A numerical approach to spherical indentation techniques for material property evaluation
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In this work, some inaccuracies and limitations of prior indentation theories, which are based on experimental observations and the deformation theory of plasticity, are investigated. Effects of major material properties on the indentation load-deflection curve are examined via finite element (FE) analyses based on incremental plasticity theory. It is confirmed that subindenter deformation and stress-strain distribution from deformation plasticity theory are quite dissimilar to those obtained from incremental plasticity theory. We suggest an optimal data acquisition location, where the strain gradient is the least and the effect of friction is negligible. A new numerical approach to indentation techniques is then proposed by examining the FE solutions at the optimal point. Numerical regressions of obtained data exhibit that the strain-hardening exponent and yield strain are the two key parameters which govern the subindenter deformation characteristics. The new indentation theory successfully provides a stress-strain curve and material properties with an average error of less than 3%. 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.