On the time and indentation depth dependence of hardness, dissipation and stiffness in polydimethylsiloxane

F. Alisafaei, Chung Souk Han, Seyed Hamid Reza Sanei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Nanoindentation tests were performed on polydimethylsiloxane to characterize its mechanical behavior at different indentation depths and loading times. Astonishing indentation size effects have been observed in these experiments where the universal hardness increases by about 15 times from indentation depths of 5000 down to 100 nm. The hardness was found to depend on the loading time at small indentations, while at larger indentation depths the hardness hardly changed with loading time. In an attempt to unveil the underlying deformation mechanisms, an in-depth experimental study is pursued in this article with detailed analysis of the experimental data. Applying different loading times, the indentation experiments were evaluated at indentation depths from 100 to 5000 nm with respect to (a) universal hardness, (b) ratio of remaining indentation depth after unloading to maximum indentation depth, (c) ratio between elastic and total indentation works, and (d) indentation stiffness at maximum applied force. All these characteristics are found to be significantly different compared to a reference material that does not exhibit indentation size effects. The corresponding experimental data has been analyzed with an existing indentation depth dependent hardness model for polymers that has been motivated by a Frank elasticity related theory incorporating rotation gradients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1220-1228
Number of pages9
JournalPolymer Testing
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry


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