Many engineering materials are frequently tested using standard uniaxial tension or compression methods. Material models are frequently derived from this uniaxial test data; however, real engineering structures seldom experience simple uniaxial states of stress. It is therefore important to perform tests beyond the standard uniaxial tension/compression tests to capture fully a material’s response. Indentation testing is one such test, as it produces a complex state of stress in the specimen.
The indentation test, shown in the image below, is designed to characterize a material’s behavior under complex loading. The test is performed by pressing a stiff steel sphere into a softer test specimen. Applied load and displacement are measured during the test, while the residual impression can be measured after the test has been completed. The results from this test are typically used to validate a material model developed solely with uniaxial data and to determine the dent resistance of a material.
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