Finite element analysis study on effect of indenter tip radius to nanoindentation behavior and coatings properties


  • Nurot Panich Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University
  • Panyawat Wangyao Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University
  • Surasak Surinphong NanoShield Co., Ltd., Samutprakarn
  • Yong Kwang Tan School of Materials Science & Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
  • Yong Sun School of Engineering & Technology, De Montfort University


Finite element analysis, Nanoindentation, surface coating


This paper mainly focuses on the study of factors that affect the nanoindentation process and the determination of mechanical properties of coating film using computational finite element (FE) analysis. Attempts have been made in order to show the effect of indenter tip radius on the nanoindentation process of both hard and soft coating systems. It has been proved that larger load is required to reach a specific penetration depth when the indenter tip radius increases. Besides, the change in tip radius led to a more severe effect on hard coating system compared to soft coating system. Furthermore, pile- up and sink-in phenomena of the materials have also been proved. They affect the measurement of mechanical properties of coatings/films. The developed nanoindentation FE models were able to simulate the indentation loading-unloading curves of the coating/substrate system. It also can be found that an extraction of intrinsic properties of the thin super-hard coating film, titanium diboride or TiB2, was achieved. If the load-displacement curves of the simulation and experimental results can match with each other well, then the properties used in the simulation should be the actual properties of the coatings. The critical ratio of coating thickness to indentation depth for the property measurement was also presented. Hence, in order to get accurate measurements of properties of the film, it is necessary to know the limitation in which the penetration depth can be indented for the coating/substrate systems.


Download data is not yet available.


Hay, J. L. and Pharr, G.M. 2000. ASM Handbook Volume 8 : Mechanical Testing and Evaluation, 10th ed., Materials Park, OH : ASM International : 232–243.

Pharr, G. M. and Oliver, W. C. 1992. Measurement of thin film mechanical properties using nanoindentation. MRS Bulletin. 7 : 28-33.

Hertz, H. 1882. Über die Berührung fester elastischer Körper (On the contact elastic solids). J. Reine und Angewandte Mathematik. 92 : 156-171.

Boussinesq, J. 1885. Applications des Potentiels a l’étude de équilibre et du movement des solides élastiques. Paris : Gautheir-Villars.

Tabor, D. 1948. A simple theory of static and dynamic hardness. In: Proceeding of the Royal Society, London. A192 : 247-274.

Sneddon, I. N. 1965. The relation between load and penetration in the axisymmetric Boussinesq problem for a punch of arbitrary profile. Int. J. Eng. Sci. 3 : 47.

Oliver, W.C., Hutchings, R. and Pathica, J. B. 1986. ASTM STP 889. Blau, P. J. and Lawn, B. R. (ed.). Philadelphia, PA : American Society of Testing and Materials.

Doerner, M. F. and Nix, W. D. 1986. A method for interpreting the data from depthsensing indentation instruments. J. Mater. Res. 1 : 601-616.

Joslin, D.L. and Oliver, W.C. 1990. A new method for analyzing data from continuous depth-sensing microindentation tests. J. Mater. Res. 5 : 123-126.

Oliver, W. C. and Pharr, G. M. 1992. An improved technique for determining hardness and elastic modulus using load and displacement sensing indentation experiments. J. Mater. Res. 7 : 1564-1583.

Woirgard, J. and Dargenton, J. C. 1997. An alternative method for penetration depth determination in nanoindentation measurements. J. Mater. Res. 12 : 2455- 2458.

Wang, W. and Lu, K. 2002. Nanoindentation measurement of hardness and modulus anisotropy in Ni3Al single crystals. J. Mater. Res. 17 : 2314-2320.

Fujisawa, N., Swain, M.V., James, N. L., Tarrant, R. N., Woodard, J. C., McKenzie, D. R. 2002. Nanoindentation studies of brittle thin films on a titanium alloy substrate. J. Mater. Res. 17 : 861-870.

Sun, Y., Bell, T and Zheng, S. 1995. Finite element analysis of the critical ratio of coating thickness to indentation depth for coating property measurement by nanoindentation. Thin Solid Films. 258 : 198-204.

Panich, N. and Sun, Y. 2004. Effect of penetration depth on indentation response of soft coatings on hard substrates: A finite element analysis. Surf. Coat. Technol. 182 : 342-350.

User’s Manual, 1998. Hibbits, Karlsson and Sorensen, Inc., ABAQUS Version 6.3.




How to Cite

N. Panich, P. Wangyao, S. Surinphong, Y. K. . Tan, and Y. . Sun, “Finite element analysis study on effect of indenter tip radius to nanoindentation behavior and coatings properties”, J Met Mater Miner, vol. 17, no. 2, Apr. 2017.



Original Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)

<< < 1 2 3 4 > >>