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MaterialHardness

TableofContents
1.WHATISHARDNESS?
2.HARDNESSMEASUREMENT
3.HARDNESSMEASUREMENTMETHODS
3.1.RockwellHardnessTest
3.2.BrinellHardnessTest
3.3.VickersHardnessTest
3.4.Knoophardness
3.5.Shore
3.6.Others
3.6.1.MohsHardness:
3.6.2.BarcolHardness
4.HARDNESSOFELECTRONICPACKAGINGMATERIALS:
5.COMPARISIONOFHARDNESSMEASUREMENTS
6.HARDNESSMEASUREMENTEQUIPMENTS
7.RELATIONOFHARDNESSTOOTHERMATERIALPROPERTIES
8.REFERENCES
1.WHATISHARDNESS?
TheMetalsHandbookdefineshardnessas"Resistanceofmetaltoplasticdeformation,usuallyby
indentation.However,thetermmayalsorefertostiffnessortemper,ortoresistancetoscratching,abrasion,
orcutting.Itisthepropertyofametal,whichgivesittheabilitytoresistbeingpermanently,deformed(bent,
broken,orhaveitsshapechanged),whenaloadisapplied.Thegreaterthehardnessofthemetal,thegreater
resistanceithastodeformation.
Inmineralogythepropertyofmattercommonlydescribedastheresistanceofasubstancetobeingscratched
byanothersubstance.Inmetallurgyhardnessisdefinedastheabilityofamaterialtoresistplastic
deformation.
ThedictionaryofMetallurgydefinestheindentationhardnessastheresistanceofamaterialtoindentation.
Thisistheusualtypeofhardnesstest,inwhichapointedorroundedindenterispressedintoasurfaceunder
asubstantiallystaticload.
2.HARDNESSMEASUREMENT
Hardnessmeasurementcanbedefinedasmacro,microornanoscaleaccordingtotheforcesappliedand
displacementsobtained[1].
Measurementofthemacrohardnessofmaterialsisaquickandsimplemethodofobtainingmechanical
propertydataforthebulkmaterialfromasmallsample.Itisalsowidelyusedforthequalitycontrolof
surfacetreatmentsprocesses.However,whenconcernedwithcoatingsandsurfacepropertiesofimportance
tofrictionandwearprocessesforinstance,themacroindentationdepthwouldbetoolargerelativetothe
surfacescalefeatures.
Wherematerialshaveafinemicrostructure,aremultiphase,nonhomogeneousorpronetocracking,macro
hardnessmeasurementswillbehighlyvariableandwillnotidentifyindividualsurfacefeatures.Itisherethat
microhardnessmeasurementsareappropriate.
MicrohardnessisthehardnessofamaterialasdeterminedbyforcinganindentersuchasaVickersorKnoop
indenterintothesurfaceofthematerialunder15to1000gfloadusually,theindentationsaresosmallthat

theymustbemeasuredwithamicroscope.Capableofdetermininghardnessofdifferentmicroconstituents
withinastructure,ormeasuringsteephardnessgradientssuchasthoseencounteredincasehardening.
Conversionsfrommicrohardnessvaluestotensilestrengthandotherhardnessscales(e.g.Rockwell)are
availableformanymetalsandalloys[2].
Microindentersworksbypressingatipintoasampleandcontinuouslymeasuring:appliedload,penetration
depthandcycletime.
Nanoindentation[3]testsmeasurehardnessbyindentingusingverysmall,ontheorderof1nanoNewton,
indentationforcesandmeasuringthedepthoftheindentionthatwasmade.Thesetestsarebasedonnew
technologythatallowsprecisemeasurementandcontroloftheindentingforcesandprecisemeasurementof
theindentationdepths.Bymeasuringthedepthoftheindentation,progressivelevelsofforcingare
measurableonthesamepiece.Thisallowsthetestertodeterminethemaximumindentationloadthatis
possiblebeforethehardnessiscompromisedandthefilmisnolongerwithinthetestingranges.Thisalso
allowsachecktobecompletedtodetermineifthehardnessremainsconstantevenafteranindentationhas
beenmade.
Therearevariousmechanismsandmethodsthathavebeendesignedtocompletenanoindentationhardness
tests.Onemethodofforceapplicationisusingacoilandmagnetassemblyonaloadingcolumntodrivethe
indenterdownward.Thismethodusesacapacitancedisplacementgauge.Suchgagesdetectdisplacementsof
0.2to0.3NM(nanometer)atthetimeofforceapplication.Theloadingcolumnissuspendedbysprings,
whichdampsexternalmotionandallowstheloadtobereleasedslightlytorecovertheelasticportionof
deformationbeforemeasuringtheindentationdepth.Thistypeofnanoindentationmachinecanbeseenin
Figure1.

Figure1
AnothermethodofnanoindentationusesalongrangepiezodriverandanelasticelementasshowninFigure
2.Whentheindenterismoveddownwardbythepiezodriver,theelasticelementresiststhemovementand
establishesaforce.Thisforceismeasurablebyknowingthedistancethattheindentermoveddownward
aftertouchingthefilmsurface.AnLVDT(linearvariabledifferentialtransform)recordsthepositionofthe
shaft,therebymeasuringtheindentationdepthandthespringforceappliedatonetime.


Figure2
3.HARDNESSMEASUREMENTMETHODS
TherearethreetypesoftestsusedwithaccuracybythemetalsindustrytheyaretheBrinellhardnesstest,the
Rockwellhardnesstest,andtheVickershardnesstest.Sincethedefinitionsofmetallurgicultimatestrength
andhardnessarerathersimilar,itcangenerallybeassumedthatastrongmetalisalsoahardmetal.Theway
thethreeofthesehardnesstestsmeasureametal'shardnessistodeterminethemetal'sresistancetothe
penetrationofanondeformableballorcone.Thetestsdeterminethedepthwhichsuchaballorconewill
sinkintothemetal,underagivenload,withinaspecificperiodoftime.Thefollowingsarethemostcommon
hardnesstestmethodsusedintoday`stechnology:
1.Rockwellhardnesstest
2.Brinellhardness
3.Vickers
4.Knoophardness
5.Shore
3.1.RockwellHardnessTest
TheRockwellHardnesstestisahardnessmeasurementbasedonthenetincreaseindepthofimpressionasa
loadisapplied.HardnessnumbershavenounitsandarecommonlygivenintheR,L,M,EandKscales.
Thehigherthenumberineachofthescalesmeanstheharderthematerial.
Hardnesshasbeenvariouslydefinedasresistancetolocalpenetration,scratching,machining,wearor
abrasion,andyielding.Themultiplicityofdefinitions,andcorrespondingmultiplicityofhardnessmeasuring
instruments,togetherwiththelackofafundamentaldefinition,indicatesthathardnessmaynotbea
fundamentalpropertyofamaterial,butratheracompositeoneincludingyieldstrength,workhardening,true
tensilestrength,modulusofelasticity,andothers.IntheRockwellmethodofhardnesstesting,thedepthof
penetrationofanindenterundercertainarbitrarytestconditionsisdetermined.Theindentermayeitherbea
steelballofsomespecifieddiameterorasphericaldiamondtippedconeof120angleand0.2mmtip
radius,calledBrale.Thetypeofindenterandthetestloaddeterminethehardnessscale(A,B,C,etc)[4].
Aminorloadof10kgisfirstapplied,whichcausesaninitialpenetrationandholdstheindenterin
place.Then,thedialissettozeroandthemajorloadisapplied.Uponremovalofthemajorload,thedepth
readingistakenwhiletheminorloadisstillon.Thehardnessnumbermaythenbereaddirectlyfromthe
scale.
ThehardnessofceramicsubstratescanbedeterminedbytheRockwellhardnesstest,accordingtothe
specificationsofASTME18.Thistestmeasuresthedifferenceindepthcausedbytwodifferentforces,
usingadialgauge.Usingstandardhardnessconversiontables,theRockwellhardnessvalueisdeterminedfor
theloadapplied,thediameteroftheindentor,andtheindentationdepth.

ThehardnesstestingofplasticsismostcommonlymeasuredbytheRockwellhardnesstestorShore
(Durometer)hardnesstest.Bothmethodsmeasuretheresistanceoftheplastictowardindentation.Both
scalesprovideanempiricalhardnessvaluethatdoesn'tcorrelatetootherpropertiesorfundamental
characteristics.Rockwellhardnessisgenerallychosenfor'harder'plasticssuchasnylon,polycarbonate,
polystyrene,andacetalwheretheresiliencyorcreepofthepolymerislesslikelytoaffecttheresults.
Theresultsobtainedfromthistestareausefulmeasureofrelativeresistancetoindentationofvariousgrades
ofplastics.However,theRockwellhardnesstestdoesnotservewellasapredictorofotherpropertiessuchas
strengthorresistancetoscratches,abrasion,orwear,andshouldnotbeusedaloneforproductdesign
specifications.
TheRockwellhardnesstestertomeasurethehardnessofmetalmeasuresresistancetopenetrationlikethe
Brinelltest,butintheRockwellcase,thedepthoftheimpressionismeasuredratherthanthediametricarea.
WiththeRockwelltester,thehardnessisindicateddirectlyonthescaleattachedtothemachine.Thisdial
likescaleisreallyadepthgauge,graduatedinspecialunits.TheRockwellhardnesstestisthemostusedand
versatileofthehardnesstests.
Forsoftmaterialssuchascopperalloys,softsteel,andaluminumalloysa1/16"diametersteelballisused
witha100kilogramloadandthehardnessisreadonthe"B"scale.Intestinghardermaterials,hardcastiron
andmanysteelalloys,a120degreesdiamondconeisusedwithuptoa150kilogramloadandthehardness
isreadonthe"C"scale.TheRockwelltestusestwoloads,oneapplieddirectlyaftertheother.Thefirstload,
knownasthe"minor",loadof10kilogramsisappliedtothespecimentohelpseattheindenterandremove
theeffects,inthetest,ofanysurfaceirregularities.Inessence,theminorloadcreatesauniformlyshaped
surfaceforthemajorloadtobeappliedto.Thedifferenceinthedepthoftheindentationbetweentheminor
andmajorloadsprovidestheRockwellhardnessnumber.ThereareseveralRockwellscalesotherthanthe
"B"&"C"scales,(whicharecalledthecommonscales).Theotherscalesalsousealetterforthescale
symbolprefix,andmanyuseadifferentsizedsteelballindenter.AproperlyusedRockwelldesignationwill
havethehardnessnumberfollowedby"HR"(HardnessRockwell),whichwillbefollowedbyanotherletter
whichindicatesthespecificRockwellscale.Anexampleis60HRB,whichindicatesthatthespecimenhasa
hardnessreadingof60ontheBscale.ThereisasecondRockwelltesterreferredtoasthe"Rockwell
SuperficialHardnessTester".ThismachineworksthesameasthestandardRockwelltester,butisusedto
testthinstrip,orlightlycarburizedsurfaces,smallpartsorpartsthatmightcollapseundertheconditionsof
theregulartest.TheSuperficialtesterusesareducedminorload,just3kilograms,andhasthemajorload
reducedtoeither15or45kilogramsdependingontheindenter,whicharethesameonesusedforthe
commonscales.Usingthe1/16"diameter,steelballindenter,a"T"isadded(meaningthinsheettesting)to
thesuperficialhardnessdesignation.AnexampleofasuperficialRockwellhardnessis15T22,which
indicatesthesuperficialhardnessas22,withaloadof15kilogramsusingthesteelball.Ifthe120diamond
conewereusedinstead,the"T"wouldbereplacedwith"N".
instead,the"T"wouldbereplacedwith"N".TheASTM(AmericanSocietyforTesting&Materials)has
standardizedasetofscales(ranges)forRockwellhardnesstesting.Eachscaleisdesignatedbyaletter.
SCALETYPICALAPPLICATIONS
ACementedcarbides,thinsteelandshallowcasehardenedsteel
BCopperalloys,softsteels,aluminumalloys,malleableiron,etc.
CSteel,hardcastirons,pearliticmalleableiron,titanium,deepcasehardenedsteelandothermaterials
harderthanB100
DThinsteelandmediumcasehardenedsteelandpearliticmalleableiron
ECastiron,aluminumandmagnesiumalloys,bearingmetals
FAnnealedcopperalloys,thinsoftsheetmetals
GPhosphorbronze,berylliumcopper,malleableirons
HAluminum,zinc,lead
K,L,M,P,R,S,VBearingmetalsandotherverysoftorthinmaterials,includingplastics.
3.2.BrinellHardnessTest
Brinellhardnessisdeterminedbyforcingahardsteelorcarbidesphereofaspecifieddiameterundera
specifiedloadintothesurfaceofamaterialandmeasuringthediameteroftheindentationleftafterthe

test.TheBrinellhardnessnumber,orsimplytheBrinellnumber,isobtainedbydividingtheloadused,in
kilograms,bytheactualsurfaceareaoftheindentation,insquaremillimeters.Theresultisapressure
measurement,buttheunitsarerarelystated[5].
TheBrinellhardnesstest[6]usesadesktopmachinetopressa10mmdiameter,hardenedsteelballintothe
surfaceofthetestspecimen.Themachineappliesaloadof500kilogramsforsoftmetalssuchascopper,
brassandthinstock.A1500kilogramloadisusedforaluminumcastings,anda3000kilogramloadisused
formaterialssuchasironandsteel.Theloadisusuallyappliedfor10to15seconds.Aftertheimpressionis
made,ameasurementofthediameteroftheresultingroundimpressionistaken.Itismeasuredtoplusor
minus.05mmusingalowmagnificationportablemicroscope.Thehardnessiscalculatedbydividingthe
loadbytheareaofthecurvedsurfaceoftheindention,(theareaofahemisphericalsurfaceisarrivedatby
multiplyingthesquareofthediameterby3.14159andthendividingby2).Tomakeiteasier,acalibrated
chartisprovided,sowiththediameteroftheindentationthecorrespondinghardnessnumbercanbe
referenced.AwellstructuredBrinellhardnessnumberrevealsthetestconditions,andlookslikethis,"75HB
10/500/30"whichmeansthataBrinellHardnessof75wasobtainedusinga10mmdiameterhardenedsteel
witha500kilogramloadappliedforaperiodof30seconds.Ontestsofextremelyhardmetalsatungsten
carbideballissubstitutedforthesteelball.Amongthethreehardnesstestsdiscussed,theBrinellballmakes
thedeepestandwidestindentation,sothetestaveragesthehardnessoverawideramountofmaterial,which
willmoreaccuratelyaccountformultiplegrainstructures,andanyirregularitiesintheuniformityofthe
alloy.
TheBrinellhardnesstestwasoneofthemostwidelyusedhardnesstestsduringWorldWarII[7].For
measuringarmourplatehardnessthetestisusuallyconductedbypressingatungstencarbidesphere10mmin
diameterintothetestsurfacefor10secondswithaloadof3,000kg,thenmeasuringthediameterofthe
resultingdepression.TheBHNiscalculatedaccordingtothefollowingformula:

where
BHN=theBrinellhardnessnumber
F=theimposedloadinkg
D=thediameterofthesphericalindenterinmm
Di=diameteroftheresultingindenterimpressioninmm
SeveralBHNtestsareusuallycarriedoutoveranareaofarmourplate.Onatypicalplateeachtestwould
resultinaslightlydifferentnumber.Thisisduenotonlytominorvariationsinqualityofthearmourplate
(evenhomogenousarmourisnotabsolutelyuniform)butalsobecausethetestreliesoncarefulmeasurement
ofthediameterofthedepression.SmallerrorsinthismeasurementwillleadtosmallvariationsinBHN
values.Asaresult,BHNisusuallyquotedasarangeofvalues(e.g.210to245,or210245)ratherthanasa
singlevalue.
TheBHNoffacehardenedarmourusesabackslash?\?toseparatethevalueofthefacehardenedsurface
fromthevalueoftherearface.Forexample,aBHNof555\353382indicatesthesurfacehasahardnessof
555andtherearfacehasahardnessof353to382.

TheBrinellHardnessTestdescribedaboveiscalled?HB10/3000WC?andwasthetypeoftestusedbythe
GermansinWorldWarII.Othertypesofhardnesstestsusedifferentmaterialsforthesphereand/ordifferent
loads.SoftermaterialsdeformathighBHNwhichiswhytungstencarbide(averyhardmaterial)isusedto
measurearmourplate.Evenso,astheBHNgoesabove650thetungstencarbideballbeginstoflattenout
andtheBHNvaluesindicateagreaterdifferenceinhardnessthanthereactuallyis,whileabove739theball
flattensoutsobadlythatitcannotbeused.
WhentherearewidelydifferentvaluesforquotedBHNthenthecausemaybeuseofaPoldiHardnessTester
insteadoftheBrinellHardnessTest.ThePoldiHardnessTesterislessaccuratebutcouldbeusedinthefield.
ThePoldiHardnessTesthastheadvantagethatthetestingunitisportable,someasurementscanbecarried
outinthefield,e.g.,oncapturedenemyvehiclesafterabattle.ThePoldiportableunitreliesonahammer
blowimpressioninastandardizedsample.ThistestismuchlessaccuratethantheBrinellHardnessTest.
ASTME10isastandardtestfordeterminingtheBrinellhardnessofmetallicmaterials.Theloadappliedin
thistestisusually3,000,1,500,or500kgf,sothatthediameteroftheindentationisintherange2.5to6.0
mm.Theloadisappliedsteadilywithoutajerk.Thefulltestloadisappliedfor10to15seconds.Two
diametersofimpressionatrightanglesaremeasured,andthemeandiameterisusedasabasisforcalculating
theBrinellhardnessnumber(BHN),whichisdoneusingtheconversiontablegiveninthestandard[8].
3.3.VickersHardnessTest
Itisthestandardmethodformeasuringthehardnessofmetals,particularlythosewithextremelyhard
surfaces:thesurfaceissubjectedtoastandardpressureforastandardlengthoftimebymeansofapyramid
shapeddiamond.ThediagonaloftheresultingindentionismeasuredunderamicroscopeandtheVickers
Hardnessvaluereadfromaconversiontable[9]
Vickershardnessisameasureofthehardnessofamaterial,calculatedfromthesizeofanimpression
producedunderloadbyapyramidshapeddiamondindenter.Devisedinthe1920sbyengineersatVickers,
Ltd.,intheUnitedKingdom,thediamondpyramidhardnesstest,asitalsobecameknown,permittedthe
establishmentofacontinuousscaleofcomparablenumbersthataccuratelyreflectedthewiderangeof
hardnessesfoundinsteels.
TheindenteremployedintheVickerstestisasquarebasedpyramidwhoseoppositesidesmeetattheapexat
anangleof136.Thediamondispressedintothesurfaceofthematerialatloadsrangingupto
approximately120kilogramsforce,andthesizeoftheimpression(usuallynomorethan0.5mm)is
measuredwiththeaidofacalibratedmicroscope.TheVickersnumber(HV)iscalculatedusingthe
followingformula:
HV=1.854(F/D2),
withFbeingtheappliedload(measuredinkilogramsforce)andD2theareaoftheindentation(measuredin
squaremillimetres).TheappliedloadisusuallyspecifiedwhenHViscited.
TheVickerstestisreliableformeasuringthehardnessofmetals,andalsousedonceramicmaterials.The
Vickerstestingmethod[10]issimilartotheBrinelltest.RatherthanusingtheBrinell'ssteelballtype
indenter,andhavetocalculatethehemisphericalareaofimpression,theVickersmachineusesapenetrator
thatissquareinshape,buttippedononecornersoithastheappearanceofaplayingcard"diamond".The
Vickersindenterisa136degreessquarebaseddiamondcone,thediamondmaterialoftheindenterhasan
advantageoverotherindentersbecauseitdoesnotdeformovertimeanduse.Theimpressionleftbythe
Vickerspenetratorisadarksquareonalightbackground.TheVickersimpressionismoreeasily"read"for
areasizethanthecircularimpressionoftheBrinellmethod.LiketheBrinelltest,theVickersnumberis
determinedbydividingtheloadbythesurfaceareaoftheindentation(H=P/A).Theloadvariesfrom1to
120kilograms.ToperformtheVickerstest,thespecimenisplacedonananvilthathasascrewthreaded
base.Theanvilisturnedraisingitbythescrewthreadsuntilitisclosetothepointoftheindenter.Withstart
leveractivated,theloadisslowlyappliedtotheindenter.Theloadisreleasedandtheanvilwiththe
specimenislowered.Theoperationofapplyingandremovingtheloadiscontrolledautomatically.
Severalloadingsgivepracticallyidenticalhardnessnumbersonuniformmaterial,whichismuchbetterthan
thearbitrarychangingofscalewiththeotherhardnessmachines.Afilarmicroscopeisswungoverthe

specimentomeasurethesquareindentationtoatoleranceofplusorminus1/1000ofamillimeter.
Measurementstakenacrossthediagonalstodeterminethearea,areaveraged.ThecorrectVickers
designationisthenumberfollowed"HV"(HardnessVickers).TheadvantagesoftheVickershardnesstest
arethatextremelyaccuratereadingscanbetaken,andjustonetypeofindenterisusedforalltypesofmetals
andsurfacetreatments.Althoughthoroughlyadaptableandveryprecisefortestingthesoftestandhardestof
materials,undervaryingloads,theVickersmachineisafloorstandingunitthatisrathermoreexpensivethan
theBrinellorRockwellmachines[11].

Figure3
3.4.Knoophardness
TherelativemicrohardnessofamaterialisdeterminedbytheKnoopindentationtest.Inthistest,apyramid
shapeddiamondindenterwithapicalanglesof130and17230?(calledaKnoopindenter)ispressedagainst
amaterial.Makingathombohedralimpressionwithonediagonalseventimeslongerthantheother.The
hardnessofthematerialisdeterminedbythedepthtowhichtheKnoopindenterpenetrates[12].
Thistestmethodwasdevisedin1939byF.KnoopandcolleaguesattheNationalBureauofStandardsinthe
UnitedStates.ByusinglowerindentationpressuresthantheVickershardnesstest,whichhadbeendesigned
formeasuringmetals,theKnooptestallowedthehardnesstestingofbrittlematerialssuchasglassand
ceramics.
ThediamondindenteremployedintheKnooptestisintheshapeofanelongatedfoursidedpyramid,with
theanglebetweentwooftheoppositefacesbeingapproximately170andtheanglebetweentheothertwo
being130.Pressedintothematerialunderloadsthatareoftenlessthanonekilogramforce,theindenter
leavesafoursidedimpressionabout0.01to0.1mminsize.Thelengthoftheimpressionisapproximately
seventimesthewidth,andthedepthis1/30thelength.Givensuchdimensions,theareaoftheimpression
underloadcanbecalculatedaftermeasuringonlythelengthofthelongestsidewiththeaidofacalibrated
microscope.ThefinalKnoophardness(HK)isderivedfromthefollowingformula:
HK=14.229(F/D2),
withFbeingtheappliedload(measuredinkilogramsforce)andD2theareaoftheindentation(measuredin
squaremillimetres).Knoophardnessnumbersareoftencitedinconjunctionwithspecificloadvalues.
ASTMD1474dealswithstandardtestmethodsforindentationhardnessoforganiccoatings.Inthistest,
Knoophardnessdeterminationsaremadeat232Cand505%relativehumidity.Thespecimensare
equilibratedundertheseconditionsforatleast24hours.Theyarethenrigidlyattachedtothemovablestage
sothatthesurfacetobemeasuredisnormaltothedirectionoftheindentation.Theapparatusispresetto
applya25gload.Thetimetheindentorisincontactwiththespecimenshouldbe180.5seconds.The
lengthofthelongdiagonaloftheimpressionismeasuredwiththefilarmicrometereyepiece.Theprocedure

isrepeateduntilatleastfiveimpressionshavebeenmadeatwidelyspacedlocations.TheKnoophardness
numberisthencalculatedby

where0.0025istheloadappliedinkgtotheindentor,listhelengthofthelongdiagonaloftheindentationin
mm,andCpistheindentorconstant,equalto7.028x102.
ASTMD785isthestandardtestfordeterminingtheRockwellhardnessofplasticsandelectricalinsulating
materials.Aminorloadof10kg,whichisbuiltintothemachine,isfirstappliedwithoutshock.Within10
secondsafterapplyingtheminorloadandimmediatelyaftersetpositionifobtained,themajorloadis
appliedonthespecimen.Themajorloadisremoved15secondsafteritsapplication.TheRockwellhardness
isreadoffthescaleonthemachine.Careshouldbetakeninchoosingtheproperscale,asRockwellhardness
valuesarereportedasaletter,indicatingthescale,andanumber,indicatingthereading[13].

Figure4
3.5.Shore
Theshorescleroscopemeasureshardnessintermsoftheelasticityofthematerial.Adiamondtipped
hammerinagraduatedglasstubeisallowedtofallfromaknownheightonthespecimentobetested,and
thehardnessnumberdependsontheheighttowhichthehammerreboundstheharderthematerial,the
highertherebound[14].
Shorehardness[15]isameasureoftheresistanceofmaterialtoindentationby3springloadedindenter.The
higherthenumber,thegreatertheresistance.
ThehardnesstestingofplasticsismostcommonlymeasuredbytheShore(Durometer)testorRockwell
hardnesstest.Bothmethodsmeasuretheresistanceoftheplastictowardindentation.Bothscalesprovidean
empiricalhardnessvaluethatdoesn'tcorrelatetootherpropertiesorfundamentalcharacteristics.Shore
Hardness,usingeithertheShoreAorShoreDscale,isthepreferredmethodforrubbers/elastomersandis
alsocommonlyusedfor'softer'plasticssuchaspolyolefins,fluoropolymers,andvinyls.TheShoreAscaleis
usedfor'softer'rubberswhiletheShoreDscaleisusedfor'harder'ones.TheshoreAHardnessistherelative
hardnessofelasticmaterialssuchasrubberorsoftplasticscanbedeterminedwithaninstrumentcalleda
ShoreAdurometer.Iftheindentercompletelypenetratesthesample,areadingof0isobtained,andifno
penetrationoccurs,areadingof100results.Thereadingisdimensionless.
TheShorehardnessismeasuredwithanapparatusknownasaDurometerandconsequentlyisalsoknownas
'Durometerhardness'.ThehardnessvalueisdeterminedbythepenetrationoftheDurometerindenterfoot
intothesample.Becauseoftheresilienceofrubbersandplastics,thehardnessreadingmychangeovertime
sotheindentationtimeissometimesreportedalongwiththehardnessnumber.TheASTMtestnumberis
ASTMD2240whiletheanalogousISOtestmethodisISO868.

Theresultsobtainedfromthistestareausefulmeasureofrelativeresistancetoindentationofvariousgrades
ofpolymers.However,theShoreDurometerhardnesstestdoesnotservewellasapredictorofother
propertiessuchasstrengthorresistancetoscratches,abrasion,orwear,andshouldnotbeusedalonefor
productdesignspecifications.

Figure5.ShoreAvs.ShoreD

Figure6.ShoreDvs.RockwellM[16]

Figure7.Hardnesscomparisonscaleofsomematerials[17]
Others
3.6.1.MohsHardness:
Mohshardnessisdefinedbyhowwellasubstancewillresistscratchingbyanothersubstance[18].Itis
roughmeasureoftheresistanceofasmoothsurfacetoscratchingorabrasion,expressedintermsofascale
devised(1812)bytheGermanmineralogistFriedrichMohs.TheMohshardness[19]ofamineralis
determinedbyobservingwhetheritssurfaceisscratchedbyasubstanceofknownordefinedhardness.
Togivenumericalvaluestothisphysicalproperty,mineralsarerankedalongtheMohsscale,whichis
composedof10mineralsthathavebeengivenarbitraryhardnessvalues.Themineralscontainedinthescale
areshownintheTablealsoshownareothermaterialsthatapproximatethehardnessofsomeofthe
minerals.Asisindicatedbytherankinginthescale,ifamineralisscratchedbyorthoclasebutnotbyapatite,
itsMohshardnessisbetween5and6.Inthedeterminationprocedureitisnecessarytobecertainthata
scratchisactuallymadeandnotjusta"chalk"markthatwillruboff.Ifthespeciesbeingtestedisfine
grained,friable,orpulverulent,thetestmayonlyloosengrainswithouttestingindividualmineralsurfaces
thuscertaintexturesoraggregateformsmayhinderorpreventatruehardnessdetermination.Forthisreason
theMohstest,whilegreatlyfacilitatingtheidentificationofmineralsinthefield,isnotsuitablefor
accuratelygaugingthehardnessofindustrialmaterialssuchassteelorceramics.(Forthesematerialsamore
precisemeasureistobefoundintheVickershardnessorKnoophardness)Anotherdisadvantageofthe
Mohsscaleisthatitisnotlinearthatis,eachincrementofoneinthescaledoesnotindicateaproportional
increaseinhardness.Forinstance,theprogressionfromcalcitetofluorite(from3to4ontheMohsscale)
reflectsanincreaseinhardnessofapproximately25percenttheprogressionfromcorundumtodiamond,on
theotherhand(9to10ontheMohsscale),reflectsahardnessincreaseofmorethan300percent.
3.6.2.BarcolHardness
Barcolhardnessisamethodthatahardnessvalueobtainedbymeasuringtheresistancetopenetrationofa
sharpsteelpointunderaspringload.Theinstrument,calledtheBarcolimpressor,givesadirectreadingona
0to100scale.Thehardnessvalueisoftenusedasameasureofthedegreeofcureofaplastic.

ASTMD2583BarcolHardnesstestmethodisusedtodeterminethehardnessofbothreinforcedandnon
reinforcedrigidplastics.ThespecimenisplacedundertheindentoroftheBarcolhardnesstesteranda
uniformpressureisappliedtothespecimenuntilthedialindicationreachesamaximum.Thedepthofthe
penetrationisconvertedintoabsoluteBarcolnumbers.
Barcolhardnessvaluesarealsousedtodeterminedegreeofcureofresin.Resinisconsideredcuredwhenit
hasahardnessvaluegreaterthanorequalto90%ofthesurfacehardnessvalue.
4.HARDNESSOFELECTRONICPACKAGINGMATERIALS:
Material
Rockwell Brinell
Knoop Vickers
153.3
CopperFilm

KP
Kovar(53Fe+29Ni+ 68.0RW
120

17Co)
(B)
NEMAFR4Glass
110.0RW

Fiber/EpoxyComposite
AluminumFilm

0.587VR
72.8VR
DiamondFilm

65GPa (29118
Gpa)
TungstenFilm

19.885VR
Alumina,Al(2)O(3)

19.81VR
AluminumNitride

12.20VR
SiliconNitride

17.46VR
Dieattach

Silicone

Shore

Mohs

2090Aa

Table.Hardnessvaluesofcommonpackagingmaterials
KP:KnoopHardnessRW:RockwellHardnessVR:VickersHardness,b:glassormineralfilled,c:
casting/liquidresins
5.COMPARISIONOFHARDNESSMEASUREMENTS

Figure8.Comparisonofhardnessscales

Figure9.Thesummarytablefordifferenthardnesstestingmethods[26]
6.HARDNESSMEASUREMENTEQUIPMENTS

Figure10.Aportableandfasthardnessgauge,fortestingAluminum,mildsteel,brassandcopperwith
thicknessrangeof0.025to1/4inch.Itisusedforidentifyingheattreatedfromnonheattreatedparts,
providescorrelationbetweenabenchmountedhardnesstesterandtheproductionline,forsegregating
materialsinstock,fordifferentiatingbetweensoftorworkhardenedmaterial,foridentifyingpartsmade
fromimproperorsubstandardalloys,checkingforproperheattreatmentresponse,usefulinconjunctionwith
stationarylaboratoryhardnesstesters.

Figure1112.ForhardnessdeterminationofplasticsandelastomersaccordingtoA,D,B,C,DO,OandOO
scales.Usedinthehardnessdeterminationonallnaturalandsyntheticrubberproducts,acrylicglass,
acetates,castingresin,polyester,themoplastics,PVC,neoprenesandetc

Figure1314.ThedigitaldurometerHPE,servesforthehardnessdeterminationofrubber,elastomers,and
plasticswithinthedurometerrangesA,D,B,O,OO,C,andDO.

Figure15.BrinellHardnessTester

Figure16.Rockwelltestconsistsofcheckingtheresistanceofasample,tobepenetratedbyahardmetalball
orbyaconicalshapeddiamond,underthepressureofaload.Thistestproceedsintwosteps.Atfirstthe
penetrationstartpoint(zero)underaminororpreliminaryloadisdetermined,andthesecondstephappens
underamajorload.Thelatentdeformationmeasuredafterreleasingthemajorload,isadirectmeasureofthe
Rockwellhardness,whichisgivenonthescaleofthedialgauge.

Figure17.WithdigitaldisplayforRockwellA,B,Candsuperficialhardnesstesting.

Figure18.DigitalLowLoadTesterforVickers,Brinell,andKnoopLoadrangeHV0.1HV30

Figure19.AnaloghardnesstesterforVickers,Knoop,BrinellandScoringWithMicroandMacroload
attachments

Figure20.TheNanoTestersupportsindentation,scratchingandimpact.

Figure21.EquipmentforhardnessdeterminationofPlastics,Elastomers,ORings,Seals,Gaskets,Rubber
Rollers.

Figure22Hardnessunitsconversiontable[27]
7.RELATIONOFHARDNESSTOOTHERMATERIALPROPERTIES
Hardnesscoversseveralproperties:resistancetodeformation,resistancetofrictionandabrasion.
Thewellknowncorrelationlinkshardnesswithtensilestrength,whileresistancetodeformationisdependent
onmodulusofelasticity.Thefrictionalresistancemaybedividedintwoequallyimportantparts:the
chemicalaffinityofmaterialsincontact,andthehardnessitself.
Soitiseasytounderstandthatsurfacetreatmentsmodifyfrictionalcoefficientsandbehaviourofthepartsin
contact.Theabrasionresistanceispartiallyrelatedtohardness(between2metallicpartsinfrictionalcontact,
thelesshardonewillbethemorerapidlyworn),butexperimentscarriedoutatCentredeRecherches
PECHINEYinVoreppe(CRV),withTABERtestshowthatthecorrelationresistanceagainstwear/hardness
presentssomeinversions[28]

Acorrelationmaybeestablishedbetweenhardnessandsomeothermaterialpropertysuchastensilestrength.
Thentheotherproperty(suchasstrength)maybeestimatedbasedonhardnesstestresults,whicharemuch
simplertoobtain.Thiscorrelationdependsuponspecifictestdataandcannotbeextrapolatedtoincludeother
materialsnottested.
Theyieldstrengthintensionisabout1/3ofthehardness[29].Tofindtheballparkfigurefortheyield
strengthconvertthehardnessnumbertoMPa(orpsi)anddivideby3.ForexampletaketheVickersnumber,
whichhasthedimensionkg/mm2,andmultiplyby10to(approximately)convertitto/mm2(=MPa)then
dividebythree.
Forexample:HV300correspondstoaSigmayofapproximately1000MPa.Anapproximaterelationship
betweenthehardnessandthetensilestrength(ofsteel)is,

WhereHBistheBrinnellHardnessofthematerial,asmeasuredwithastandardindenteranda3000kgf
load.

Figure23.Harfdness&TensileStrength[30]
Wearisgenerallyaffectedbyseveralfactors,amongthemmaterialsselection,friction,surfaceload,sliding
distance,surfacehardness,surfacefinish,andlubrication.Controllingthesefactorscancontributetoa
successfulapplicationbyhelpingtopreventwearandprematureproductfailure.Wearcanbedefinedasboth
materiallossanddeformationatcontactsurfaces.Wearresultsinparticlegenerationandsurfacedegradation
Propertiesarehighwearresistancehighstrength,hardnessandfracturetoughnesslowporosityhighcreep
andcorrosionresistanceThehardnessofametallimitstheeasewithwhichitcanbemachined,since
toughnessdecreasesashardnessincreasesToughnessisacombinationofhighstrengthandmediumductility.
Itistheabilityofamaterialormetaltoresistfracture,plustheabilitytoresistfailureafterthedamagehas
begun.Atoughmetal,suchascoldchisel,isonethatcanwithstandconsiderablestress,slowlyorsuddenly
applied,andwhichwilldeformbeforefailure.Toughnessistheabilityofamaterialtoresistthestartof
permanentdistortionplustheabilitytoresistshockorabsorbenergy[31].

8.REFERENCES
[1]Ref:http://www.plint.co.uk/at2/leaflet/te76.htm[2]Ref:http://www.meeinc.com/microhar.html[3]Ref.
thttp://www.ccm.ecn.purdue.edu/tfd/testing_methods/nanoindentation.htm[4]Ref.CALCE[5]Ref.CALCE
[6]Ref.http://www.bikepro.com/products/metals/hardness.html[7]
Ref.:http://www.wargamer.org/GvA/background/hardness1.html
http://www.bartleby.com/65/ha/hardness.html[8]Ref.CALCE[9]
Ref.:http://www.steelmill.com/DICTIONARY/dom_desc_576_594.html[10]Ref.:
http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/2/0,5716,212+1,00.html
[11]Ref.:http://www.bikepro.com/products/metals/hardness.html[12]Ref.CALCE[13]Ref.CALCE[14]
Ref.http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/8/0,5716,40048+1,00.html[15]Ref.http://isl
garnet.uah.edu/Composites/s.html#Shorehardness[16]Ref.forFig.5andFig.6:http://www.matweb.com
[17]Ref.http://www.airproducts.com/chemicals/17600/castp.html[18]Ref.
http://www.minerals.net/resource/property/hardness.htm[19]Ref.
http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/4/0,5716,54534+1+53205,00.html[20]Ref.
http://www.users.skynet.be/gentec/thrmsel.htm(companiesprovidedifferenthardnessvaluesfortheir
differenttypeofdieattachproducts.[21]Ref.http://www.engmatsys.com/die.htm(companiesprovide
differenthardnessvaluesfortheirdifferenttypeofdieattachproducts)[22]Ref.
http://www.dowcorning.com(companiesprovidedifferenthardnessvaluesfortheirdifferenttypeofdie
attachproducts)[23]Ref.http://www.matweb.com[24]Ref.http://www.matweb.com[25]Ref.
http://www.dowcorning.coma:Ref.ByPechtHandbookofElectronicPackageDesign,1991[26]Ref.
http://www.hardnesstesters.com/hardness_train3.htm[27]Ref.
http://www.wargamer.org/GvA/background/hardness4.html[28]Ref.http://www.kimwin.com.my/inj_89.htm
[29]Ref.http://www.efunda.com/forum/show_message.cfm?start=1&thread=4261&id=4358[30]Ref.
http://www.engineering.usu.edu/mae/faculty/thfronk/mae2060/chap6/sld033[31]Ref.
http://www.adtdl.army.mil/cgibin/atdl.dll/tc/9237/Ch7.htm#tab7_1
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