An abnormal displacement change observed during the holding period in nanoindentation tests on a zirconia dental ceramic was reported in this paper. It was found that, at the initial stage of the holding period, the measured displacement versus time curves were similar in shape with the typical indentation creep curve reported in previous studies. As the holding lasted for long time, however, an evident reduction in displacement was observed for tests with high loading rate, implying that another unknown process, which might result in a decrease in displacement, would co-exist with creep during holding period. Elastic recovery was suggested to be one of the possible sources for such a displacement reduction. An empirical method was also proposed to eliminate the effect of this displacement reduction on the determination of hardness and Young’s modulus.
This work was supported by the Opening Project of State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure, China.
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