Insight into indentation-induced plastic flow in austenitic stainless steel

Xia, W. and Dehm, G. and Brinckmann, S.

Volume: 55 Pages: 9095-9108
DOI: 10.1007/s10853-020-04646-y
Published: 2020

The indentation-induced plasticity and roughness have been investigated intensively by experiments and simulations during the last decades. However, the precise mechanisms of how dislocation flow leads to pile-up formation are still not completely understood, although this is one of the initial steps causing surface roughening in tribological contacts at low loads. In this work, { 001 } -, { 101 } - and { 111 } -grain orientations in an austenite stainless steel [(face-centered cubic (FCC) phase]) are indented with varying load forces. By using scanning electron-based methods and slip plane analysis, we reveal: (1) how slip-steps show the change of pile-up formation, (2) how the slip-plane inclination determines the dislocation flow and (3) how slip-plane interactions result in the final pile-up shape during indentation. We find that the flow direction transforms from the forward flow to the sideway at a transition angle of 55 ∘- 58 ∘ between the slip-plane and the surface. We use large displacement finite element method simulations to validate an inversion of the resolved shear stress at this transition angle. We provide insights into the evolution of plasticity in dislocation-mediated FCC metal indentations, with the potential application of this information for indentation simulations and for understanding the initial stage of scratching during tribology in the future. © 2020, The Author(s).

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