Influence of indenter tip roundness on hardness behavior in nanoindentation

Weimin Chen, Min Li, Taihua Zhang, Yang Tse Cheng, Che Min Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


In this paper, the effect of indenter tip roundness on hardness behavior for two typical elastic perfectly plastic materials is studied by means of finite element simulation. A rigid conical indenter of semi apex angle 70.3° fitted smoothly with a spherical tip is employed. It is shown that as the indentation depth increases hardness first rises from zero, reaches a maximum and then decreases slowly approaching asymptotically the limiting value equal to that due to a conical indenter of ideally sharp tip. The range within which hardness varies appreciably is comparable to the radius of the indenter tip. The difference between the maximum value and the limiting value depends on the yield stress over the Young's modulus ratio. The smaller this ratio the greater the difference is. Numerical simulation also provides an opportunity for checking the accuracy and limitations of the widely used Oliver-Pharr method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-327
Number of pages5
JournalMaterials Science & Engineering A: Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processing
StatePublished - Feb 15 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support from the National Science Foundation of China, project nos. 10372101 and 10432050.


  • Indentation size effect
  • Indenter tip roundness
  • The Oliver-Pharr method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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