Abstract: The paper shows results of microscale experimental tests performed on cement paste specimens fabricated by focused ion beam milling. The specimens are prepared in the form of cantilever beams and loaded in bending by nanoindenter. The dimensions of specimens are in the order of a few micrometers which corresponds to the single phase size. Intact and notched specimens with a stress concentrator are tested. Tensile strength and fracture energy are derived for the hydration product by analyzing the nanoindentation data and with the aid of analytical and numerical modeling. Although small number of tests is performed good correlation of the results is reached with respect to the available literature and molecular dynamic simulations.
Abstract: Skutterudites are an important class of thermoelectric p- and n-type materials and they have already achieved fair efficiencies for the conversion of heat to electricity. Nevertheless researchers try to further enhance the figure of merit, ZT, by various ways. In this work we study microstructure and mechanical properties of two thermoelectric materials: an industrial n-type (Mm,Sm)yCo4Sb12 skutterudite and an industrial p-type DDyFe3CoSb12 skutterudite, both mixed with 1 wt.% of Ta0.8Zr0.2B. Thin lamellae were prepared from the compacted materials using a focused ion beam. Analytical transmission electron microscopy was used on lamellae to study details of microstructure. A fine dispersion of precipitates was found both at nanograin boundaries and in their interiors. Quasistatic and dynamic nanoindentation tests were carried out on planar polished sections in the range of applied loads from 0.01 to 10 mN. The results were complemented with quantitative modulus mapping of local mechanical properties with 10-nm resolution.
Abstract: The effect of processing conditions on microstructure and mechanical properties of Fe-Al-Si powders was studied by means of scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and nanoindentation. Fe-Al-Si alloy powder was prepared from pure elemental powders by mechanical alloying. Microstructure and mechanical properties of powders were characterized after various durations of mechanical alloying. Special sample preparation technique was developed allowing to characterize the properties of individual powder particles after each step of processing in a planetary ball mill. This step-by-step characterization allowed to find the optimum conditions for subsequent spark plasma sintering.
Abstract: The paper presents microscale experimental investigation performed on microtubes that were prepared with a novel laser dieless drawing (LDD) technique from difficult-to-work AZ31 magnesium alloy (nominally 3wt.%Al-1wt.%Zn-0.3wt.%Mn-Mg balanced). A microstructure analysis was performed via various microscopic techniques. Mechanical response of individual grains with various orientations was tested using instrumental nanoindentation and the results were compared with the microstructure. Distributions of elastic modulus, hardness and visco-elastic properties were analyzed. In addition, microtubes were also characterized in terms of their surface roughness and morphology based on different modes of surface treatment. The grain size is practically not changed when LDD is applied after extrusion showing low thermal and straining effect of the process. Local mapping of mechanical properties does not show weak spots and imply feasibility of the novel production technology.
Abstract: The local mechanical properties of Fe78Al22 alloy were studied using nanoindentation techniques. Sharp Berkovich indenter was used to perform load-controlled nanoindentation experiments on the studied sample. Hardness and elastic modulus maps were created on the basis of the indentation tests carried out in different grains. The focus of the work was to study the dependence of mechanical properties on the grain orientation. The results were in good agreement with quantum-mechanical calculations of anisotropic elastic properties of the studied alloy. It was explained that the maximum detected elastic modulus values are likely for grains with  crystallographic orientations which we theoretically identified as the hard ones.
Abstract: Ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is used as a key component of total joint replacements (TJR) and its mechanical performance is one of the factors influencing TJR lifetime. Micromechanical properties of three model UHMWPE samples with different molecular weights were evaluated from both non-instrumented and instrumented microindentation hardness testing. The properties were correlated with molecular and supermolecular structure of the samples. We have demonstrated that molecular weight influenced the final micromechanical properties mostly indirectly – it changed the overall crystallinity, which strongly correlated with microhardness, indentation modulus, and also with the elastic part of the indentation work. Only microcreep was influenced predominantly by amorphous phase, in which the higher molecular weight resulted in higher amount of entanglements and slightly higher creep resistance.
Abstract: The aim of this work is indentation study of local mechanical properties of Cu-22Zn-4.6Al alloy, which has significant shape memory effect after quenching from dual α + β phase region. The study was carried out on the samples with thermoelastic and non-thermoelastic martensite in the structure, which were obtained by quenching from various temperatures. A different behavior concerning mechanical properties measurements of α phase and β phase transformed to martensite after quenching from various temperatures was found out. It was observed almost no change of mechanical properties of α phase, whereas indentation hardness HIT and indentation modulus EIT raised with increasing quenching temperature. Also some serious differences were observed at indentation test of thermoelastic and non-thermoelastic martensite.
Abstract: Deformation mechanisms and mechanical properties of Fe3(wt.%)Si single crystal in two different orientations were investigated by spherical indentation. For correct interpretation of measured data and better understanding of the deformation mechanisms under the contact area, finite element simulations were carried out and resolved shear stress in available slip systems was computed. Pop-in behavior, differences in hardness, indentation modulus and shapes of residual imprints were observed and associated with different activation of slip.
Abstract: Nanomechanical testing using depth sensing indentation (DSI) provides a straightforward solution for quantitatively characterizing each of phases in microstructure because it is very powerful technique for characterization of materials in small volumes. Measuring the local properties (indentation hardness HIT, indentation modulus EIT, indentation energy: total Wtotal, elastic Welast, plastic Wplast) of each microstructure component separately in multiphase materials gives information that is valuable for the development of new materials and for modelling. The mechanical properties of materials measured by DSI are affected by the experimental procedure, by the measurement conditions and factors which result from the material characteristics and device construction. We have to determine the effect of individual factors on the measurement in order to reach the repeatability and to allow the comparing the mechanical properties of the material. The aim of this investigation is to determine the measurement factors that affect indentation hardness of individual microstructural components and global mechanical properties of thin steel sheets. We investigated the factors which result from the material characteristics (crystallographic orientation of grain, grain boundary and anisotropy), preparation of the sample surface (roughness of sample surface) and method of measurement (pile-up, ISE).