Influence of dislocation density on the pop-in behavior and indentation size effect in CaF2 single crystals: Experiments and molecular dynamics simulations

MA Lodes and A Hartmaier and M Goken and K Durst, ACTA MATERIALIA, 59, 4264-4273 (2011).

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2011.03.050

In this work, the indentation size effect and pop-in behavior are studied for indentations in undeformed and locally pre-deformed CaF2 single crystals, using both nanoindentation experiments and molecular dynamics simulations. To study the influence of dislocation density on the indentation behavior, small-scale indentations are carried out inside the plastic zone of larger indentations. This experiment is mimicked in the simulations by indenting a small sphere into the center of the residual impression of a larger sphere. The undeformed material shows the well-known pop-in behavior followed by the indentation size effect. Pre-deforming the material leads to a reduction in the indentation size effect both for experiments and simulations, which is in accordance with the Nix-Gao theory. Furthermore, the pop-in load is reduced in the experiments, whereas a smooth transition from elastic to plastic deformation is found in the simulations. There, plasticity is initiated by the movement of pre-existing dislocation loops in the vicinity of the plastic zone. The simulations thus give a detailed insight into the deformation mechanism during indentation and highlight the importance of the dislocation microstructure for the indentation size effect and dislocation nucleation. (C) 2011 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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