Measurement of residual stress by load and depth sensing indentation with spherical indenters

J.G. Swadener, B. Taljat, G.M. Pharr

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A new experimental technique is presented for making measurements of biaxial residual stress using load and depth sensing indentation (nanoindentation). The technique is based on spherical indentation, which, in certain deformation regimes, can be much more sensitive to residual stress than indentation with sharp pyramidal indenters like the Berkovich. Two different methods of analysis were developed: one requiring an independent measure of the material's yield strength and the other a reference specimen in the unstressed state or other known reference condition. Experiments conducted on aluminum alloys to which controlled biaxial bending stresses were applied showed that the methods are capable of measuring the residual stress to within 10-20% of the specimen yield stress. Because the methods do not require imaging of the hardness impressions, they are potentially useful for making localized measurements of residual stress, as in thin films or small volumes, or for characterization of point-to-point spatial variations of the surface stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2091-2102
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2001


  • aluminum alloys
  • Deformation
  • hardness testing
  • indentation
  • loads (forces)
  • Depth sensing indentation
  • residual stresses


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