This study investigates spherical indentation of plastically graded materials (PGMs). The hardness of these materials decreases with depth due to microstructural or compositional changes. To predict the behavior of PGM, the knowledge of the plastic properties of the surface and the substrate is necessary. In this work, the spherical indentation technique is applied on carbonitrided steels to obtain their mechanical properties. First, spherical indentation was applied to characterize homogenous materials using inverse analysis. The comparison with tensile test’s results shows that the inverse analysis using spherical indentation data is a reliable method to determine the plastic properties of homogeneous materials. In the second part spherical indentation was used to characterize carbonitrided steels using inverse analysis to obtain plastic properties of the surface. The results show that spherical indentation using inverse analysis has a real potential for evaluating mechanical properties of PGM.
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Moussa, C., Bartier, O., Mauvoisin, G. et al. Characterization of homogenous and plastically graded materials with spherical indentation and inverse analysis. Journal of Materials Research 27, 20–27 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2011.303