Open Access
Article Number 06027
Number of page(s) 7
Section Applied Research and Applications: Testing and Modelling
Published online 01 September 2009
ESOMAT 2009, 06027 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/esomat/200906027

TEM investigation of the microstructural evolution during nanoindentation of NiTi

J. Pfetzing, M.F.-X. Wagner, T. Simon, A. Schaefer, Ch. Somsen and G. Eggeler

Ruhr-University Bochum, Institute for Materials, 44780 Bochum, Germany

Published online: 1 September 2009

The continuous measurement of loads and displacements during nanoindentation of shape memory alloys allows a detailed investigation of pseudoelasticity on the nano-scale. However, the resulting load-displacement data simultaneously reflect several elastic and inelastic deformation processes (i.e., stress-induced martensitic transformation, plastic deformation). In the present study, we perform microstructural investigations in order to analyze the complex interactions between these mechanisms in a Ni-rich alloy. The microstructures below indents from experiments with different maximum indentation loads are characterized post-mortem by transmission electron microscopy. For small maximum indentation loads, load-displacement data exhibit considerable pseudoelastic recovery, whereas higher indentation loads are associated with a more pronounced residual deformation after unloading. These differences are clearly related to microstructural changes below the indenter tip: While both stressinduced martensitic transformation and dislocation slip occur in general, higher maximum loads are associated with an increase in plastic deformation. The corresponding higher dislocation densities impede the reverse transformation to austenite. Stabilized martensite can be observed directly below the surface for high indentation loads. Our results show that nanoindentation of NiTi allows a systematic analysis of the interaction of plastic deformation and stress induced transformation into martensite.

© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences 2009