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The mechanisms involved when an indentation is made in the surface of a metal by a blunt indenter have received a good deal of attention, but little of this work has appeared in publications that might easily come to the attention of those who actually carry out hardness tests. Even less of the work has been analyzed for its implications in practical hardness testing. The main models of indentation which have been proposed to date are reviewed, with particular attention to the one that most closely relates to the realities of hardness testing. This model, developed by Mulhearn, proposes that indentation occurs by radial compression, the formation of the indentation being likened to the expansion of a hemispherical cavity. The implications of this model to indentation hardness testing, and specifically to microindentation testing, are considered. This involves consideration of the current status of views on the effects of indentation size on the apparent hardness number.
microindentation hardness testing, indentation, indentation hardness test, microhardness test, mechanical properties, compression, models
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