Indentation of ceramic materials with smooth indenters such as parabolae of revolution and spheres can be conducted in the elastic regime to relatively high loads. Ceramic single crystals thus provide excellent calibration media for load-and depth-sensing indentation testing; however, they are generally anisotropic and a complete elastic analysis is cumbersome. This study presents a simplified procedure for the determination of the stiffness of contact for the indentation of an anisotropic half-space by a rigid frictionless parabola of revolution which, to first order, approximates spherical indentation. Using a similar approach, a new procedure is developed for analysing conical indentation of anisotropic elastic media. For both indenter shapes, the contact is found to be elliptical, and equations are determined for the size, shape and orientation of the ellipse and the indentation modulus.
Swadener, J. G., & Pharr, G. M. (2001). Indentation of elastically anisotropic half-spaces by cones and parabolae of revolution. Philosophical Magazine A, 81(2), 447-466. https://doi.org/10.1080/01418610108214314