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ROCKWELL HARDNESS TEST

AIM: To determine the hardness of a given sample of ALUMINIUM and HARD STEEL by
Rockwell hardness tester.

APPARATUS: Rockwell hardness tester, diamond cone indenter, 1/16" ball indenter.

THEORY: In Rockwell hardness tester, the general acceptance is due to its speed, freedom from personal
error, ability to distinguish small hardness difference in hardened steel, and the small size of the indentation, so
that finished heat-treated part can be tested without damage. This test measure of hardness. A minor load of
10kg is first supplied to seat the specimen. This minimizes the amount of the surface preparation needed and
reduces the tendency for ridging or sinking in by the indenter. The major load is then applied and the depth of
indentation is automatically recorded on a dial contains 100 equal divisions, each division representing a
penetration of 0.002 mm.

A 120° diamond cone is with slightly rounded point called a brale indentor and 1.6-3.2mm diameter
steel balls are generally used as indenters. Major loads of 60, 100 and 150 kgs are used. Rockwell hardness is
dependent on the load and the indentor.

PROCEDURE:

1) The specimen whose hardness has to be measured is taken and its surface is cleaned.

2) The thickness of the specimen should be at least 10 times the depth of the indentation.

3) The spacing between indentations should be 3-5 times the diameter of indentation.

4) Then by throwing the lever of the hardness tester, a maximum load of 150 kg is applied for about
10-15 seconds.

5) Then the hardness of the material is read on the scale provided to the dial of the hardness tester.

6) Then the hardness of the hard steel can be measured by using brale indentor and C-scale and
that of the aluminum cab be measured by 1/16" ball indenter and in B-scale.

7) The hardness number can be denoted by prefixing the hardness number with a latter indicating the
particular combination of load and indentor for the hardness scale employed.
PRECAUTIONS:

1) The indentor, surface of the specimen and the anvil should be cleaned and well seated.

2) The thickness of the specimen should be at least 10 times the depth of the indentation.

3) The spacing between indentations should be 3-5 times the diameter of indentation.

4) Hardness value should be noted carefully and correctly.

RESULT AND DISCUSSION:

The Rockwell hardness number for aluminum is Rb-


The Rockwell hardness number for hard steel is Rc-

Hardened steel is tested on the C-scale with the diamond indentor and a major load of 150 kg. The
useful range for this scale is from about RC 20 to RC 70.

Softer materials like aluminum are usually tested on the B-scale with a 1.6mm diameter steel ball and
a major load of 100kg. The range of this scale is from Rb 0 to Rb 100.

ADVANTAGES:

1) The procedure is fast and sample.

2) Small size of indentation, so that the finished heat-treated parts can be tested without damage.

3) There is no scope for personal error.

DISADVANTAGES:

1) It is not portable.

2) it is cannot be measured for larger specimens.