Mechanical properties of alpha-quartz using nanoindentation tests and molecular dynamics simulations
ZY Ma and RP Gamage and CP Zhang, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ROCK MECHANICS AND MINING SCIENCES, 147, 104878 (2021).
Understanding the mechanical properties of alpha-quartz is of vital importance to rock engineering because alpha-quartz is the main component of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Molecular dynamics simulations (MDs) of nanoindentation tests on alpha-quartz were performed to investigate the effects of indenter tip radius and penetration depth on the mechanical properties of alpha-quartz. Indentation load-penetration depth (P-h) curves were plotted, from which Reduced Young's modulus (Er), hardness (H)were obtained and these mechanical parameters were then compared with the laboratory nanoindentation results. The mechanical results obtained from MDs are in good agreement with the experimental values. It can be found that Er and H increase with indentation depth at shallow contact depth while they decrease with indenter tip size. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first MDs of nanoindentation test of hard rock-forming minerals reported and we believe that this study can shed light on the precise measurement of the mechanical properties of rock minerals at micro- and nano-scales.
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