Hardness Testing Lab

Aim: Aim of this experiment is to calculate the hardness of a range of materials using
Rockwell Hardness Tester.
Theory: Hardness is a measure of the resistance of a metal towards plastic deformation. The
hardness of a material is calculated by placing it on hardness testing machine and with the help
of intender hardness is measured. As the intender is placed on the material, it causes
indentation and this indentation tells us how hard a material is. Deeper the indentation softer the
material is.The intenders are available in different shapes like ball shaped cone shaped and are
made up of materials harder than the materials on which they are used.
Rockwell hardness Test
In the Rockwell test the hardness is measured using the depth of indentation, this depth is
obtained by the pointer on a calibrated scale. The indenter of tester is made of hardened steel
ball or diamond cone. The steel ball diameter usually varies 1/8 inch or 1/16 inch. The Rockwell
hardness is a value obtained from difference between the depth of the indentations made by the
first and second minor loads A minor load of is applied on the material by the indenter on the
surface which gives us datum position. A major load is then applied while applying minor load.
The depth of penetration from datum is measured by the dial which gives reading in hardness
number.

Rockwell hardness number (HR)= E – e
F0 = preliminary minor load in kgf
F1 = additional major load in kgf
F = total load in kgf
e = permanent increase in depth of penetration due to major load F1 measured in units of 0.002
mm
E = a constant depending on form of indenter: 100 units for diamond indenter, 130 units for
steel ball indenter
HR = Rockwell hardness number
http://www.eng.morgan.edu/~mahmud/iegr309/rockwell.htm


Description of Apparatus:
1. Rockwell hardness tester.


2. Specimen of different material


MIT Lab equipment
MIT Hardness test samples
http://www.auto-
met.com/rockwell_hardness_tester/images/R
OCKWELL_HARDNESS_SCALES_chart.jpg
3. Diamond and ball intenders


Assumptions:
1. The Rockwell tester is perfectly calibrated with no parallax error.
Calibration is done by
Balancing depth-measuring device
Balancing load cell
Verifying condition of anvil
Verifying condition of indenter
Verifying hardness on a certified test block for the applicable range to be used
2. The indenters are standardized free from surface defects (cracks, chips, pits, etc.)They
are cleaned and polished. Since an minute particle of dust, dirt may affect the reading.
3. The whole apparatus is places at levelled surface. Because if the surface is not levelled,
on application of load the dial will give different reading.
4. The hand wheel was rotated gently during elevation of the anvil. Otherwise, the indenter
may be destroyed due to the abrupt strike of the indenter tip with the specimen.
5. For first two readings Rockwell scale “B” is used in which load is 100kg and intender is
1

16
-inch-diameter (1.588 mm) steel sphere.
6. For the third reading Rockwell scale “C” is used in which load is 150 kg and intender is
120° diamond cone .
7. The test specimen is held securely during application of major load of 100 and 150 kg.
Method of data collected:
1. First, the Rockwell B indenter was chosen and was fixed in the main rod tester.
2. The front lever arm of the tester was kept vertically which was “set” position.
3. The test specimen was placed on the anvil .The hand wheel was slowly turned until the
test specimen was in contact with the anvil.
4. As soon as the test specimen touched the tip of intender the hand wheel was stopped
and small wheel on left side of tester was rotated so that the tip of the dial came at zero
position.
5. The load was set to 100kg and scale chosen was Rockwell B.
http://www.diamonddressersindia.com/inden
ters.html
6. Now the lever was moved to “test” position. Which applied 100kg weight on the test
specimen.
7. On application of load the dial moved and settled at certain reading after 15 to 20
seconds.
8. This reading showed the depth of impression and not the required hardness number
9. The lever was returned to set position. Which removed the 100 kg load on the specimen.
The dial again moved and settled at spot showed the hardness number
10. The result was recorded and readings were taken 3 times.
11. Repeat same experiment two more times on different samples and third time diamond
intender was used.
Raw data:
TEST
SPECIME
N
LOAD
(Kg)
INTENDER READING 1 READING 2 READING 3 AVERAGE
Test 1 Specimen 1 100 Steel ball 60 61.5 62 61.16
Test 2 Specimen 2 100 Steel ball 88.5 88.5 89 88.66
Test 3 Specimen 3 150 Diamond 55 54.5 55 54.83

Graphs:


0
10
20
30
40
50
60
1 2 3
D
I
A
L

G
A
U
G
E

R
E
A
D
I
N
G

READINGS
SPECIMEN 3
Specimen 3
Discussion:
Here we can see different scales of Rockwell
hardness test along with the applications on
different materials. In scale B the applications are
aluminum, copper, soft steel, and malleable iron.so
it’s clear that specimen 1 and 2 could be any one
from aluminum, copper, soft steel and malleable
iron.

Figure below shows a graph of the relationship
between the experimental Rockwell hardness
number and the referenced Rockwell hardness
number obtained from MatWeb for ALUMINIUM and
STEEL .

The results show only a small deviation from the
reference data.







Relationship between Rockwell hardness number for ALUMINIUM and STEEL
http://mee-inc.com/rockhar.html
Figure shows a graph of the
relationship between the
experimental Rockwell
hardness number and the
referenced Rockwell
hardness number obtained
from MatWeb for TOOL
STEEL

Test found our samples to be
slightly harder than the
reference numbers indicated.
Which shows error.
However due to continuous
use of equipment uncertainty
in numbers arises. This could
be reduced by properly
calibrating the equipment
before experiment and using
clean and polished specimen.





Conclusion:

The Rockwell experiment is designed to test hardness of a metal sample. The Rockwell test
measures the depth of penetration and returns a hardness number. The specimen are found to
be ALUMINIUM, STAINLESS STEEL and TOOL STEEL


References:
www.MatWeb.com.
http://www.hardnesstesters.com/Applications/Rockwell-Hardness-Testing.aspx
http://www.matweb.com/reference/rockwell-hardness.aspx
http://www.astm.org/Standards/E18.htm
http://www.engineershandbook.com/Tables/hardness.htm




Rockwell hardness number for TOOL STEEL
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
Tool Steel
R
o
c
k
w
e
l
l

h
a
r
d
n
e
s
s

C

REFRENCED RHN
CALCULATED RHN