On the intrinsic hardness of a metallic film/substrate system: Indentation size and substrate effects
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NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Plasticity. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Plasticity, Vol. 34, July 2012. doi:10.1016/j.ijplas.2012.01.001
To examine effects of indentation size and substrate on the hardness determination of thin films, two typical types of hard film/soft substrate (Ni/Fe) and soft film/hard substrate (Al/Si and Al/glass) systems are investigated. A simple model is proposed to predict the intrinsic hardness of thin films, which allows a more accurate fitting to empirical data and the estimation of ultimate film hardness. The model can be used to interpret indentation data and extrapolate the indentation depth-hardness curve to an important region where indentation depth lies between 1% to 5 times of film thickness. The results are well consistent with the evolving trend of composite hardness obtained from experiments and numerical results by finite element analysis.
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