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Determination of the true projected contact area by in situ indentation testing

  • Gaylord Guillonneau (a1), Jeffrey M. Wheeler (a2), Juri Wehrs (a3), Laetitia Philippe (a3), Paul Baral (a4), Heinz Werner Höppel (a5), Mathias Göken (a5) and Johann Michler (a3)...
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.


A major limitation in nanoindentation analysis techniques is the inability to accurately quantify pile-up/sink-in around indentations. In this work, the contact area during indentation is determined simultaneously using both contact mechanical models and direct in situ observation in the scanning electron microscope. The pile-up around indentations in materials with low H/E ratios (nanocrystalline nickel and ultrafine-grained aluminum) and the sink-in around a material with a high H/E ratio (fused silica) were quantified and compared to existing indentation analyses. The in situ projected contact area measured by Scanning Electron Microscopy using a cube-corner tip differs significantly from the classical models for materials with low H/E modulus ratio. Using a Berkovich tip, the in situ contact area is in good agreement with the contact model suggested by Loubet et al. for materials with low H/E ratio and in good agreement with the Oliver and Pharr model for materials with high H/E ratio.


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*This article has been corrected since its original publication. An erratum notice detailing these changes was also published (doi: 10.1557/jmr.2019.310).



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Determination of the true projected contact area by in situ indentation testing

  • Gaylord Guillonneau (a1), Jeffrey M. Wheeler (a2), Juri Wehrs (a3), Laetitia Philippe (a3), Paul Baral (a4), Heinz Werner Höppel (a5), Mathias Göken (a5) and Johann Michler (a3)...
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.


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