Discrete dislocation plasticity analysis of the wedge indentation of films Academic Article uri icon


  • The plane strain indentation of single crystal films on a rigid substrate by a rigid wedge indenter is analyzed using discrete dislocation plasticity. The crystals have three slip systems at ± 35 . 3{ring operator} and 90{ring operator} with respect to the indentation direction. The analyses are carried out for three values of the film thickness, 2, 10 and 50 μ m, and with the dislocations all of edge character modeled as line singularities in a linear elastic material. The lattice resistance to dislocation motion, dislocation nucleation, dislocation interaction with obstacles and dislocation annihilation are incorporated through a set of constitutive rules. Over the range of indentation depths considered, the indentation pressure for the 10 and 50 μ m thick films decreases with increasing contact size and attains a contact size-independent value for contact lengths A > 4 μ m. On the other hand, for the 2 μ m films, the indentation pressure first decreases with increasing contact size and subsequently increases as the plastic zone reaches the rigid substrate. For the 10 and 50 μ m thick films sink-in occurs around the indenter, while pile-up occurs in the 2 μ m film when the plastic zone reaches the substrate. Comparisons are made with predictions obtained from other formulations: (i) the contact size-independent indentation pressure is compared with that given by continuum crystal plasticity; (ii) the scaling of the indentation pressure with indentation depth is compared with the relation proposed by Nix and Gao [1998. Indentation size effects in crystalline materials: a law for strain gradient plasticity. J. Mech. Phys. Solids 43, 411-423]; and (iii) the computed contact area is compared with that obtained from the estimation procedure of Oliver and Pharr [1992. An improved technique for determining hardness and elastic-modulus using load and displacement sensing indentation experiments, J. Mater. Res. 7, 1564-1583]. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids

author list (cited authors)

  • Balint, D. S., Deshpande, V. S., Needleman, A., & Van der Giessen, E

citation count

  • 71

complete list of authors

  • Balint, DS||Deshpande, VS||Needleman, A||Van der Giessen, E

publication date

  • November 2006