Hardness Testing Machine Tips

The hardness testing machine plays an integral part of modern manufacturing and is able to test nearly any material for hardness. Few things in manufacturing are as disappointing as discovering that you used the wrong tool steel for the job; read on…
How hard is hard?

Hardness testing steel

Heat Treating Tool Steel

Hardness testing machines provide the most economical and simple method for testing materials. These are important precision measurement tools for many industries, such as aerospace, injection mold making, tool-and -die making, telecommunications and computer manufacturing.

The types of materials tested range from very hard to quite soft. Consider that there has to be a method for testing the hardness of silicon carbide, yet there must also be a way to test plastics and rubbers. For this reason there are several popular tests available.

Types of hardness testing machines

  • Microhardness, Micro-Vickers
  • Vickers
  • Rockwell
  • Rebound type portable
  • Knoop

Types of hardness scales

  • The Micro-Vickers method is becoming increasingly important in today’s manufacturing environment because of increased accuracy requirements.
  • The Vickers (HV) hardness testing scale, was developed in the UK and is considered the most versatile testing method among those that use different load settings. This type of testing may be used to meet international specifications or to replace Rockwell testing.
  • The Rockwell (HR) hardness testing scale, developed in the USA, is a scale commonly used in metalworking industries. The Rockwell C scale is well known among machinists the world over and is the standard for many manufacturing operations.
  • The Brinell (HV) hardness testing scale, developed in Sweden was the first type of test, and has some limitations due to the potential damage done to the testing material.
  • The Knoop (HK)hardness testing scale is useful for brittle, very thin or otherwise easily damaged materials.

The Metrology Handbook, Second Edition

An authoritative book, “The Metrology Handbook, Second Edition” provides a foundation for understanding basic metrology and calibration principles and practices.
Hardness tester accessories

Rockwell Hardness Tester

Rockwell Hardness Tester

The typical hardness tester requires accessories to perform the various tasks required. For example: flat anvils, round anvils, spot anvils, V-anvils, adjustable supports, USB input cables with displays, and various types of indenters

Diamond, carbide, and steel are the most common materials used for the indenters. Together with a calibration set and the various accessories nearly any material can be tested for hardness.

Durometers for rubber and plastic testing

While rubber and plastic may not seem to be hard, there are nevertheless varying degrees of hardness in nearly any material, these included. These testers are used for natural rubber, neoprene, polyesters, PVC, leather, nitrile rubber, wax, vinyl, cellulose acetates, glass polystyrene, etc.

Basic Metrology for ISO 9000 Certification

An authoritative book, “Basic Metrology for ISO 9000 Certification
”gives a nice introduction to ISO 9001 requirements for calibration of test and measuring instruments.

Leading hardness testing machine manufacturers

Tool steel components

Tool Steel Components

Wilson, Mitutoyo, Wolpert, Reicherter, NewAge and United are among the industry leaders in this important technology. As with any product, companies tend to specialize in markets and thus have developed unique solutions to difficult problems facing manufacturers.
Hardness testing machines play an integral part of modern manufacturing and are able to test nearly any material for hardness. Different testers and scales exist to provide numerical comparisons between known standards and the material being tested.
More precision measurement tool ideas.

Precision Tool Manufacturers

StarrettBrowne and SharpeMitutoyo