162 Scopus citations


Using dimensional analysis and finite element calculations, we derive simple scaling relationships for loading and unloading curve, contact depth, and hardness. The relationship between hardness and the basic mechanical properties of solids, such as Young's modulus, initial yield strength, and work-hardening exponent, is then obtained. The conditions for `piling-up' and `sinking-in' of surface profiles during indentation are determined. A method for estimating contact depth from initial unloading slope is examined. The work done during indentation is also studied. A relationship between the ratio of hardness to elastic modulus and the ratio of irreversible work to total work is discovered. This relationship offers a new method for obtaining hardness and elastic modulus. Finally, a scaling theory for indentation in power-law creep solids using self-similar indenters is developed. A connection between creep and `indentation size effect' is established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-424
Number of pages8
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
StatePublished - Nov 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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