On the determination of residual stress and mechanical properties by indentation


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

184 Citations (Scopus)


Residual stresses are of practical importance in bulk materials and coatings, which critically affects their mechanical integrity and reliability. Comparing with traditional techniques, the depth-sensing indentation technique provides a quick and effective method of measuring the residual stress field. In this study, we have used the finite element method to investigate the effect of in-plane residual stress on hardness and stiffness measurements of a bulk material/thick coating. It is found that the contact hardness, stiffness, and indentation work are sensitive to the residual stress, in particular for materials with a relatively high yield strain. Based on the reverse analysis, a new technique is proposed for measuring the yield strength, Young's modulus, and in-plane residual stress in bulk material and thick coatings through one simple indentation test. The effectiveness of this method is demonstrated through numerical examples. The effect of residual stress on indentation stress, plastic zone, and surface profile are also investigated. It is found that when the indentation is dominated by elastic deformation, the large recovery makes the surface profile measured after unloading an unreliable parameter in characterizing the properties. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
Issue number1-2
Early online date28 Nov 2005
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The work of XC is supported in part by NSF CMS-0407743, and in part by the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Columbia University. The work of JY and AMK is supported by NSF DMR-0346664 and ONR N00014-04-1-0498.


  • Finite element analysis
  • Indentation
  • Residual stress


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