An experimental study of mechanics of wedge indentation of porous solids is carried out under plane-strain conditions. A comparison is made between the porous ductile copper and porous brittle gypsum to study the influence of matrix material on the indentation behavior. Image-based measurement techniques are used to capture the evolution of deformation zone and obtain quantitative velocity, strain and volume change fields at high resolution. The results show that despite widely-different characteristics of the matrix material, the overall deformation zone evolves in a manner that is largely similar across material systems. Porous copper exhibits a smoothly-varying radial compression-type plastic flow within the deformation zone, while localized flow features (compaction bands) are typical of gypsum. Implications of our observations on wedge indentation for modeling complex machining geometries such as cutting and drilling are briefly discussed.

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