The goal of the majority of nanoindentation tests is to extract elastic modulus and hardness of the specimen material from load-displacement measurements. Conventional indentation hardness tests involve the measurement of the size of a residual plastic impression in the specimen as a function of the indenter load. This provides a measure of the area of contact for a given indenter load. In a nanoindentation test, the size of the residual impression is often only a few microns and this makes it very difficult to obtain a direct measure using optical techniques. In nanoindentation testing, the depth of penetration beneath the specimen surface is measured as the load is applied to the indenter. The known geometry of the indenter then allows the size of the area of contact to be determined The procedure also allows for the modulus of the specimen material to be obtained from a measurement of the “stiffness” of the contact, that is, the rate of change of load and depth. In this chapter, the mechanics of the actual indentation test and the nature of the indenters used in this type of testing are reviewed.
KeywordsSpecimen Material Nanoindentation Testing Spherical Indenter Vickers Indenter Berkovich Indenter
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