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Micro-compression testing: A critical discussion of experimental constraints

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Kiener, D., Motz, C., & Dehm, G. (2009). Micro-compression testing: A critical discussion of experimental constraints. Materials Science and Engineering A: Structural Materials Properties Microstructure and Processing, 505(1-2), 79-87. doi:10.1016/j.msea.2009.01.005.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-54A1-B
Micro-compression testing is a promising technique for determining mechanical properties at small length scales since it has several benefits over nanoindentation. However, as for all newtechniques, experimental constraints influencing the results of such a micro-mechanical test must be considered. Here we investigate constraints imposed by the sample geometry, the pile-up of dislocations at the sample top and base, and the lateral stiffness of the testing setup. Using a focused ion beam milling setup, single crystal Cu specimens with different geometries and crystal orientationswere fabricated. Tapered samples served to investigate the influence of strain gradients, while stiff sample top coatings and undeformable substrates depict the influence of dislocation pile-ups at these interfaces. The lateral system stiffness was reduced by placing specimens on top of needles. Samples were loaded using an in situ indenter in a scanning electron microscope in load controlled or displacement controlled mode. The observed differences in the mechanical response with respect to the experimental imposed constraints are discussed and lead to the conclusion that controlling the lateral system stiffness is the most important point.