Mechanical properties of α-quartz using nanoindentation tests and molecular dynamics simulations

Zhaoyang Ma, Ranjith Pathegama Gamage, Chengpeng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Understanding the mechanical properties of α-quartz is of vital importance to rock engineering because α-quartz is the main component of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Molecular dynamics simulations (MDs) of nanoindentation tests on α-quartz were performed to investigate the effects of indenter tip radius and penetration depth on the mechanical properties of α-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.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-10-23

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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