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PACE Technologies metallographic Hardness Testing consumables Metallographic Hardness Testing Information


Hardness Testing provides useful information, which can be correlated to tensile strength, wear resistance, ductility, and other physical characteristics of the material. Hardness testing is therefore useful for monitoring quality control and for aiding in the materials selection process.

The following table provides a relative scaling between the various hardness testing values, however these comparisons are not exact since the values will vary for different materials.

Brinell (10 mm ball,
3000 kg load)
(120 kg)
Rockwell C
(150 kg load)
Rockwell B
(1/16-inch ball, 100 kg)
800 - 72 -
780 1220 71 -
725 1060 67 -
652 867 63 -
601 476 60 -
514 587 53 120
451 489 47 117
401 423 43 114
351 361 38 111
301 305 33 107
249 250 25 101
200 199 16 93
152 150 - 82
105 110 - 62
76 80 - 37

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Rockwell Hardness

Rockwell hardness (HR) is an indentation hardness test that is determined with a spheroconical penetrator, or hard steel ball, that is forced into the specimen surface. The test is accomplished by bringing the specimen into contact with the penetrator and allowing the penetrator to be slowly forced into the specimen surface by a series of weights acting through a system of levers. After the load is released, a dial pointer or LED screen indicates the hardness number.

Typical Applications:

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Brinell Hardness

To determine a Brinell hardness number (BHN), a 10 mm diameter steel ball is typically used as an indenter with a 3,000 kgf (29 kN) force. For softer materials, a smaller force is used; for harder materials, a tungsten carbide ball is used. The BHN can also be converted into the ultimate tensile strength (UTS), although the relationship is dependent on the material, and therefore is only an empirically based value.

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Vickers Hardness

The Vickers test is often easier to use than other hardness tests since the required calculations are independent of the size of the indenter, and the indenter can be used for all materials irrespective of hardness. The Vickers test can be used for all metals and has one of the widest scales among hardness tests. The unit of hardness given by the test is known as the Vickers Pyramid Number (HV) or Diamond Pyramid Hardness (DPH).

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Microhardness testers are both mechanical and optical measuring tools. The indent is produced by applying a known load to the specimen and then measuring the size of the appropriate diagonals either optically or with image analysis software. Microhardness is primarily determined with either a Knoop or Vickers indenter under test loads in the range of 1 to 2000 gram-force. Microhardness is used to measure the hardness of specific phases, small particles, and for brittle materials. Figure 10-2 shows the Knoop microhardness indents for a heat treated steel specimen.

Knoop hardness (HK) number is based on the size of the indent that a rhombic-based, pyramidal diamond indenter produces under a known applied load. The HK number is calculated by dividing the applied load (kilogram-force) by the projected area of the indentation (square millimeters).

Metallographic Knoop Indents on Steel
Knoop hardness indents in a hardened steel.

The Vickers hardness (HV) number is obtained by dividing the applied load in kilogram-force by the surface area of the indentation. The area of the indentation produced from the Vickers square-based pyramidal diamond is determined by the mean distance between the two diagonals of the indentation.

Metallographic Knoop Indents on Steel
Vickers hardness indent.

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Rockwell Regular Test Blocks

Hardness Scale Part No. Penetrator Load Ranges Material
A Scale RA10 C Diamond 60 Kg A60-A84 Steel
A Scale RA20 C Diamond 60 Kg A20-A59 Brass
A Scale RA30 A Diamond (Carbide) 60 Kg A88 & up Carbide
B Scale RB10 1/16" Ball 100 Kg B10-B92 Steel
B Scale RB20 1/16" Ball 100 Kg B90-B130 Steel
C Scale RC10 C Diamond 150 Kg All Steel
D Scale RD10 C Diamond 100 Kg All Steel
E Scale RE10 1/8" Ball 100 Kg All Brass
F Scale RF10 1/16" Ball 60 Kg All Brass
G Scale RG10 1/16" Ball 150 Kg G2.5-G64 Brass
G Scale RG20 1/16" Ball 150 Kg G66 & up Steel
H Scale RH10 1/8" Ball 60 Kg All Brass
K Scale RK10 1/8" Ball 150 Kg All Brass
L Scale RL10 1/4" Ball 60 Kg All Brass
M Scale RM10 1/4" Ball 100 Kg All Brass
P Scale RP10 1/4" Ball 150 Kg All Brass
R Scale RR10 1/2" Ball 60 Kg All Brass
S Scale RS10 1/2" Ball 100 Kg All Brass
V Scale RV10 1/2" Ball 150 Kg All Brass

NOTE: Aluminum Test Blocks are available in "B", "E", "F", "G", "H",, "K" Scales, however the range is more limited

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PACE Technologies metallographic Hardness Testing consumables

Rockwell Superficial Test Blocks

Hardness Scale Part No. Penetrator Load Ranges Material
15N Scale S15N10 N Diamond 15 Kg All Steel
30N Scale S30N10 N Diamond 30 Kg All Steel
45N Scale S45N10 N Diamond 45 Kg All Steel
15T Scale S15T10 1/16-inch Ball 15 Kg All Brass
30T Scale S30T10 1/16-inch Ball 30 Kg All Brass
45T Scale S45T10 1/16-inch Ball 45 Kg All Brass
15W Scale S15W10 1/8-inch Ball 15 Kg All Brass
30W Scale S30W10 1/8-inch Ball 30 Kg All Brass
45W Scale S45W10 1/8-inch Ball 45 Kg All Brass
15X Scale S15X10 1/4-inch Ball 15 Kg All Brass
30X Scale S30X10 1/4-inch Ball 30 Kg All Brass
45X Scale S45X10 1/4-inch Ball 45 Kg All Brass
15Y Scale S15Y10 1/2-inch Ball 15 Kg All Brass
30Y Scale S30Y10 1/2-inch Ball 30 Kg All Brass
45Y Scale S45Y10 1/2-inch Ball 45 Kg All Brass

NOTE: Aluminum test blocks are also available upon request.

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PACE Technologies metallographic Hardness Testing consumables

Rockwell Testing Accessories

Diamond Penetrators

Each diamond penetrator is mounted in conformity with its grain structure to assure balanced pressure and prevent early wear or breakage. They are precision ground lapped and polished. We also subject each diamond penetrator to a strict performance test before is approved for sale.

Part No. Description
P1010 Standard "C" Diamond Penetrator
P1020 Standard "N" Diamond Penetrator
P1030 Carbide "A" Diamond Penetrator
P1040 'Versitron'® - type "C" Diamond
P1045 'Versitron'® - type "N" Diamond
P1050 'Indentron'® - type "C" Diamond
P1060 'Indentron'® - type "N" Diamond
P1070 "C" & "N" Combo Slip-in Diamond Penetrator
P1080 "C" Portable Diamond Penetrator
P1090 'Veritron' - type Tapered Diamond

Versitron® and Indentron® are Registered trademarks for Newage Testing Instruments, Inc.

Ball Penetrators
Part No. Description
P2010 1/16-inch Ball Penetrator Unit
P2015 1/16-inch Balls (50 each)
P2020 1/8-inch Ball Penetrator Unit
P2025 1/8-inch Balls (25 each)
P2030 1/4-inch Ball Penetrator Unit
P2035 1/4-inch Balls
P2040 1/2-inch Ball Penetrator Unit
P2045 1/2-inch Balls
P2055 1/16-inch Carbide Balls

Part No. Description
A1010 Pedestal Spot (1/4-inch) Anvil
A1020 1-1/2-inch Flat Anvil
A1030 2-1/2-inch Flat Anvil
A1040 Shallow "V" Anvil
A1050 Standard "V" Anvil
A1060 4-inch "V" Anvil
A1070 Gooseneck Anvil
A1080 Diamond Spot Anvil

Other Rockwell Accessories
Part No. Description
A2010 Index Adjusting Unit
A2020 Cross Pin Unit (For Dials)
A2030 Elevating Unit Oil (1/2 pint)
A2040 Dash Pot Oil (1/2 pint)
A3010 Gosseneck Adapter 2-1/2-inch
A3020 8-inch Testing Table
A3030 Jack Rest (8-inch or 12-inch)
A3040 Extension Support
A3050 Bulbs

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PACE Technologies metallographic Hardness Testing consumables

Brinell Test Blocks and Accessories

All Brinell Test Blocks come certified to applicable standards. We adhere to a strict procedure for our calibration process and the accuracy of our tester is maintained using a proving ring and load cell both traceable to N.I.S.T. The readings are done using a stage micrometer, which is also calibrated and traceable to N.I.S.T.

Part No. Description Range
B3000 3000 Kg Load 10mm Ball All Hardness Ranges
B2000 2000 Kg Load 10mm Ball All Hardness Ranges
B1500 1500 Kg Load 10mm Ball All Hardness Ranges
B1000 1000 Kg Load 10mm Ball All Hardness Ranges
B0500 500 Kg Load 10mm Ball All Hardness Ranges
B0250 250 Kg Load 10mm Ball All Hardness Ranges
B0187 187.5 Kg Load 10mm Ball All Hardness Ranges
BT010 Telebrinell Test Blocks All Hardness Ranges

Part No. Description
P3010 10mm Steel Balls
P3020 10mm Carbide Balls

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PACE Technologies metallographic Hardness Testing consumables

Microhardness Test Blocks and Accessories

We manufacture our micro hardness test blocks to exceed industry standards. All of our micro test blocks are mirror polishes and mounted to provide the best possible test surface. Each mirror polished Heavy Load Vickers test block has the same surface area provided by our Rockwell test blocks, so that you get the most test opportunities for your money.

Part No. Description Range
MV010 Vickers (1 gram to 1000 grams) All Ranges
MV020 Heavy Load Vickers (1 Kg to 50 Kg) All Ranges
MK010 Knoop (1 gram to 1000 grams) All Ranges

NOTE: When ordering please specify Knoop or Vickers, Load and the Hardness Range you require.

Part No. Description
P1110 Vickers Diamond Penetrator
P1120 Knoop Diamond Penetrator

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