On the generality of the relationship among contact stiffness, contact area, and elastic modulus during indentation Academic Article uri icon


  • Results of Sneddon's analysis for the elastic contact between a rigid, axisymmetric punch and an elastic half space are used to show that a simple relationship exists among the contact stiffness, the contact area, and the elastic modulus that is not dependent on the geometry of the punch. The generality of the relationship has important implications for the measurement of mechanical properties using load and depth sensing indentation techniques and in the measurement of small contact areas such as those encountered in atomic force microscopy.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Materials Research

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Pharr, G. M., Oliver, W. C., & Brotzen, F. R.

citation count

  • 1233

complete list of authors

  • Pharr, GM||Oliver, WC||Brotzen, FR

publication date

  • March 1992