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Crystal plasticity finite-element analysis versus experimental results of pyramidal indentation into (001) fcc single crystal
Pyramidal microindentation into the (001) surface of an face-centered cubic (fcc) single crystal made of a Ni-base superalloy is analyzed in experiment and crystal plasticity finite-element simulations. The resultant material pile-up at the surface reflects the material's symmetry and turns out to be insensitive to different loading scenarios as induced by (i) different azimuthal orientations of the pyramidal indenter, (ii) different indenter shapes (sphere or pyramid) and (iii) the elastic anisotropy. Experiments and simulations are in agreement and suggest that pile-up deformation patterns merely depend on the geometry of discrete slip systems but are invariant to different anisotropic stress distributions as induced by (i) (iii). The local adaption of pile-up to the pyramidal indenter leads to convex or concave indent shapes corresponding to the indenter orientation. We contrast the present findings for curved indent shapes of fcc single crystals to similar, well-known observations for quasi-isotropic polycrystals. Although phenomenologically similar in kind, the driving mechanisms are different: for the single crystal it is the discrete and anisotropic nature of plastic glide in certain slip systems; for isotropic polycrystals it is the rate of strain-hardening caused by the cumulative response of dislocations.