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Advances in Condensed Matter Physics
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 391579, 20 pages
Review Article

Indentation Depth Dependent Mechanical Behavior in Polymers

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Avenue, Laramie, WY 82071, USA

Received 20 April 2015; Accepted 9 July 2015

Academic Editor: Victor V. Moshchalkov

Copyright © 2015 Farid Alisafaei and Chung-Souk Han. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Various experimental studies have revealed size dependent deformation of materials at micro and submicron length scales. Among different experimental methods, nanoindentation testing is arguably the most commonly applied method of studying size effect in various materials where increases in the hardness with decreasing indentation depth are usually related to indentation size effects. Such indentation size effects have been observed in both metals and polymers. While the indentation size effects in metals are widely discussed in the literature and are commonly attributed to geometrically necessary dislocations, for polymer the experimental results are far sparser and there does not seem to be a common ground for their rationales. The indentation size effects of polymers are addressed in this paper, where their depth dependent deformation is reviewed along with the rationale provided in the literature.