Relevance of instrumented nano-indentation for the assessment of the mechanical properties of eutectic crystals and α-Al grain in cast aluminum alloys

Mitsuhiro Okayasu, Satoshi Takasu, Mamoru Mizuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


To better understand the material properties of cast aluminum alloys, the mechanical properties of microscopic structures (the eutectic structure and the α-Al phase) have been systematically examined using a special nano-indentation hardness test machine. In this approach, a triangular indentation is applied directly to the eutectic structure or α-Al phase, and the mechanical properties evaluated through hardness and load-strain relationships. The hardness of the eutectic phase varied, depending on the structural characteristics of the different intermetallic compounds. High values of hardness were obtained structures of the DO 3 type, e.g., Al 5FeSi, but low hardness for CuAl 2 and Mg 2Si. The hardness of CuAl 2 and Mg 2Si had almost the same values as that of the α-Al matrix. In addition, from the nano-indentation hardness test, the effects of α-Al grain characteristics on the mechanical properties were clarified. The hardness of the α-Al grain was linearly related to the grain size and the distance from the grain boundary, where the higher the hardness, the smaller the grain size and the closer to the grain boundary. The hardness level was attributed to the different severity of slip resistance of the atoms during the indentation loading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-250
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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