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Object-Oriented Finite Element Analysis to Simulate Microindentation of Thermal Sprayed MAX-phase coatings
Janna Jiang, Ph. D student
Dept. of Engineering Science University West, Trollhättan / Sweden firstname.lastname@example.org
Per Nylén, associate professor
Dep. of Engineering Science University West/Volvo Aero Corporation, Trollhättan / Sweden email@example.com
Abstract—Object-Oriented Finite element analysis (OOF) has recently been shown as an effective tool for evaluating thermomechanical material behaviour, because of its capability to incorporate the inherent material microstructure as an input to the model. The complexity of a thermal sprayed microstructure makes it difficult to model and simulate by classical analytical or numerical techniques and thus very appropriate for this approach. In this paper instrumented micro-indentation and meshing in the OOF program was combined with a nonlinear finite element analysis to determine elastic-plastic properties of thermal sprayed Ti2AlC coatings, the significance of the findings is discussed in this article. Keywords-OOF; indentation; simulation; homogeneity; nonlinear analysis; MAX-phase FEM; in-
thermo-mechanical material behaviour. It has a major advantage over classical numerical modelling techniques, since it is a microstructure-based technique. The major drawback with this technique is that it is limited to elasticity and thermal conductivity calculations. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a methodology based on the combination of OOF and a nonlinear finite element analysis to simulate a microindentation test of thermal sprayed Ti2AlC. Such a model makes it possible to study the relationship between microstructure features, such as size, shape and volume fraction of pore inclusions, on nonlinear material behaviour. It is also possible to use the model to evaluate the macroscopic nonlinear mechanical behaviour, taking individual constitutive phases into account in the analysis. II. A. Experimental
Microstructures of thermally sprayed coatings are complex ensembles of pores, cracks and different material phases. Few researchers have therefore made an attempt to simulate the correlation between a thermal spray microstructure and mechanical properties of these coatings . Instead, expensive and mainly destructive tests are commonly used to establish such relationships . The Mn+1AXn phase family  of materials are challenging candidates when such a simulation is to be performed. Ti2AlC is a member of the Mn+1AXn –phase family  which consists of ternary compounds where M corresponds to an early transition metal (M), such as Ti or V, combined with a p-element from group III-X to IIII-X (A group) and C and/or N (X). The phases have a layered structure in which the A element forms hexagonal nets separated by MX slabs. This nanolaminated atomic arrangement gives rise to a unique set of properties . Mn+1AXn phase coatings have recently been successfully fabricated by thermal spraying . These coatings become significantly heterogeneous and anisotropic. Optical microscope and SEM studies have revealed the presence of porosity i.e. pores and cracks in these coatings  . These defects, which are formed during solidification, have a random alignment and random distribution thus making the coating significantly inhomogeneous. Object-Oriented Finite element analysis (OOF) has recently been shown as an effective tool for evaluating
978-0-7695-3562-3/09 $25.00 © 2009 IEEE DOI 10.1109/ICCMS.2009.77 337
Sample fabrication The Ti2AlC powder MAXTHAL 211®, provided by Kanthal AB Sweden, was selected for the investigation. The powder was sprayed by High-Velocity-Oxy-Fuel (HVOF) spraying . A total coating thickness of 130µm was sprayed on a Hastelloy X substrate. X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopic (EDS) and optical microscope studies   revealed the presence of oxides, specifically Al2O3 in the coatings . However, the volume fraction of the Al2O3 is too low to take any consideration in the present study. Indentation tests Microindentation was performed with an instrumented indenter Micro test, by Micro Materials Limited, Wrexham, UK. The experiment was displacementcontrolled with an indentation velocity of 3.8μm/s. When the maximum available depth was reached, the indenter was held for 15 seconds, and then moved back with the same speed. A total of fifteen indentations were made for each sample. A Berkovich shaped indenter with a maximum load of 5N was used, see Figure 1. The effected material volume during the indentation test is dependent on the depth (h), as shown in Figure 1. The maximum indentation depth was approximately 6µm, length (a) was 45µm and the corresponding volume thus determined to 10875 µm3 (V), Figure 1. B.
an elastic finite element calculation can be performed. The substrate was not included in the FEA model. The microstructure image was determined with an optical microscope. a = 2 3h tan 65. The OOF model was created from an image of a microstructure cross-section. the mesh created in OOF had to be exported to another finite element program. (MSc Software) was here 338 . Cross section of HVOF sprayed MAX-phase coating (500x mag. consisting of 1024*768 pixels. (a) Schematic illustration of Berkovich micro-indentation on a thermal sprayed coating. Since this specific problem is nonlinear. A typical cross-section is shown in Figure 2. The last step considers development of a nonlinear elastic-plastic simulation model of micro-indentation in the finite element software MSc Marc. In the first step a digital microstructure cross section is made. The Model The methodology to create such a model is based on three independent steps. The digital image of the cross-section. This last model is utilised to study the effect of inhomogenity on the relationship between indentation load and displacement. Indentation model In OOF. The dark areas in Figure 2 represent pores and microcracks. OOF is a public domain program that is accessible via the internet .3° V= 12 (b) Figure 1. was imported into the program OOF. In the second step this image is imported into the object-oriented finite-element analysis program OOF and a mesh constructed. The OOF Model Displacement Substrate (a) a3 2 . III.) with 1024*768 pixels image of coating micro-structure. MSc Marc. while the light areas correspond to the MAX-phase material. Polished sections were therefore prepared for microscopy analysis.Force Berkovichindenter Coating A. Figure 2. (b) Schematic of the Berkovich indenter. B. The solid line area of 60*60µm corresponds to the OOF mesh which were chosen for the simulations. an object oriented finite element program. Two examples of the approach are provided: one simulation with the volume fraction of 1% porosity and another with 3% porosity. developed at the Centre for Computational and Theoretical Material Science (CTCMS) at NIST.
are shown in Figure 4. Poisson’s ratios of the coating materials were set to 0. and (3) contact between the indenter and the sample produces nonlinear boundary conditions. the solution was determined in discrete time steps. Table 1 shows the fifteen E-moduli calculated from the indentation experiments. This angle was chosen since it gives the same areato-depth ratio as the pyramid shaped indenter. a nonlinear analysis. along the horizontal bottom line of the sample. The two-dimensional meshes created in OOF were written in Abaqus format. Y X using four-node’s axisymmetric elements. The black regions represent the volume fraction of 3% porosity. The model of the indentation test was thereafter created in MSc Marc. The sample was assumed to be axisymmetric. The Ramberg-Osgood model was chosen here. The indenter is moving downwards by 6µm. why the following procedure had to be chosen. the displacements in the vertical direction (ux=0) were set to zero. Since the three sided pyramid indenter is not axisymmetric. The near-contact region is enlarged. Figure 3 Then. An updated Lagrangian formulation was used to handle the potentially large strains. C. E-modulus is in this theory calculated from the unloading part of the indentation curve. The necessary parameters for this model. There is however no direct way to export meshes from OOF to MSc Marc. (2) material properties are nonlinear due to plasticity. The two curves coincide in the beginning but deviate at the high force part of the curve. nodes were constrained to move along the axis of symmetry. The nonlinear problem is caused by three different effects: (1) large strains under the indenter necessitate frequent updates to all nodes in the mesh. had been determined in an earlier investigation  to be n=0. The results showed a standard . Experimental results Two experimental load-displacement indentation curves. IV.3º. The projected area of contact was used instead of the actual real area. The indenter was treated as a rigid body and the sample was modelled as elastic-plastic material 339 The Oliver-Pharr theory  assumes that the initial part of the unloading is purely elastic. Figure 3. Results and discussion Indenter A. as previously stated. Material models As early stated an elastic-plastic material model was chosen for the Max-phase material.6 and K=20GPa. along the axis of symmetry. The coatings were assumed to obey von Mises’ yield criterion with isotropic hardening. (uy=0). In the simulation. the pyramid was substituted by an axisymmetric cone with a semi-angle of 70. The axisymmetric finite element mesh. ε = εe + ε p = σ ⎛σ ⎞ +⎜ ⎟ E ⎝K⎠ 1/ n (1) The properties of the pores and microcracks were assumed to be same as air. see Equation (1). corresponding to maximum and minimum values of determined E-modulus in Table 1. FEA simulations of indentation experiments require. 5000 Force [mN] 2500 Indent 8 Indent 4 0 0 3500 Displacement [nm] 7000 Figure 4. This file was exported to Hypermesh where it was translated to a Nastran form since Nastran meshes can be handled in MSc Marc. The boundary conditions were specified in the following way: First.2. Modelled coating thickness was 60 µm.selected. since it has been shown to give more accurate results. Experimental results from indentation tests corresponding to maximum and minimum values of the E-modulus. which might be due to either micro-cracks progressively building under the indenter when the load increases or to inhomogenity of the coating.
e. A typical result of such an analysis is shown in Figure 6. If such an analysis would have been performed based on the OOF mesh. Such a model improvement is planned in future work. 1 106 6 111 11 97 2 107 7 91 12 97 3 99 8 119 13 95 4 84 9 98 14 89 5 92 10 97 15 98 Ramberg-Osgood model were determined through inverse analysis. Stress concentrations at the indenter tip can clearly be seen. E-modulus calculated for MAX-phase coating from Berkovich indentation tests. Since the analysis conducted here was a nonlinear plastic analysis. Local stress releases are shown round pores. microcracks initiation and propagation during loading.e. i. The OOF simulated load-displacement curve and the experimental one coincide in the beginning i. and compared with the experimental results. An overall reflection of the results in Figure 5 might be that the OOF approach. Experimental and predicted load-displacement curves for three cases: firstly simulation with a homogeneous mesh. Such an approach would also allow prediction of fatigue and fracture properties for specific microstructures of the coatings. a better fit in at higher forces might have been accomplished. why such a comparison is not relevant. does not increase the predictability. secondly simulation with a mesh that includes 1% and 3% porosity. A good agreement between the experimental curve and corresponding predicted curves can be seen. K in the 340 The simulation results indicate the feasibility of the approach. The combination of object-oriented finite element program (OOF) and a nonlinear finite element program seems therefore as an . but deviate at higher forces. consideration of the microstructure in the analysis.e. The maximum displacement is 6µm.deviation of +-14GPa. Simulation results Example of simulation results are shown in Figure 5. 5000 Figure 6a) Experiment OOF 1% pores Force [mN] OOF 3% pores 2500 Simulate Figure 6b. Stress distribution is more homogeneous for the mesh with only 1% porosity compared to the one with 3% porosity. By the OOF approach a more detailed analysis can be accomplished such as to include effects of the microstructure defects i. based on the homogeneous microstructure approach. The dotted line corresponds to a simulated load-displacement relationship utilising a homogeneous mesh in an earlier study . at the low forces. Indent E [GPa] Indent E [GPa] Indent E [GPa] B. The average E-modulus was approximately 100GPa. Significant stress concentrations are shown at the tip of the indenter and stress releases round pores. Simulated von Mises stress distribution under the indenter when displacement is 6µm. TABLE 1. and how the subsequent evolution of plastic strain affect the microstructure and properties of the coating could be studied. Figure 6a corresponds to 1% porosity and 6b to 3% porosity. 0 0 3000 6000 Displacement[nm] Figure 5. It should however be remembered that parameters n. The two simulation curves derived in this study corresponds to 1% and 3% volume fraction of porosity the latter shows lowest reaction force at 6µm indentation among all curves. the effect of pore inclusions on microplasticity.
University West. 2008. Trollhättan Sweden for help with depositing the coatings. Sonestedt. Michlik. . Hultman. 201(6): p. Y. in manuscript. . Ti2AlC coatings deposited by High Velocity Oxy-Fuel spraying. and P.-P. J. Surface and Coatings Technology. 2369-2380. Palmquist. H.powerful tool for evaluating material behaviour of complex inhomogenous thermal sprayed coatings.W. Högberg. http://www. 341 . 28: p. Hallstahammar Sweden for providing the feedstock material and Volvo Aero Corporation. By this modelling approach it was also shown that individual effects of specific microstructure features on localised stress and strain levels can be studied. K. Frodelius.. 345(1-2): p. Prog.nist. New York. 5976-5981. 202(24): p.. Image-based extended finite element modeling of thermal barrier coatings. Stony Brook. . Thermodynamically Stable Nanolaminates. . et al.. Surface and Coatings Technology. The combined experimental and finite element models were shown capable of investigating mechanical material properties for the specific material. J. Materials Science and Engineering A.. . The Mn+1AXn Phases: A New Class of Solids. Trollhättan Sweden and Brian Choi. The authors are also grateful for the micro-indentation experimental work by Angelica Fasth. M. Frodelius. V. The OOF approach seems also as a powerful tool to study how load-displacement curves depend on effected material volume during indentation and inclusion in real size. The results from this study indicates that the methodology can successfully be used to predict load-displacement curves in micro-indentation as well as local stress distribution the MAX-phase matrix. Jiang. Micro-indentation and inverse analysis to characterize elastic-plastic properties for thermal sprayed Ti2AlC and NiCoCrAlY. The financial support from KK foundation within the grant for the National Graduate School in Materials Science is also greatly acknowledged. 2006. Barsoum. et al. Chem. P. 223-233. References . The approach seems thus as promising for further studies on fatigue properties and microstructure optimisation for specific applications. The experiments indicated that we have to taken account to the inhomogenity when derive material properties from thermal spray coatings. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors thank Kanthal AB. 21-24 September 2008. To be published in proceedings for Surface Modification Technologies 22. and C. J. Conclusions The methodology based on the combination of OOF and a non-linear finite element analysis to simulate a microindentation test of thermal sprayed Ti2AlC was shown successful in this study. Stiller. Micro-indentation and inverse analysis to characterize elastic-plastic graded materials. consisting of different constitutive phases. Center for Thermal Spray Research. 2000.gov/oof/ . 2003.. M. L. . 201-281. Solid St.ctcms. Gu. Berndt. J. Nylen.
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