Armour Alloys

Hardness Tests Available for Metal and Steel

Man testing steel strength


When metal is produced and shipped off for customer use, it must be able to withstand a certain level of pressure. Hardness tests assess if metal is resistant to long-lasting indentation. These tests utilize indenters, which are minuscule, hard objects that are placed on a sheet of metal or steel for an extended time with a controlled force to see if they leave permanent markings. Hardness tests are typically the final step in the steel and metal manufacturing process – production plants will assess the results of tests and determine whether or not a product is faulty. If the tests prove to be a success, the metal and steel products are shipped away for general use. If the test results are unfavourable, the metal and steel products will not be sent to the customer. Here are a few of the different hardness tests used today:


Vickers Test

The Vickers test imposes a pressure maximum of 110 pounds and can be used on very large or very small quantities of steel or metal. The indenter used during the Vickers test resembles a squared diamond.


Brinell Test

The Brinell Test uses a ball indenter and is used to test the hardness of steel and metal sheets. Regulated force is applied to the metal or steel and upon the completion of the test, there should be a circular indent left behind.


Knoop Test

The Knoop test is the most reliable assessment available to ensure small quantities of steel and metal are adequately treated. Essentially, this test is operated by steel and metal manufacturers that cannot place certain materials under extreme pressure. In the Knoop test, the maximum amount of pressure applied to the metal is just slightly above two pounds. The indenter for this test is usually in the shape of a rhombus. The entire process requires the utmost precision and diligence.


Rockwell Test

The Rockwell test utilizes two different indenters: a diamond cone and steel ball. Depending on the metallic source being tested, metal manufacturers will determine which indenter would work best. The test starts slowly with a minuscule amount of pressure applied to the steel or metal product to establish a point of reference. Eventually, more force is added to the metal. As the test nears completion, a minor load of pressure is applied to the metal or steel, and the indenter is pulled away.


At Armour Alloys, we understand how important it is for us to double-check every customer order for reliability and consistency. The difference between the tests mentioned above are determined by our experienced team of metal manufacturers to ensure that customer needs are met and exceeded. For more information, contact us today!


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