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Which Hardness Tester is Most Widely Used?


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Out of all the different types of hardness tester, Rockwell hardness tester is the most widely used one. Stick with this guide to know the reasons in detail.


A wide range of hardness testers are used in different industries to check the hardness of different materials. But the most common one is the "Rockwell Hardness Tester". Rockwell hardness testing machines are able to provide accurate hardness measurements for various materials, such as metals, ceramics, and plastics. Therefore, this article is going to talk in detail about the Rockwell hardness test and clarify why it is the most widely used hardness tester.

What is a Rockwell Hardness Test

A Rockwell hardness test is a non-destructive test that calculates the material's relative hardness and durability by measuring an indenter's penetration depth. It applies two loads on the material being tested, and the resulting penetration depth is used to measure the hardness of the material.

The Rockwell hardness test comes with its own hardness scales, where each scale is specified with a single letter, such as HRA, HRB, HRC, and so on. In most cases, HRB and HRC scales are used for metals, while HRM and HRR are used for polymers.

Moreover, the different Rockwell hardness scales require different loads/indenters. So, besides alphabetic Rockwell hardness scales, there are also superficial scales (N and T for metals & W, X, and Y for nonmetallic materials) that use shallower indentations and lower loads. In short, you will see different Rockwell hardness scales with different intenders and materials.

The Working Principle of the Rockwell Hardness Tester

A Rockwell hardness tester uses a hardened steel ball or diamond cone to indent the material by applying force two times.

The working principle of the Rockwell hardness tester is based on the depth measurement in which the indenter is forced by the major (heavy) load that goes beyond the depth caused by the previous minor (light) load. The difference in depths is used to measure the hardness.

Below are the steps followed in a typical Rockwell hardness test:

1. The indenter with a minor load is forced into the material, and the depth is recorded.

2. An additional (major) load is applied along with the minor load, which increases the penetration depth.

3. The major load is removed, and only the minor load is applied now.

4. The increase in the penetration depth after forcing the major load is used to measure the Rockwell hardness value.

This way, Rockwell hardness testing machines are able to perform the hardness test and get the hardness value corresponding to the Rockwell hardness scale.

Why Rockwell Hardness Tester is the Most Widely Used Hardness Testing Approach

Now that we have cleared the basics of the Rockwell hardness test, let's clarify why it is the most widely used hardness testing approach. The below points will help you clarify this point:

1. Easy to Perform

The Rockwell hardness test is much easier to perform than many other popular hardness tests, such as Brinell or Vickers hardness tests. In a Rockwell hardness test, you simply have to force two loads and measure the depth difference to evaluate the hardness level.

2. Small Area of Indentation

The Rockwell hardness test is performed using a hardened steel ball or diamond cone as an indenter. This means a small indentation area is required, reducing waste during the testing process.

3. Quick and Accurate Measurements

The Rockwell hardness test is also known for its ability to measure the hardness of a material quickly and accurately.

4. Support Variety of Materials

Different hardness testing methods are used for different specific materials. For instance, the Shore hardness test can only measure the hardness of soft/hard polymers and elastomers. In contrast, the Rockwell hardness test is able to measure the hardness of a wide range of materials, including metals, ceramics, and plastics. So, that's another reason behind the widespread use of the Rockwell hardness tester.

5. Diverse Hardness Scales

A diverse range of Rockwell hardness scales exist for different indenters and loads. So, the versatility of hardness scales makes it find application in plenty of industries.

6. Standardized

ASTM and ISO have also standardized the Rockwell hardness test. This means that Rockwell test measurements are reliable and consistent worldwide. Besides that, there are enough guidelines to perform the test accurately and interpret the results effectively.

All the above reasons collectively make Rockwell hardness tester the most widely used and preferred hardness tester.

Sinowon – The One-Stop Place to Get Rockwell Hardness Testing Machines

If you also want to use the Rockwell hardness test, then you need an authentic hardness testing machine that can conduct the Rockwell hardness test. This is where Sinowon comes into action.

Sinowon is a hardness testing machine manufacturer known for manufacturing multiple types of high-quality and advanced hardness testing machines. Talking specifically about Rockwell hardness testers, we provide ten different types of Rockwell hardness testing machines.

Our Rockwell hardness testers feature automatic loading, automatic unloading, automatic measurement, customizable hardness testing parameters, and plenty of other features. You can get digital, automatic, and manual types of Rockwell hardness testers. In short, Sinowon is a one-stop place to find the ideal Rockwell hardness testing machine that aligns with your needs.

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