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Hardness test - Determination of material properties

Hardness testing is one of the most important procedures for assuring the quality of the materials used in a wide variety of industries and in research and development. As an experienced partner, Bossard is there to support you with its hardness testing expertise and its state-of-the-art test laboratories.

What is a hardness test?

Hardness testing is a common procedure for determining the properties of a material. Hardness describes the resistance that a material puts up against a penetrating object. This makes it possible to test whether it is a hard or brittle material, or one that is wear-resistant and tough. This allows the tester to determine whether the tested mate-rial is suitable for a particular purpose.

Hardness testing is used in all kinds of different areas and sectors to ensure the re-quired quality. The major industrial sectors where it is used include the automotive in-dustry, construction, aerospace, mechanical engineering, the metal production and pro-cessing industries, and the automation industry.


Advantages of a hardness test

  • Relatively simple and quick test procedure
  • Test takes place directly on component
  • Minor changes to the tested material allow for further use

How a hardness test works

The principle of hardness testing is relatively simple: An indenter, i.e., an object with specific masses, is pressed into the surface of the material to be tested with a certain force. This process creates an indentation, the dimensions of which the tester can measure. The hardness can then be calculated based on this measurement. The small-er the indentation, the harder the material being examined. The tester has a choice of various methods.

Rockwell hardness test

The Rockwell hardness test (HRC) is performed using a diamond cone (120° point an-gle) to test the hardness of hardened steel. The tester first applies a preliminary force or a preliminary load to penetrate the surface of the material to be tested. After a cer-tain dwell time, the base depth – which serves as a reference level and comes into play later when calculating the hardness – can be measured. The test force is then further increased to achieve the final penetration depth. After a dwell time, the test force is reduced again and the final penetration depth is measured. The tester then calculates the Rockwell hardness value based on the difference between the base depth and the final penetration depth. The final result of the hardness value combined with the test procedure represents the Rockwell hardness (e.g., 58HRC).

Bossard – your expert for hardness testing procedures

Bossard offers Vickers hardness tests (accredited) and Rockwell hardness tests (not accredited). Our portfolio includes the following services (among others):

  • Hardness tests in our accredited test laboratory (some of our test laboratories around the world are accredited by the respective national accrediting bodies)
  • Acquisition of important information about the material properties

Contact our experts and learn more about our Expert Test Services. We are happy to hear from you!


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Related topics

Discover in our white papers what our experts write on topics such as:

  • Corrosion
  • Friction
  • Hardness measurement
  • Hydrogen embrittlement
  • Material fatigue

Download white papers


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