This paper develops a nonlinear finite element formulation to analyze nanoindentation using an atomistic approach, which is conducive to observing the deformation mechanisms associated with the nanoindentation cycle. The simulation results of the current modified finite element formulation indicate that the microscopic plastic deformations of the thin film are caused by instabilities of the crystalline structure, and that the commonly used procedure for estimating the contact area in nanoindentation testing is invalid when the indentation size falls in the nanometer regime.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering