2006 Volume 47 Issue 8 Pages 2006-2014
Indentation creep tests were performed on an Al-5.3 mol% Mg solid-solution alloy to examine whether mechanical properties can be extracted accurately from a testpiece, as small as a rice grain. A conical diamond indenter was pressed into a test surface with a constant load F at temperatures ranging from 0.60 to 0.65 Tm (Tm: the absolute liquidus temperature). When the representative flow stress \\barσm and the indentation strain rate \\dotεin in the underlying material decreases to each critical value, \\barσc and \\dotεc, as indentation creep proceeds, the stress exponent n for creep varies distinctively from 4.9 to 3.0. The measured \\barσc decreases with increasing temperature, while the corresponding indentation strain rate \\dotεc increases under the same condition. This temperature dependence is in close agreement with the results derived from the dislocation theory. The activation energy Q for creep in range M (n≅5, \\barσm>\\barσc or \\dotεin>\\dotεc) is approximately equivalent to that for the lattice diffusion of pure aluminum, and the Q value in range A (n≅3, \\barσm<\\barσc or \\dotεin<\\dotεc) is close to that for the mutual diffusion of this alloy. With load-jump tests, F was abruptly increased in the indentation creep test. In range M, instantaneous plastic deformation (IPD) takes place evidently even with a slight abrupt increase in load. On the other hand, the IPD does not occur in range A when load increment is within a certain value. However, the occurrence of IPD is observed under the condition of \\barσm>\\barσc or \\dotεin>\\dotεc. The findings suggest that the creep rate-controlling process changes from the recovery control (n≅5) to the glide control (n≅3) below \\barσc. It is thus demonstrated that the indentation testing technique can be effectively used to extract material parameters equivalent to those obtained from conventional uniaxial creep tests in the dislocation creep regime.