Multi-Scale Indentation Hardness Testing; A Correlation and Model



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This thesis presents the research results of a correlation and model based on nano and macroindentation hardness measurements. The materials used to develop and test the correlation include bulk tantalum and O1 tool steel. Following the literature review and a detailed description of the experimental techniques, the results of the nanoindentation hardness measurements are presented. After applying the methods and correlation recommended here, the results should give an accurate value of hardness in the Vickers scale for microstructural features that are too small to be precisely and exclusively measured using the traditional macroindentation hardness technique. The phenomena and influential factors in nanoindentation hardness testing are also discussed. These phenomena and theories are consistent with the microstructural behavior predicted in the Nix and Gao model for mechanism-based strain gradients. Implementing the correlation factors and/or correlation curve, accurate results can be found for metals over a broad hardness range. Initially, this research may impact the pipeline division of the petroleum industry by providing a correlation to the Vickers scale for nanoindentation testing of microstructural features. This thesis may also provide a research methodology to develop hardness correlations for materials other than metals. This thesis consists of eight chapters. Following an introduction in Chapter I, the research motivations and objectives are highlighted in Chapter II. Chapter III explains the multi-scale indentation techniques used in this thesis and Chapter IV presents the materials preparation techniques used. Then, the results are presented in Chapter V, followed by the factors affecting nanoindentation hardness in Chapter VI. Finally, Chapters VII and VIII reveal the indentation contact analysis, correlation, and conclusions of this research, respectively.