The hardness of a material is the property that enables it to resist deformation, bending, scratching, abrasion, or cutting. If you work in materials manufacturing, you probably already know that a hardness test is a crucial step in the production process for your products and the products you receive from third-party suppliers. You need to set baseline measurements and ensure that your products meet specific standards for strength. But if you’re not a materials engineer, you may be surprised to know that the hardness of any material is not an intrinsic property dictated by precise definitions and fundamental units of mass, length, or time. Instead, the value of a material’s hardness is the result of a specific measurement procedure.
For most materials of the modern age, a hardness test has usually been performed through a device that measures depth of an indentation left by a point of a specific shape, with a specific force, and for a specific amount of time. The most common hardness tests that measure the relationship between hardness and the size of the impression left by the test are the Rockwell, Brinell, and Vickers hardness tests.
Rockwell hardness tests are the most common type of hardness test available, and for good reason: it’s an incredibly fast and reliable method to determine the hardness of metals, alloys, and plastics, when compared to other methods. In the test, a diamond cone or hardened steel ball indenter is forced into the material being tested with a preliminary force that is usally 10 kgf. After equilibrium is reached, an additional load is applied which causes greater penetration of the material. Once equilibrium is reached again, the additional load is removed and the material rebounds slightly. The permanent depth of the indentation that remains is then used to calculate the Rockwell hardness number.
We offer many testers at Berg Engineering which are used to measure not only Rockwell hardness, but also Brinell, Vickers, and Knoop tests. Give us a call or use our convenient online ordering to get the tester you need today. Browse our entire selection of hardness testers.