Orientation-dependent hardness and nanoindentation-induced deformation mechanisms of WC crystals

Tamás Csanádi, Marek Bl'Anda, Nguyen Q. Chinh, Pavol Hvizdoš, Ján Dusza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)


The orientation dependence of hardness and nanoindentation-induced deformation mechanisms of differently orientated tungsten carbide (WC) grains in WC-Co hardmetal were studied. Electron backscatter diffraction, atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy investigations were performed to determine the grain orientation, and to study the surface morphology and the resulting deformation fields around the indents. The hardness of the differently orientated WC grains showed significant angle dependence from the basal towards the prismatic directions, but there was only a slight change in hardness between the two types of prismatic orientations ((101¯0) and (21¯1¯0)). Sink-in and pile-up effects, together with highly deformed regions and dislocation steps, were revealed around the imprints in the case of basal and prismatic orientations, respectively. A theoretical model is proposed in which the critical force for slip activation is determined as a function of orientation, based on the possible slip systems of WC. The predictions of the present model concerning the measured hardness values and the deformation field around the indents together with the sink-in effect are in good agreement with the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-407
Number of pages11
JournalActa Materialia
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2015


  • EBSD
  • Hardness
  • Nanoindentation
  • Orientation dependence
  • WC grain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys

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