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Is an ultrasonic hardness tester better than a desktop hardness tester?


Hardness measurement plays a crucial role in determining the mechanical properties of a material in the world of material testing. With advancements in technology, traditional methods of hardness testing have evolved. In fact, two popular options that have gained prominence are ultrasonic hardness tester and desktop hardness tester.

In this blog post, we aim to explore the advantages and disadvantages of both types of testers. It will certainly help you make better decisions about which one is the better choice for your specific needs.

So, here we go:

Understanding Ultrasonic Hardness Tester

Ultrasonic hardness tester utilizes the principle of ultrasonic vibrations to assess the hardness of a material. This non-destructive testing method involves transmitting ultrasonic waves into the material and measuring the depth of penetration. The tester then converts this data into a hardness value, providing a quick and reliable assessment of the material's hardness.

Advantages of Ultrasonic Hardness Tester

Let’s have a look at the key advantages of ultrasonic hardness testers out there:

· Non-destructive Testing

One of the significant advantages of ultrasonic hardness testers is their non-destructive nature. Unlike traditional hardness testers that leave a visible indentation on the material's surface, ultrasonic testers provide a measurement without causing any damage.

· Versatility

Ultrasonic hardness testers are designed to measure the hardness of various materials. These materials usually include metals, ceramics, plastics, and composites. This versatility ensures it suitability for various of industries.

· Portability

Most ultrasonic hardness testers are compact and lightweight; therefore, these are usually highly portable. This feature allows for on-site testing and ease of transportation between different testing locations.

Disadvantages of Ultrasonic Hardness Tester

Here are some disadvantages of using an ultrasonic hardness tester you must know:

· Higher Cost

Ultrasonic hardness testers are generally more expensive compared to traditional desktop hardness testers. The advanced technology and accuracy that these hardness testers offer make them pricier, too.  So, this may be a limiting factor for small businesses or labs with budget constraints.

· Operator Skill Requirements

Ultrasonic hardness testers require a certain level of operator skill and familiarity with the testing procedure. Different factors, such as the angle of the probe, surface roughness, and material thickness, can affect the measurement accuracy.

Understanding Desktop Hardness Tester

A desktop hardness tester uses an indenter to measure the material's hardness. The indenter is pressed into the material's surface, and the depth of penetration determines the hardness value. You need to place a desktop hardness tester on a stable surface for reliable results.

Desktop hardness testers employ different methods to measure hardness, including Rockwell, Brinell, and Vickers hardness testing.

Advantages of Desktop Hardness Tester

Here are the key advantages of desktop hardness testers you must know:

· Cost-effective hardness tester

Desktop hardness testers are generally more affordable compared to ultrasonic hardness testers. This cost advantage makes them a preferred choice for small businesses or labs with limited budgets.

· A variety of Indenters are available

Desktop hardness testers offer a wide range of indenters. It helps in allowing for customized testing based on the material type and hardness range. Different indenter types, such as Brinell, Vickers, and Rockwell, provide flexibility in hardness testing.

· It offers a simplified Operation.

Desktop hardness testers are relatively easy to operate, requiring minimal training and expertise. The testing procedure involves applying a predefined load and measuring the depth of penetration. This feature makes it accessible to users of varying skill levels.

Disadvantages of Desktop Hardness Tester

Let’s have a look at the disadvantages of desktop hardness tester to know:

· Destructive Testing

Unlike ultrasonic hardness testers, desktop hardness testers leave a visible indentation on the material's surface. This aspect makes them unsuitable for certain applications where surface integrity is critical.

· Limited Portability

Desktop hardness testers are generally larger and bulkier compared to ultrasonic testers. Therefore, these features have limited portability. Their typical applications are in laboratory settings or dedicated testing facilities.

· Results are dependent on material thickness.

Desktop hardness testers are sensitive to the thickness of the material you are testing. The readings may vary if the material thickness exceeds the equipment's specified range.

Get the best ultrasonic hardness tester from Sinowon

Here we have some reliable and portable ultrasonic hardness testers for you to invest in:

SU-300M ultrasonic hardness tester

Here, we have a portable ultrasonic hardness tester that uses UCI to make hardness testing easier and more efficient. You can use this ultrasonic hardness tester to measure the hardness of different materials, including copper plating, chrome, carburized layer, etc.

SU-300H Manual Hardness Tester

It is a classic, manual ultrasonic hardness tester from Sinowon. It allows on-the-spot hardness testing of materials using the UCI method. The NDT of this ultrasonic hardness tester is too small to observe because of content indentation.

Final Thoughts

Both ultrasonic hardness testers and desktop hardness testers have their advantages and limitations. The choice between the two ultimately depends on your specific requirements, budget constraints, and the type of materials to test. An ultrasonic hardness tester offers non-destructive testing and portability. Therefore, it is suitable for on-site testing and a wide range of materials. In contrast, desktop hardness testers are cost-effective, offer a variety of indenter options, and are relatively easier to operate.

Consider your priorities and consult experts in the field to make an effective decision that aligns with your testing needs.


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