This method is used to measure the hardness of base materials, welds, or heat affected zones around welds. Hardness measurements are useful to evaluate material properties such as strength, ductility and wear resistance. Hardness is also an indicator of the effectiveness of material heat treatment and workability. When performing a hardness test, an indenter is pressed into the surface of the material or weld being tested with a certain force. The shape, size and load of the indenter is specific to the hardness test method being employed. The relative hardness is determined by measuring either the depth or the size of the impression left by the indenter. Typical hardness test methods are Rockwell (HRB or HRC), Vickers (HV), and Brinell (HB), among others.
Hardness testing is a relatively simple and inexpensive nondestructive test that can be performed on the exterior surface of materials or welds. Although hardness testing cannot usually find defects, it can show that material or welds have not become overly brittle during welding or heat treatment.
Please see the attached conversion chart for various hardness measurement types and typical material tensile strength values that you can print out and hang on your wall as needed. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like a pdf version emailed to you.