The evaluation of the elastic-plastic properties of a material by using an ultra-low load hardness test requires a geometrical calibration that must take into account the imperfect form of the diamond indenter. In the present work, the Vickers indenter offset of the microindentation equipment was estimated using differently heat-treated steel samples. To this end, the dimensions of the indentations have been evaluated by two different methods: optical measurement of the diagonals and direct measurement of the penetration depth during the test. The elastic-plastic properties are then calculated from the analysis of the penetration depth/indentation load curves. The Young's modulus values determined for the different high-speed steel samples were very similar and close to the literature value for steel if the appropriate corrections are performed. The hardness values decrease when the determination procedure includes the geometrical correction of the indenter offset, and still further when using the total correction obtained by means of optical measurements of the indenter diagonal. Variation of the hardness values with the applied load is much less when the corrections are carried out.
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