Remarks on some mechanical small-scale tests applied to properties of materials

Marilena Cardu, Jacopo Seccatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper presents the results of test campaigns on small-scale strength properties (particularly, microhardness) performed on two homogeneous materials: calcite, a very common and widespread mineral that is characterized by its relatively low Mohs hardness and its high reactivity with even weak acids; and glass, an amorphous solid characterized by the absence of the long-range order which defines crystalline materials. After a synthetic description of the principles underlying two of the three classical comminution laws, known as Kick’s law and Rittinger’s law, experimental results are discussed. The results of the tests performed show that both scale effect and size effect contribute to the non-constancy of mechanical properties at small scale for crystalline materials. On the other hand, for amorphous materials, a theoretical law considering size effects gives considerably different results from empirical measurements. Considerations and an extended discussion address these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2023-2031
Number of pages9
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • Micro-hardness
  • Scale effect
  • Size effect
  • Small-scale mechanical properties


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