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What is Hardness Testing?

What is Hardness Testing?

Hardness testing is the name of a series of methods for measuring a surfaces resistance against an object applied by pressure or indentation.


The gauged result will depend on the testsubjects:

  • Tensile- and yield -strenght
  • Elasticity
  • Dimensions
  • Surface finish
  • Material homogeneity


Furthermore the geometry of the indenter, force applied, speed during indentation and load time of the indentation all has an effect on the final result.
Because of this, the hardness value must be accompanied by a unit of measure that unambiguously defines these parametres.

History of Hardness Testing:

Hardness testing and hardness gauges started with the development of the Brinell and Rockwell principles for testing canon and gun-barrels. Since then, other methods was developed to fit the need to test for other levels of strenght and in other materials. Some of these methods, especially the UCI and Equotip was developed with faster and smaller devices in mind, for use in person on the go.


Today, hardness testing is widespread and used for quality control, checking the strenght and durability of components, either according to an object or product specified standard or by the expected values for a given type of material.
The control is performed during production, pre-assembly and as a damage control.