Hardness testers for Rockwell - Brinell - Vickers - Micro Vickers - Knoop

Recognized and trusted by scientist, engineers, laboratories and the general metal and plastics industry worldwide, INNOVATEST products and services for hardness testing procedures are continuously setting new boundaries.

Four primary standard test methods exist to characterize the correlation between hardness and impression size: Brinell, Vickers, Knoop, and Rockwell. These methods are subdivided into various scales, each delineated by specific combinations of applied load and indenter geometry, primarily for practicality and calibration purposes. 

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Vickers hardness testing

The Vickers hardness testing method, conceived by Smith and Sandland in 1924 at Vickers Ltd, emerged as an alternative to the Brinell technique for assessing material hardness. Renowned for its simplicity and versatility, the Vickers test stands out due to its independence from indenter size for calculations, rendering it applicable to materials across the hardness spectrum.  At its core, the Vickers hardness tester gauges a material's resistance to plastic deformation using a standardized procedure, akin to other hardness assessments.

Its versatility extends across various metals, boasting one of the broadest hardness scales. Results from the test are expressed in the Vickers Pyramid Number (HV) or Diamond Pyramid Hardness (DPH).
Key to the effectiveness of the Vickers hardness tester is the design of its indenter. It must consistently yield geometrically similar impressions, maintain clear measurement points, and resist self-deformation. A diamond shaped as a square-based pyramid meets these criteria admirably.

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Brinell hardness testing

The Brinell hardness testing method, established by Dr. Johan August Brinell in Sweden in 1900, stands as one of the oldest and most widely utilized hardness assessment techniques today. Particularly suited for determining the hardness of castings and forgings with coarse grain structures unsuitable for precise Rockwell or Vickers testing.

With approximately 25 different load/ball combinations available, Brinell hardness testing offers versatility across a wide range of metals. By adjusting the ball size and test force based on sample dimensions and design, nearly all metals can be effectively tested using the Brinell method. 

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Moreover, maintaining a constant ratio between ball size and test force ensures accuracy when transitioning between Brinell test conditions.

Results obtained from the Brinell hardness tester serve as crucial metrics in industry, often serving as the basis for accepting commercial shipments and ensuring quality control. These results can also provide insights into other metallic characteristics such as ductility, tensile strength, and wear resistance.


Rockwell hardness testing

The Rockwell hardness testing method, standardized by ISO 6508 and ASTM E18, stands as the most widely adopted technique globally for determining material hardness, applicable to nearly all metals and, to some extent, plastics. It quantifies the permanent depth of indentation resulting from a specified force applied by a designated indenter. Its minimal sample preparation requirement positions the Rockwell test as the preferred choice for swift and straightforward hardness assessments across diverse industries worldwide. One of its primary advantages lies in its rapidity, providing hardness values promptly post-indentation.  

The determination of Rockwell hardness involves several steps. Initially, a preliminary test force, also known as the minor load or preload, is applied. Subsequently, an additional load, referred to as the major load, is incrementally applied until reaching the total required test load. This process is followed by a return to the initial preliminary test force. The first minor load establishes the zero or reference position. The major load is then applied and held for a specified dwell time to allow for elastic recovery. Upon removal of the major load while still maintaining the minor load, the deviation from the zero or reference position is assessed, culminating in the determination of the Rockwell hardness value.

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