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The hardness distribution in ion-implanted surfaces has been simulated
using finite element analysis. The following conclusions can be
deduced from the results of the study:
This latter point is significant, as hardness tests which increase the
strength by the same amount but at different depths may exhibit
distinctly different distributions in hardness. Hence, one must take
care in comparing hardness tests of implanted surfaces for which the
implantation depth is not identical.
- The error due to the inability of finite element codes to
resolve the contact area to better than the element width
decreases with increasing penetration depth. This results
from the same phenomenon that causes large experimental
error in low-load hardness tests.
- As the depth of the property distribution increases, the
height of the peak in the hardness distribution decreases
and the width of the hardness distribution increases.