Spherical indentation of superelastic shape memory alloys (SMAs) has been theoretically analyzed. Two characteristic points on the superelastic indentation curve have been discovered. The bifurcation force corresponding to the bifurcation point relies on the forward transformation stress and the return force corresponding to the return point relies on the reverse transformation stress. Based on these theoretical relationships, an approach to determine the transformation stresses of superelastic SMAs has been proposed. To improve the accuracy of the measurement, a slope method to locate the two characteristic points from the slope curves is further suggested. Additionally, the spherical indentation hardness was also analyzed.
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