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Regarding the effect of composition on the mechanical properties of intermetallic phases such as Laves phases, there is conflicting information in the literature. Some authors observed defect hardening when deviating from stoichiometric Laves phase composition, whereas others find defect softening. Here, we present a systematic investigation of the defect state, hardness, and elastic modulus of cubic and hexagonal NbCo2 Laves phases as a function of crystal structure and composition. For this purpose, diffusion couples were prepared which exhibit diffusion layers of the cubic C15 and hexagonal C14 and C36 NbCo2 Laves phases, with concentration gradients covering their entire homogeneity ranges from 24 to 37 at.% Nb. Direct observations of dislocations and stacking faults in the diffusion layers as a function of composition were performed by electron channeling contrast imaging, and the hardness and elastic modulus were probed in the diffusion layers along the concentration gradients by nanoindentation.
The tensile yield strength of high-density polyethylene using instrumented indentation tests with a flat-ended cylindrical indenter was evaluated. The variation in the field expressed by stress and strain beneath the flat-ended cylindrical indenter is investigated using a new expanding cavity model to study the relation between tension and indentation. This model starts from the separation of forces into the compressive force on the material and the frictional one, which is generated during indentation on the sides of indenter. The authors propose a method to correct the frictional force based on the saturation of indentation hardening and obtain load–depth curve with compressive component only. For conversion of indentation force and displacement, our new representation model is applied. By modifying Johnson's model, the new assumption of conservation of indentation plastic volume is suggested. This model proves and supports conventional relations of the strain rates between indentation and tension theoretically. These are verified through the experiments: instrumented indentation and uniaxial tensile test. The authors find a good agreement between the tensile yield strengths at various strain rates.
This paper presents a recent study on recycling poly-ethylene-tetraphylate (PET), known as plastic waste material in Ghana, to wealth. Composites were produced by heating aggregates together with shredded PET plastic waste material, while bitumen was added to the plastic-coated aggregates. The composites produced were reinforced with 4.5 wt%, 9.0 wt%, 13.6 wt%, and 18.0 wt% PET. Mechanical properties of the fabricated composite samples were studied with a Universal testing machine for optimization. The work demonstrated that shredded PET plastic waste material acts as a strong binding agent for bitumen that can improve on the shelf life of the asphalt. From the results, 13.6 wt% concentration of PET was shown to experience the maximum compressive strength and flexural strength. Besides, water resistance was shown to increase with PET concentrations/weight fraction. From the data characterized 13.6 wt% of PET plastic gives the optimum plastic concentration that enhances the rheological properties of bitumen. The implications of the result are therefore discussed for the use of 13.6 wt% PET in road construction.
The direct laser-deposited Inconel 718 (IN718) specimens were produced using 1073 nm, high power continuous wave (CW), IPG Ytterbium fibre laser and in-situ heat treatment. The laser power and in-situ heat treatment temperature were fixed while varying the laser scanning speed from 0.83 to 2.50 cm/s. The microstructure and micro-hardness of the IN718 specimens were characterized using an optical microscope (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS or EDX) and Vickers system. The microstructure of the specimens consists of γ-matrix as the primary phase, Nb-rich particles, constitutional liquation cave, liquation cracking and ductility-dip cracks. It was found that the micro-hardness profile of the IN718 specimens was gradually increased with the increase of the distance from the surface.
To improve the corrosion resistance and to increase the hardness of copper substrate in marine environment, the Cu-Ni/Ni-P composite coatings were prepared on the copper substrate using the galvanostatic electrolytic deposition method. The deposition current densities were explored to find the optimized deposition conditions for forming the composite coatings. Corrosion resistance properties were analyzed using the polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Considering the corrosion resistance and hardness, the −20 mA/cm2 was selected to deposit Cu-Ni coatings on copper substrate and the −30 mA/cm2 was selected to deposit Ni-P coating on the Cu-Ni layer. The Cu-Ni/Ni-P composite coatings not only exhibited superior corrosion resistance compared to single Cu-Ni coating in 3.5 wt.% NaCl solution, but also showed much better mechanical properties than single Cu-Ni coating.
This paper presents the characterization of laterite-cement-based matrix composites, reinforced with chemically modified bamboo fibers. Fiber extraction and chemical modification were first explored by soaking slabs of bamboos in NaOH solution (5 wt.% of NaOH in distilled water) for 14 days. Fiber characterization, as well as the flexural and compressive strength of reinforced composites, were carried out with MTS universal mechanical testing machine. Comparative results on the compressive and flexural strength were obtained at 80 wt.% laterite (L) to 20 wt.% cement (C) with fiber ratios from 5-25 wt%. The compressive strength of the composites varied from 7.2 MPa (at 5 wt.% bamboo fiber) to 17.67 MPa (at 25 wt% fiber blocks). The hardness of the composites was found to improve from 66.67-75.0 HD with bamboo fibers. Results were then discussed for possible structural applications such as enhancing low-cost building blocks for rural communities in Ghana.
Mild steel offers a variety of properties for various applications at lower costs giving the alloy a large application base in industry. However, the increasing complexity and severity of service environments has shifted the focus of many industries to structure modification techniques, like heat treatment, to improve material properties and performance. The focus of this paper was to therefore investigate the effect of heat treatment induced hardness on the sliding wear behaviour of mild steel. The results showed that resistance to dry sliding wear increased with increasing hardness of the mild steel samples. Both abrasive and adhesive wear mechanisms were observed to occur on the samples, however abrasive wear was predominant.
Measuring the elastic and plastic properties with nanoindentation is predicated on the indentation not fracturing the material. In this study, an unloading curve analysis is used to identify indentation-induced fracture in brittle molecular organic crystals to define conditions, where properties measurements are accurate, and for calculating the toughness. Single crystals of cyclotetramethylene tetranitramine (HMX) and idoxuridine were indented from 1 to 300 mN with indenter probes of varying acuity to identify fracture initiation loads. Idoxuridine displayed no fracture up to and at 100 mN, with fracture occurrence then seen at an increasing rate until every indentation made induced fracture at 300 mN. HMX displayed no fracture up to and at 4 mN, with fracture then occurring at an increasing rate until every sample fractured at 8 mN. The toughness of HMX and idoxuridine is ≈0.28 ≈ 0.4–0.5 MPa/m1/2, respectively.
An array of nano-scale protrusions, called the nipple array, is found on the body surface of various invertebrates, and this structure is believed to decrease light reflectance and water wettability on the surface in the terrestrial environment. However, its potential functions have not been well studied in aquatic environments. Clavelina spp. are colonial ascidians that have the nipple array on their integumentary matrix (i.e. tunic). We examined the physical properties on the surface of the tunic of C. cyclus and C. obesa, such as hardness, wettability and refractive indices, to evaluate the functional importance of this structure. The tunic cuticle of both species was covered with the nipple array, and the cuticle of C. cyclus was bent into folds forming parallel plications. The Clavelina tunic was very soft and had high bubble- and oil-repellency. The refractive-index deviation between the tunic and seawater was 0.07–0.095 for 589-nm light (D-line). Rigorous coupled wave analysis (RCWA) showed that the nipple array slightly reduced reflectance on the surface and the parallel plications reduced the reflectance still more. The nanoimprinted plates imitating the parallel plications have higher bubble repellency and lower reflectance than the flat plates. These findings support the functional importance of the plications as well as the nipple array.
A novel tetragonal B2CO structure (tP16-B2CO), formed by strong covalent sp2–sp3 B–C and B–O bonds, was predicted with aid of an unbiased structure searching method. With the energy lower than those of previously proposed candidates, except oI16-B2CO, tP16-B2CO was identified as the thermodynamic metastable phase for B2CO compound. The elastic matrix and phonon dispersion spectra declare that tP16-B2CO is mechanically and dynamically stable. The electronic band structure calculation at ambient pressure and a series of high pressure has manifested the indirect semiconducting and band gap increases first and then decreases with pressure increases. The calculation of mechanical properties such as hardness and stress–strain relations of tP16 structure revealed its common hard nature with high hardness of 23.19 GPa and anisotropy with the max stress along  is far higher than that along .
We apply the first-principles calculations to investigate the structure, mechanical, and thermodynamic properties of WB12 and TiB12 under high pressure (0–100 GPa). The calculated results show that WB12 and TiB12 are thermodynamically stable at the 0 GPa or high pressure. WB12 is more thermodynamically stable than TiB12. In particular, the calculated Vickers hardness of WB12 and TiB12 at the ground state is 29.9 GPa and 43.2 GPa, respectively, indicating that TiB12 is a potential superhard material. With increasing pressure, the calculated elastic modulus of WB12 and TiB12 increases gradually. The calculated electronic structure shows that the high Vickers hardness and elastic properties of WB12 and TiB12 derive from the 3D network B–B covalent bonds. In addition, the calculated Debye temperature at the ground state is 927 K for WB12 and 1339 K for TiB12, respectively. With increasing pressure, the calculated Debye temperature of WB12 and TiB12 increases gradually. Our work shows that TiB12 not only exhibits high hardness but also shows better thermodynamic properties in comparison with WB12.
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.
In this paper, the hardness and Young’s moduli along the diffusion paths in fcc Ni–X (X = Rh, Ta, W, Re, Os, and Ir) binary diffusion couples were measured by using the nanoindentation technique. Hardness increases gradually from the pure Ni to the fcc Ni–X alloys, except for the Ni–Os system. While the Young’ moduli in fcc Ni–X alloys scatter much larger and do not show noticeable variation with the addition of element X. After that, the CALPHAD models for description of the composition-dependent hardness and Young’s modulus were proposed, and an in-house code was developed. Based on the present experimental data, the CALPHAD-type descriptions for hardness and Young’s modulus in fcc Ni–X (X = Rh, Ta, W, Re, Os, and Ir) systems were obtained. The model-predicted hardness and Young’s moduli of composition dependence agree with the experimental data in general. It is anticipated that the presently obtained CALPHAD-type hardness and Young’s modulus descriptions, together with the previous thermodynamic and atomic mobility databases, can be used for the future alloy design of novel Ni-based superalloys.
The improvement of hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a key problem for transition-metal silicides. Although C40 TMSi2 disilicides are attracted candidates for ultrahigh-temperature applications, the HE mechanism of TMSi2 is unclear. Importantly, the role of hydrogen on the structural configuration, elastic modulus, and hardness of TMSi2 is entirely unknown. To reveal the HE, we study the role of hydrogen in TMSi2 (TM = Nb, Mo, and W) based on the first-principles calculations. Four H-doped sites are considered in detail. The calculated results show that hydrogen is favorable to occupy the octahedral interstitial site because the C40 TMSi2 layered structure is favorable to absorb hydrogen. H-doping results in lattice expansion of c-axis compared with the a-axis and b-axis. H-doping obviously reduces the elastic modulus and hardness of TMSi2 due to the interaction between hydrogen and TMSi2. In addition, H-doping changes the electronic properties of MoSi2 and WSi2.
The high precision offered by small-scale mechanical testing has allowed the relationships between mechanical behavior and specific microstructural features to be determined to an unprecedented degree. However, of most interest to scientists and engineers is often the behavior of materials under service conditions in an extreme environment, such as high/low temperatures, high strain rates, hydrogen atmosphere, or radiation. In this article, we detail progress made to adapt nanomechanical testing systems and techniques to observe materials behavior in situ in extreme environments.
Nanoindentation is commonly used to determine the mechanical properties of the engineering materials. Young’s modulus of a bulk material can be extracted from the load–depth data obtained from an indentation test with a prescribed Poisson’s ratio that is unknown for a new material. The effect of Poisson’s ratio on material’s mechanical property characterization remains unknown. In this paper, finite element analysis was used to simulate nanoindentation testing on specimens of low-carbon steel AISI1018, steel alloy AISI4340, and aluminum alloy 6061T6 with a cylindrical flat-tip indenter. The effects of Poisson’s ratio on measurements of indentation load versus depth curves, Young’s modulus, hardness, and pile-up of the specimens were investigated and formulated. The Poisson ratio ranging from 0 to 0.49 was considered. It was found that the linear part at the beginning of the indentation loading process from the load versus depth curve was proportional to the Young’s modulus and significantly affected by the Poisson’s ratio. The indentation pile-up was also sensitive to the Poisson’s ratio. Combining the formulas from this work with the Hertzian contact equation, the Young’s modulus and the Poisson’s ratio can be determined simultaneously.
The extrinsic indentation size effect (ISE) is utilized to analyze the depth-dependent hardness for Berkovich indentation of non-uniform dislocation distributions with one and two dimensional deformation gradients and is then extended to indentation results at grain boundaries. The role of the Berkovich pyramid orientation and placement relative to the grain boundary on extrinsic ISE is considered in terms of slip transmission at yield and plastic incompatibility during post-yield deformation. The results are interpreted using a local dislocation hardening mechanism originally proposed by Ashby, combined with the Hall–Petch equation. The Hall–Petch coefficient determined from the extrinsic ISE of the grain boundary is found to be consistent with the published values for pure Fe and mild steel. A simple, linear continuum strain gradient plasticity model is used to further analyze the results to include contributions from a non-uniform distribution in plastic strain and dislocation density.
The measured hardness of a metal crystal depends on a variety of length scales. Microstructural features, such as grain size and precipitate spacing, determine the intrinsic material length scale. Extrinsic (test) length scales, such as the indentation depth, lead to the indentation size effect (ISE), whereby it is typically found that smaller is stronger. Nix and Gao [J. Mech. Phys. Solids46, 411 (1998)] developed a widely used model for interpreting the ISE based on forest hardening in single crystalline pure metals. This work extends that model to consider the hardness of polycrystals and alloys, as well as introducing a finite limit to the hardness at very small extrinsic length scales. The resulting expressions are validated against data from the literature. It is shown that a reasonable estimate of the intrinsic material length scale can be extracted from a suite of hardness tests conducted across a range of indentation depths using spherical indenters of various radii.
A fracture analysis is developed for crack initiation sequences occurring during sharp indentation of brittle materials. Such indentations, generated by pyramidal or conical loading, generate elastic and plastic deformation. The analysis uses a nonlinear elements-in-series model to describe indentation load–displacement responses, onto which lateral, radial, cone, and median crack initiation points are located. The crack initiation points are determined by extension and application of a contact stress-field model coupled to the indentation load, originally developed by Yoffe, in combination with crack nuclei coupled to the indentation displacement to arrive at an explicit fracture model. Parameters in the analysis are adapted directly from experimental fracture and deformation measurements, and the analysis outputs are directly comparable to experimental observations. After adaptation, crack initiation loads and sequences during indentation loading and unloading of glasses and crystals are predicted by the model from material modulus, hardness, and toughness values to within about 25% of peak contact load. This work is dedicated to George M. Pharr IV on the occasion of his 65th birthday in recognition of his contributions to indentation mechanics.
Utilizing the experimental and modeling approaches, the Gamma radiation effects on stress responses of the silicon rubber foam under quasistatic compression are investigated. In the experimental work, the samples of the silicon rubber and the silicon rubber foams are quasistatically compressed before and after the Gamma radiation (a dose of 500 kGy and a dose rate of 100 Gy/min). The data reveal that the Gamma radiation obviously increases the material hardness, e.g., the compressive stresses of the silicon rubber and the silicon rubber foams both increase over 5 times as the strain is 20%. In the simulation work, a multiscale method combined with finite element method is developed to numerically predict the compressive stress of the silicon rubber foams. The microscale models are first constructed based on the real microstructures of the silicon rubber foams. The compressive stress and strain relation before and after the Gamma radiation is then simulated and obtained utilizing the phenomenological constitutive models based on the testing data of the silicon rubber. The simulation reveals that the Gamma radiation strongly affects the compressive response of the microscale models. The stress responses of the microscale models are then transferred into the macroscale models. The results also prove that the Gamma radiation obviously increases the hardness of the macroscale models. Data comparison shows that the numerical results agree with the testing data well, which verifies the developed method. The present work develops a new method to predict the radiation effects on mechanical properties of rubber foams.