SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

Use of Automated Ball Indentation Testing to Measure Flow Properties and Estimate Fracture Toughness in Metallic Materials


A field indentation microprobe (FIM) apparatus was developed (and patented) to evaluate, nondestructively in situ, the integrity of metallic structures. This study investigated the applicability of using a new automated ball indentation (ABI) test, which is a major part of the FIM, to measure the flow properties of metallic materials including those exhibiting Lüders or inhomogeneous strains (carbon steels, titanium alloys, aluminum alloys, etc.) and to estimate their fracture toughness. The ABI test is based on multiple indentations (at the same penetration location) of a polished metallic surface by a spherical indenter. Automation of the test, where a computer and test controller were used in innovative ways to control the test as well as to analyze test data, made it simple, rapid, accurate, economical, and reproducible. Results of ABI tests on different base metals, welds, and irradiated materials are presented and discussed in this paper. Excellent agreement was obtained between ABI-derived data and those from standard ASTM uniaxial tension and fracture toughness tests.

Author Information

Haggag, FM
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
Nanstad, RK
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
Hutton, JT
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
Thomas, DL
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
Swain, RL
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
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Developed by Committee: E08
Pages: 188–208
DOI: 10.1520/STP25039S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5149-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1401-2