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Orientation dependence of stress-induced martensite formation during nanoindentation in NiTi shape memory alloys
In the present work we used nanoindentation with a spherical indenter tip to study the formation of stress-induced martensite in NiTi shape memory alloys. Prior to nanoindentation, orientation imaging was performed to select austenite grains with specific crystallographic orientations, including the principal crystallographic directions ,  and . We studied a material where stress-induced martensite is stable at room temperature and found surface patterns with four-, two- and threefold symmetries for the ,  and  crystallographic indentation directions, respectively. Atomic force microscopy investigations of the topography showed that the surface patterns were associated with sink-ins. The crystallographic sink-in patterns disappeared during heating, which proved their martensitic origin. Our results provide clear experimental evidence which shows that the crystallographic anisotropy of nanoindentation is governed by the crystallographic anisotropy of the stress-induced formation of martensite.