Nanoindentation hardness of banded Australian sedimentary opal

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Journal Article
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 2008, 41 (7)
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Nanoindentation hardness data in continuous stiffness mode are reported for banded potch and play of colour opals sourced from Lightning Ridge in New South Wales and Andamooka in South Australia. Despite the significant visible heterogeneities observed and the significant differences in origin and microstructures, as observed by SEM, and subtle differences in the elemental distributions between bands within specimens, little difference was observed in the mechanical properties. Specimens were found to be mechanically homogeneous and values of the hardness and moduli were found to be similar between samples. The creep behaviour of the specimens was also observed to be similar. It was concluded that the similarities in mechanical properties were due to the similarities in the silica morphology of the specimens, formed in similar geological environments, as differences in microstructure and trace element distribution were found not to significantly influence the observed bulk mechanical properties. © 2008 IOP Publishing Ltd.
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