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Hardness test


The level of hardness of a material is defined as the resistance against deformation and is often determined by drawing an indenter into the material under a specific load.

Can be applied to:

Metals, plastics, coatings

Test method standards:

 EN-ISO 6506-1, EN-ISO 6507-1, EN-ISO 6508-1, ASTM A255, ISO 15184, ASTM D3363, ISO 1518-1, ISO 4586-2, ISO 2815


Testing procedures:

1. Brinell (EN ISO 6506-1)

Impressions are made using a hard metal ball of a defined diameter and with a specific load.

2. Rockwell (EN ISO 6508-1)

This method is applicable for hard materials in which impressions are made using a diamond cone. The depth of those impressions is measured. Different scales and indenters are possible, indicated by a letter ranging from A to K.

3. (Micro) Vickers (EN ISO 6507-1)

This method uses a pyramid shaped diamond indenter to make 3 small impressions in the material. Upon completion of indentation, the two diagonals will be measured. This measurement can be made directly on the material or on a polished cross section of the sample.

4. Jominy  (ASTM A255)

This is a test to determine how deep steel can be hardened. You provide us with a sample with diameter 40 mm, length 15 to 20 cm. We make a special test sample according to the standard. The bar is heated to its hardening temperature and is quenched in a special apparatus with water. The hardness is then measured according to the Rockwell-C method.

5. Pencil hardness (ISO 15184 or ASTM D3363)

Pencils with a defined hardness are moved over the surface with a constant force. The pencil hardness of a surface is expressed as the notation on the pencil (hardness) which makes no scratch: either the first one after a scratch is made, or the last one before a scratch appears.

6. Sclerometer hardness (ISO 1518-1 or variant to ISO 4586-2)

A tungsten carbide tip (diameter 0.75 or 1.00 mm) is moved across a surface with a preset force. The force is applied by means of a spring. By using different springs, the force can vary from 0 to 30 N. The sclerometer hardness is expressed in Newton (N) or as a classification based on the lowest pressure at which a scratch can be made.

7. Buchholz hardness test (ISO 2815)

A sharp wheel with a constant weight is placed on the surface for a fixed time. The length of the remaining deformation is an indication of the indentation resistance of the coating. It can be expressed in BH or Buchholz hardness by conversion.

Lead time:

5 business days

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