A displacement sensing nanoindentation study of tribo-mechanical properties of the Ni-Co system
An analysis of the tribo-mechanical properties of the Ni-Co system, at the submicrometric contact scale, is conducted using displacement sensing nanoindentation. In particular, the influence of contact depth and surface finishing methods on the hardness, H, and Young's modulus, E, of the materials is analyzed Mechanically and electrolitically polished samples were tested with a conospherical indenter using a range of loads between 0.05 and 10 mN. It is shown that the hardness of these materials depends on the surface finishing method and increases with decreasing contact depth, while the Young's modulus is relatively insensitive to contact depth. Furthermore, sample polycrystallinity leads to a large scattering of hardness values of Co-rich samples and of Young's modulus values in Ni-rich ones. The combined parametric ratio H/E, which can be related to the tribological behaviour of the material, was found to be higher in samples with Co content larger than 80 wt.%.