Effect of Crystal Orientation on Nanoindentation Behavior in Magnesium

Hidetoshi Somekawa*, Christopher A. Schuh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The effect of crystal orientation on nanoindentation behavior at both quasi-static and high strain rates was investigated using single-crystalline magnesium oriented in basal and prismatic configurations. Both the basal and prismatic planes had similar activation volumes, 55 and 73b3 for deformation at room temperature, as well as a small temperature dependence up to 423 K (150 °C). Microstructural observations beneath the indentations revealed that {10 1 ¯ 2 } type deformation twins were formed in both orientations irrespective of testing temperature. With twins forming beneath the indenter and multiple orientations of loading, it is believed that cross-slip and/or multiple slip are likely rate-controlling for global deformation, which also aligns with observations on nanoindentation of polycrystalline coarse-grained magnesium. The locations of the twins were consistent with expectations based on indentation mechanics as assessed by finite element simulations. The finite element simulations also predicted that an indenter tip with a shaper tip radius would tend to promote {10 1 ¯ 2 } twins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3227-3234
Number of pages8
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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