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Examination of deformation in magnesium using instrumented spherical indentation Nayyeri, Ghazal

Abstract

This investigation examines the use of instrumented indentation to extract information on the deformation behaviour of commercial purity magnesium, AZ31B (Mg-2.5Al-0.7Zn), and AZ80 (Mg-8Al-0.5Zn). In particular, indentation was conducted with spherical indenter using a range of spherical indenter tip radii of R = 1 µm to 250.0 µm. A detailed examination has been conducted for the load-displacement data combined with three-dimensional electron backscatter diffraction (3D EBSD) characterization of the deformation zone under the indenter after the load has been removed. It was proposed that the initial deviation of the load-depth data from the elastic solution of Hertz is associated with the point when the critical resolved shear stress (CRSS) for basal slip is reached. Also, it was observed that reproducible large discontinuities could be found in the loading and the unloading curves. It is proposed that these discontinuities are related to the nucleation and growth of {101̅2} extension twins during loading and their subsequent retreat during unloading. For the case of c-axis indentation, 3D EBSD studies showed that the presence of residual deformation twins depended on the depth of the indent. Further, a detailed analysis of the residual geometrically necessary dislocation populations in the deformation zone was conducted based on the EBSD data. It was found that residual basal dislocations were dominant in the deformation zone. This was consistent with crystal plasticity finite element method calculations where only basal slip was allowed albeit with some differences that can be rationalized by the presence of {101̅2} extension twins in the experiments. Using different spherical diamond tips, it was concluded that the quantitative values for the RSS0.1% offset for basal slip of magnesium obtained from the indentation test is indentation size dependent and it increases linearly with the inverse square root of the misorientation gradient under the indent. Finally, effects of chemistry on the CRSS for basal slip was also successfully measured by conducting the indentation tests on AZ31B and AZ80 alloys. It was shown that the CRSS of basal slip increases linearly with c¹′², where c is the concentration of Al.

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