Study of microcracks morphology produced by Vickers indentation on AISI 1045 borided steels

I. Campos, G. Ramírez, C. VillaVelázquez, U. Figueroa, G. Rodríguez

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In this work, we analyzed the roughness morphology of indentation microcracks produced by the Vickers microindentation in the iron boride Fe2B. Using the paste boriding process, the boride layers were formed at the surface of AISI 1045 steels. The diffusion processes were carried out with 5 mm of boron paste thickness over the substrate surface at three different temperatures (1193, 1223 and 1273 K) with two different time exposures. The indentations in each Fe2B layer were made using a constant load of 200 g at four different distances from the surface. The fracture behavior of the Fe2B borided phase is found to be brittle in nature. The profiles of microcracks formed at the corners of the indentations were obtained using the scanning electronic microscopy and were analyzed within the framework of fractal geometry. We found that all indentation microcracks display a self-affine invariance characterized by the same roughness (Hurst) exponent H = 0.8 ± 0.1. The effect of the self-affine roughness of indentation microcracks on the measured fracture toughness is discussed within the framework of the mechanics of self-affine cracks. It is pointed out that the arrest of indentation microcracks is controlled by the fractal fracture toughness, which for the Fe2B borided phase is found to be Kfc = 0.42 ± 0.02 MPa m0.75 at all distances from the surface. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)285-292
Number of pages255
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A
StatePublished - 25 Feb 2008

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