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Understanding Hardness Testing

Hardness testing is a method used to determine the strength of a material. It measures resistance to penetration. The results of this test are useful when it comes to material selection because the hardness value measured determines the machining of the material and its ability to wear.

hardness testing

The Usefulness of Material Testing

First, understand that hardness describes a material’s characteristics and not physical property. It is the resistance to indentation, determined when the depth of the indentation is measured. The microstructure of the material should be a key determinant of the hardness test you choose. That should include the homogeneity, the size of the part to be tested, the condition and the type of material.

It is necessary to determine the properties of the material to define durability, flexibility, capabilities and strength. Hardness testing is minimally non-destructive, and when compared to other types of test methods, it is cost-effective. More so, unlike most other methods, it can be performed on the component without the need for major alterations.

hardness testing

Common Hardness Test Methods

The Rockwell hardness testing method is mostly employed on forgings, castings and large metals. This is because this test produces larger indentations, which are clearer. The Brinell test is performed on any metallic material.

It is also commonly applied to castings with grain structures that are too coarse for other testing methods. Vickers and Knoop methods are employed for smaller samples. Engineers use these two methods to determine the hardness of a coating or a surface on case-hardened surfaces.

Hardness tests play a crucial role in quality control. This method determines the aspects of a material, helping engineers to determine if the metal meets its intended purpose.

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