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A robust statistical method for determining material properties and indentation size effect using instrumented indentation testing

Abstract : Instrumented indentation is a practical and powerful tool for probing the mechanical properties of materials at small scales. However, several errors (surface roughness, indentation size effect, determination of first contact point, etc…) affect the instrumented indentation testing (e.g. the low reproducibility of the indentation curves) and lead to inaccuracies in the determination of mechanical properties of materials analyzed. An original approach is developed in this thesis for the accurate characterization of the mechanical properties of materials. This approach is established by a statistical analysis of the indentation curves with taking account of error in determining the first contact point and effects of the surface roughness. This approach is basing on a minimization of the distance (defined as the initial contact depth error) between the experimental indentation curves and the ones simulated with Bernhard’s model in order to generate a “unique” representative curve which enables to represent all the experimental curves. The proposed method permits to calculate the macro-hardness and the Young’s modulus of materials from this representative curve with the consideration of the errors due to the surface roughness and the indentation size effect for shallow penetration. The robustness of the method is proved by its application to different groups of specimens, i.e. different materials with various mechanical properties, different surface preparation methods (polishing, sandblasting) and different indenter tips to generate different states of local stresses. A quantitative link between the surface roughness and the standard deviation of initial contact depth error is established by a multi-scale surface roughness analyzing. The proposed method enables to characterize the mechanical properties of materials without resorting to the surface preparation which may potentially alter its properties (e.g. generation of residual stresses, surface contamination ...).
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Yang Xia. A robust statistical method for determining material properties and indentation size effect using instrumented indentation testing. Mechanics [physics.med-ph]. Université de Technologie de Compiègne, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014COMP1982⟩. ⟨tel-01807648⟩

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