The paper reexamines the extraction of material properties using nanoindentation for linearly elastic and elastic-plastic materials. The paper considers indentation performed using a rigid conical indenter, as follows. Linearly elastic solids: The reduction of nanoindentation test data of elastic solids is usually processed using Sneddon’s relation [1], which assumes a linearly elastic infinite half space and an infinitely sharp indenter tip. These assumptions are violated in practical indentation experiments. Since most of the research on the extraction of material properties relies heavily on numerical simulations, we used them to investigate the specimen dimensions required for it to qualify as an infinite body, and the indentation conditions for finite tip radius effect to be negligible. The outcome of this part is firstly, the definition of a “converged” 2D geometry so that additional magnification of the numerical model does not influence the load-displacement curve, and secondly, an explicit relationship between the measured load and displacement that takes into account the finite tip radius. Elastic-plastic solids: Here, the main data reduction technique was proposed by Pharr et al. [2], assuming elastic unloading of a plastic nanoindentation. We investigated the effects of finite tip radius in elastic-plastic indentations and found that the accuracy of the prediction is currently limited by the accurate determination of the projected contact area. This point will be discussed and a new experimental technique to measure the projected contact area will be proposed. The Poisson’s ratio effect in elastic-plastic indentations is found to be different from the linearly elastic case. This leads to the discussion on the applicability of the correction factor (for Poisson’s ratio effect) derived in linear elastic indentations, on elastic-plastic indentations. Finally, a technique to obtain an upper bound estimate of the yield stress for the indented elastic-plastic material (which is an exact estimation for non-hardening materials), will be presented.

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