A review of finite element modelling of nanoindentation and micro-scratch techniques in characterizing thin films

F. M. Mwema*, E. T. Akinlabi, O. P. Oladijo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoindentation experiments are generally used in characterizing the elastic-plastic properties of thin films whereas scratch tests are used to study the critical loads which lead to fracture of the films. Present researchers have demonstrated that these experiments can provide more information on deformation, fatigue and fracture behavior of the thin films. Finite element modeling is extensively being used to extract as much information as possible from these experiments about the thin films. It has been demonstrated that through FEM software, load-displacement curves for nanoindentation tests can be extracted with minimal errors. FEM has successfully been used to analyze and compute stress distributions and fracture toughness of thin films during scratch experiments. In this review article, brief procedures of nanoindentation and scratch tests for characterization of thin films are presented. Then, using peer-reviewed research articles for the past ten years (2008-2018) on finite element modeling of these experiments, a critical review of the latest development in the subject area is analyzed. The review article aims at documenting the achievements of the previous research activities on FEM of these experiments while advancing new research ideas for future studies and focus.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event11th South African Conference on Computational and Applied Mechanics, SACAM 2018 - Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Duration: 17 Sept 201819 Sept 2018


Conference11th South African Conference on Computational and Applied Mechanics, SACAM 2018
Country/TerritorySouth Africa

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