Occurrence of plastic instabilities in dynamic microhardness testing

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Plastic instabilities were observed to appear during dynamic ultramicrohardness testing of a solid solution Al-3.3 wt.% Mg alloy. The tests were carried out at room temperature with a Vickers hardness indenter in a computer-controlled dynamic ultramicrohardness testing machine. During the tests the applied load was increased from 0 to 2000 mN at constant loading rate. The instabilities appear as characteristic steps in the continuously recorded load-indentation depth curves. The physical basis for the occurrence of the instabilities is the interaction between moving dislocations and solute atoms, a phenomenon termed in the literature as serrated yielding, jerky flow, or Portevin-Le Châtelier effect. The instabilities start at a critical load, Fc, in the depth-load curve. Varying the loading rate, μ, by two orders of magnitude Fc. was found to increase linearly with the loading rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1411-1413
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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