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Hardness

Hardness can be defined as resistance to deformation or

indentation or resistance to scratch.

Hardness

Indentation

Scratch

Rebound

and is most commonly used.

Indentation hardness can be measured by different

methods.

Classified based on how it is measured.

Mohs

hardness

Absolute

hardness

Mineral

Chemical formula

Talc

Mg3Si4O10(OH)2

Gypsum

CaSO42H2O

3

4

Calcite

Fluorite

CaCO3

CaF2

9

21

Apatite

Ca5(PO4)3(OH,Cl,F)

48

KAlSi3O8

72

SiO2

100

Orthoclase

Feldspar

Quartz

Topaz

Al2SiO4(OH,F)2

200

9

10

Corundum

Diamond

Al2O3

C

400

1600

Rockwell Hardness

In this type of test, depth of indentation at a constant load is

taken as the measure of Hardness.

A minor load of 10 kg is first applied for good contact

between the indenter and the sample surface.

The major load is then applied and the depth of indentation

is recorded on a dial gage in terms of an arbitrary number.

The dial consists of 100 divisions, each division representing

a penetration depth of 0.002 mm.

Rockwell Hardness

Indenter and Hardness Scale

Two types of indenters 120 diamond cone called Brale

indenter and 1.6 and 3.2 mm diameter steel balls

Combination of indenter and major load gives rise to

different hardness scales.

C - Scale Brale indenter + 150 kg load, designated as RC.

Range is RC 20 RC 70. Used for hard materials like

hardened steels.

B-Scale Steel ball indenter + 100 kg load, written as RB.

Range is RB 0 to RB 100.

Minor loads in RC and RB scales are 10 kg and 3 kg

respectively.

Brinell Hardness

P = Applied load

D = Diameter of ball

d = Dia of indentation

t = Depth of impression

t

PD

N

H

B

A load of 3000 kg (500 kg for softer materials) is applied for

10 30 s.

Dia of the indentation is measured to obtain the hardness

(Brinell Hardness No.) from the relationship

(kgf/m2)

(1)

D

Brinell Hardness

BHN varies with load. P/D2 value needs to be kept

constant according to eqn. (2). P1/D12 = P2/D22 = P3/D32

D

N

H

B

s

o

c

(2)

d = D sin

Vickers Hardness

Vickers test uses a square-base diamond pyramid indenter

having an angle of 136 between the opposite faces. This angle

approximates the ideal d/D ratio (0.375) in Brinell test (Fig. a)

The hardness, called DPH or VHN (Diamond pyramid

hardness no. or Vickers Hardness no.), is obtained by dividing

the load (1 120 kg) with the surface area of the indentation.

The surface area is calculated from the diagonals length of

the impression.

D

(a)

2 1 854

2

/

nL

i

s

N

H

V

H

P

D

(b)

Microhardness

Sometime hardness determination is needed over a very small

area.

For example, hardness of carburised steel surface, coatings or

individual phases or constituents of a material.

The load applied is much smaller compared to macrohardness.

The indentation is very small. An optical microscope is used to

observe it. Sample preparation is needed.

Two methods are used for microhardness testing.

Microhardness

Knoop Indentation

C

PL

N

H

K

P Ap

diamond shaped indentation with long and short diagonal

lengths in the ratio of 7:1

The hardness is called Knoop Hardness number (KHN) and

is obtained by dividing the load (25 - 300 g) with the projected

surface area of the indentation.

2

(kgf/m2)

L = Longer diagonal length

C = Indenter specific constant

Microhardness

Vickers Microhardness

This is same as Vickers hardness except that the applied

load is much smaller so as to cover a small area.

The applied load range is 1 100 g.

Tensile Properties

Stress and Strain

Lo

Lo

L

L Lo

where P is the applied load and A is the original area of the

cross section of the sample.

Strain,

-------------- (2)

Lo = Original length

L = Final length

L = L Lo is the elongation

These are called engineering stress and engineering strain.

All materials deform when subjected to an external load.

Up to a certain load the material will recover its original

dimensions when the load is released. This is known as

elastic behavior.

The load up to which the materials remains elastic is the

elastic limit. The deformation or strain produced within the

elastic limit is proportional to the load or stress. This is known

as Hooks Law , Stress Strain or Stress = E*Strain. E is

known as the Elastic Modulus.

When the load exceeds the elastic limit, the deformation

produced is permanent. This is called plastic deformation.

Hooks law is no longer valid in the plastic region.

Tensile Testing

Load is applied uniaxially in a tensile testing frame and the

displacement is recorded.

The stress and strain are derived using equations (1) and

(2)

The stress is plotted against strain to generate the stressstrain curve.

Different properties are calculated from this curve.

Tensile Testing

(a)

(b)

Tensile Properties

EL = Elastic limit, up to which Hooks Law (Stress Strain)

is valid. The material comes back to original shape when the

load is released.

Elastic limit is difficult to determine. The proportional limit,

PL, the load at which the curve deviates from linearity, is

taken as the elastic portion.

The slope of the linear region is the Youngs Modulus or

Elastic Modulus (E).

Loading beyond PL produces permanent or plastic

deformation. The onset point of plastic deformation is known

as Yield stress (YS).

In some materials like mild steel the yield point is prominent

(Curve 1 in Fig. b)

Tensile Properties

In many other metals and alloys the yield point is not

distinct (Curve 2, Fig. b). In such cases, a line parallel to the

linear region is drawn at a strain = 0.002 (0.2%) and its

intercept on the plastic region is taken as the yield stress

(Fig. b). This is called 0.2% Proof stress.

The stress at the maximum load is called ultimate tensile

strength (UTS).

The strain up to UTS is the uniform plastic strain. Beyond

this the cross sectional area reduces and necking takes

place.

The fracture strain ef = (Lf - Lo)/Lo, where Lf is the length

after fracture, is taken as the measure of Ductility.

Tensile Properties

Resilience:

The ability of a material to absorb energy in the elastic region.

This is given by the strain energy per unit volume

Uo = soeo (= so2/2E) which is the area of the elastic region

Toughness:

Ability to absorb energy in the plastic range. This is given by

the total area under the stress-strain curve.

High resilience is a

property required in spring

steels whereas structural

steels have high toughness

but lower resilience.

The fracture strain ef = (Lf - Lo)/Lo, or reduction of area at

fracture, q = (A Ao)/Ao, is taken as the measure of Ductility.

A ductile material exhibits high fracture strain, that is, it

undergoes significant plastic deformation before fracture.

A brittle material is the one which exhibits little or no plastic

deformation before fracture.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

n

l

o

L

Lo

2 1

n

l

LL

True strain,

o

L

L

L

od

L

original sample dimensions which change during the test.

True stress and strain on the other hand are based on the

actual or instantaneous dimensions and hence, are better

representation of the deformation behavior of the material.

True stress, = P/A = (P/Ao)(Ao/A) = s (Ao/A)

Volume, AL, remains constant, AoLo = AL Ao/A = L/Lo = (e+1)

= s (e+1)

Since the engineering stress-strain curve is based on

original area, it descends after maximum load as the load

bearing ability of the sample decreases due to reduction in

area.

The true stress-strain curve (blue) however, continues to go

up till fracture as it is based on the actual area.

The true stress-strain curve is also known as flow curve.

The plastic region of the flow curve can be described as

= K n

n is known as strain-hardening exponent and K is the strength

coefficient. A log-log plot up to maximum load will yield a

straight line. The slope of the line is n. K is the true stress at

= 1. n = 0, perfectly plastic solid, n = 1, elastic solid. For

most metals n = 0.1 0.5

Poissons ratio

A tensile force in the x direction produces an extension along

that axis while it produces contraction along the transverse y

and z axis.

The ratio of the lateral to axial strain is the Poisson's ratio, .

For most metals it is around 0.33

The deformation in a body may also result in change in the

initial angle between any two lines.

The angular change is known as the shear strain, , which is

produced by a shear stress, .

n

a

t

ah

=G

G is the shear modulus

Structure-Property Correlation

d

k

Structure-sensitive properties: Yield stress, UTS, Ductility.

These properties vary with the structure of the material.

For example, the same material having a finer grain size will

have higher strength as per the relation 1 2

This is known as the Hall-Petch equation which relates the

yield strength to grain size.

o is the yield strength, d is the grain size and i and k are

material dependent constants.

Finer grain size large grain boundary area/unit volume. As

grain boundaries hinder dislocation motion, stress required to

move the dislocations increases in the fine grained material

and hence the strength increases.

Material

E,GPa

YS,MPa

ratio

Csteel

207

220 250

400 500

23

0.30

Stain lesssteel

193

515

850

10

0.30

Alloy steels

207

860

1280

12

0.30

Al

70

34

90

40

0.33

72 85

250500

300 550

1020

0.34

Ti

103

170

240

30

0.34

Tialloy

114

1100

1170

10

0.34

Mg

45

25 40

50 60

8 10

0.35

Mgalloys

45

220

290

15

0.35

Ni

204

148

460

47

0.31

Nisuperalloy

207

517

930

0.21

Al2O3

380

550

0.16

70

30300

0.39

Alalloys

PET

2.7 4

60

References

Mechanical Metallurgy, George E Dieter. McGraw Hill, London

http://www.virginia.edu/bohr/mse209/chapter6.htm

http://web.utk.edu/~prack/mse201/Chapter%206%20Mechanica

l%20Properties.pdf

http://nptel.iitm.ac.in/courses/IITMADRAS/Design_Steel_Structures_I/1_introduction/3_properti

es_of_steel.pdf

True strain; Strain hardening exponent; Flow curve ; Poissons

ratio; Hall-Petch relationship

Examples

Ex.1. A 15 mm long and 13 mm diameter sample shows the

following behavior in a tensile test. Load at 0.2% offset 6800

kg, maximum load 8400 kg, fracture occurs at 7300 kg,

diameter and length after fracture 8 mm and 65 mm

respectively. Find the standard mechanical properties.

Solution: Ao = (13)2/4 = 132.7 mm2, Af = (8)2/4 = 50.3 mm2

UTS = Pmax/Ao = (8400 x 9.8)/132.7 = 620 N/mm2 = 620 MPa

0.2% proof stress = (6800 x 9.8)/132.7 = 502 N/mm2 = 502 Mpa

Breaking stress = (7300 x 9.8)/132.7 = 539 Mpa

%elongation = 100*(Lf Lo)/Lo = 100 x (65 50)/50 = 30%

% area reduction = 100*(Af Ao)/Lo = 100(132.7 50.3)/132.7 =

62%

Examples

Ex.2. A metal experiences a true strain of 0.16 at a true stress

of 500 MPa. What is the strain hardening exponent of the

metal? K = 825 MPa. What will be the true strain at a stress of

600 MPa?

Solution: n = (log - logK)/log = (log 500 log 825)/log 0.16

= 0.271

= K n

Strain at 600 MPa: 600 = 825 ()0.271 , strain = 0.3

Quiz

1. Define hardness. What is Mohs scale of hardness?

2. Why it is necessary to specify load-indenter combination in

Rockwell hardness test?

3. How is Brinell hardness measured. Show that BHN varies

as P/D2 where P is the load and D is the indenter diameter.

4. Why is the included angle between opposite faces of the

Vickers indenter 136?

5. What is microhardness? Why sometime it is necessary?

6. What is engineering stress and strain?

7. What is Hooks law?

8. What is elastic and proportional limit?

9. How is the elastic modulus measured from the stress-strain

curve?

10. What is yield stress?

Quiz

11. What is 0.2% proof stress?

12. How is the ductility measured?

13. What is ductile and brittle behavior?

14. What is resilience? What is toughness?

15. What is true stress and strain. Deduce the relationship

between true and engineering stress ad strain.

16. Why does the engineering stress-strain curve peak and

drop where as the true stress-strain curve keep on going up?

17. What is a flow curve?

18. What is shear stress and strain

19. What is Poisson's ratio?

20. What are structure-sensitive and structure insensitive

properties?

21. What is Poisson's ratio?

Quiz

22. A 15 mm long and 120 mm dia cylindrical rod is subjected

to a tensile load of 35 kN. It must not experience either plastic

deformation or a diameter reduction of more than 0.012 mm.

Which of the listed materials is suitable for such a requirement

and why? Al (E= 70 GPa, YS = 250 MPa, = 0.33), Ti (E= 105

GPa, YS = 850 MPa, = 0.36), Steel (E= 205 GPa, YS = 550

MPa, = 0.27), Mg (E= 45 GPa, YS = 170 MPa, = 0.35).

23. A metal experiences a true strain of 0.1 at a true stress of

415 MPa. What is the strain hardening exponent of the metal?

K = 1035 MPa. What will be the true strain at a stress of 600

MPa?

Quiz

24. The following data were obtained in a tensile test of a lowcarbon steel of diameter 12 mm and gage length 50 mm.

Load, kN

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

20

22

24

Elongation, mm

0.0041

0.0082

0.0132

0.0183

0.0226

0.0267

0.0310

0.0351

0.0391

0.0445

0.0485

0.0518

Load, kN

25.2

28

30

34

38.4

40

40.4

40.8

40.2

38.6

36.4

32.4

Elongation, mm

0.51

1.52

2.03

3.05

4.57

6.60

7.62

12.7

14.7

15.7

17.8

19.3

tensile properties.

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