Depth-sensing indentation response of ordered silica foam

Yvete Toivola, Andreas Stein, Robert F. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Depth-sensing indentation was applied to three-dimensionally ordered silica foams of two different pore diameters - 500 nm and 850 nm - formed by colloidal crystal templating. The contact responses of indentations with Berkovich and hemispherical indentation tips are presented over a load range of 1 mN to 100 mN. Scanning electron microscopy images of residual indentation impressions showed homogeneous deformation for small loads in which the peak displacement was shallow relative to the film-substrate interface. The characteristics of the load-displacement responses changed from periodic discontinuities, associated with cell wall fracture and pore collapse, to smooth and increased stiffness, as a result of densification due to the accumulation of material under the indentation tip and proximity (and contact) of the substrate. Load-displacement responses were translated into pressure-volume space, in which the average pressure during indentation is a measure of the crushing pressure of the cell walls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-271
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Hongwei Yan for film synthesis. This work was sponsored by the Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial and Materials Engineering (IPrime),


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