Conference Dates

October 4-9, 2015


In the industry, there are several techniques which improve the service lifetime of materials by increasing the local mechanical properties in the near-surface. In the case of mechanical surface treatments (such as impact-based), the material is exposed to repeated mechanical loadings, producing a severe plastic deformation in the surface, and then leading to a local refinement of the microstructure into the affected zone (Tribologically Transformed Surfaces - TTS). The microstructure’s transformation is characterized by a progressive increment of the grain size from the surface until the bulk material. Consequently, very interesting physical properties such as high hardness and better tribological properties are exhibit in these mechanically-induced transformed surfaces. Nowadays, it is well-known that the grain size gradient generated provokes an evolution on the mechanical properties in the impacted zone over a few tens of microns. However, a simple micro-hardness test is not quite enough to quantify precisely the engendered variation of mechanical properties due to the heterogeneity of the transformed surface. The main issue of this work is to assess and describe precisely the elastic-plastic behavior and the distribution of mechanical properties on deformed zones of a model material (pure iron). In our project, a characterization of the transformed microstructure, as well as a statistics measurement of the grain size distribution on the cross-section of the sample is presented firstly. Afterwards a methodology based on nano-indentation tests (Fig.1) and in-situ micro-pillars compression tests (Fig.2) is implemented to quantify the evolution of mechanical properties starting from the near-surface. A relation between the hardness gradient and the microstructure evolution is established, as well as a comparison between the properties measured by both techniques is discussed.