov Idell at NIST for their helpful discussions and sharing TEM and chemical composition analysis. The tensile testing was completed in a shared user facility, the Materials Property Research Lab, at the Georgia Institute of Technology which is operated and maintained by Dr. Richard Neu, Mr. James Huggins, and Mr. Kyle Brindley.


Funding for this study was provided by NIST 70NANB14H191.


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© The Author(s). 2016

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jordan S. Weaver
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ali Khosravani
    • 1
  • Andrew Castillo
    • 1
  • Surya R. Kalidindi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Center for Integrated NanotechnologiesLos Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA

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