A critical review of FEM models to simulate the nano-impact test on PVD coatings
Nano-impact test is a reliable method for assessing the brittleness of PVD coatings with mono- or multi-layer structures. For the analytical description of this test, a 3D-FEM Finite Element Method (FEM) model and an axis-symmetrical one were developed using the ANSYS LS-DYNA software. The axis-symmetrical FEM simulation of the nano-impact test can lead to a significantly reduced computational time compared to a 3D-FEM model and increased result's accuracy due to the denser finite element discretization network. In order to create an axis symmetrical model, it was necessary to replace the cube corner indenter by an equivalent conical one with axis-symmetrical geometry. Results obtained by the developed FEM models simulating the nano-impact test on PVD coatings with various structures were compared with experimental ones. Taking into account the sufficient convergence between them as well as the reduced calculation time only in the case of an axis-symmetrical model, the latter introduced numerical procedure can be effectively employed to monitor the effect of various coating structures on their brittleness.