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ABCD

Procedure: Hardness Testing by Portable Ultrasonic Contact Impedance (SOP-030)


Revision: 0
Date Issued: 07/11/08
Procedural Expert: Materials Technology Center (MTC) Technical Manager
1.0 PURPOSE
The purpose of this procedure is to prescribe the methods used to prepare test sites and measure hardness
values of metallic materials using an ultrasonic contact impedance hardness tester.
2.0 REFERENCES
2.1 GE Inspection Technologies Microdur MIC 10 or MIC 20 Operating Manual
Available at:
www.geinspectiontechnologies.com/download/manuals/ut/hardness_testing/084-028-547EN_mic10.pdf
3.0 SUMMARY OF METHOD
The tester oscillates a probe with a Vickers diamond on the contact end at an ultrasonic frequency and applies a
load using a spring. The tester then measures the change in frequency of the probe as the load is applied. This
change in frequency is proportional to the size of the test indentation and the tester converts this change into a
hardness value.
4.0 REQUIRED EQUIPMENT
4.1 GE Inspection Technologies Microdur 10 hardness tester.
4.2 GE Inspection Technologies MIC 2010 Probe.
4.3 GE Inspection Technologies 1060 Grinding Set or:
Four-inch disc grinder.
Grinding rocks (36-grit) to fit grinder.
Flapper wheels (120 to 600-grit) to fit grinder.
4.4 Straight-edged ruler (6 inch).
4.5 Feeler gages.
4.6 Permanent marker.
5.0 OPERATOR QUALIFICATIONS
5.1 Personnel performing hardness testing shall be adequately trained in the operation and calibration of the
hardness tester and related equipment. Training shall include preparation of test surface and the effects
of test area surface finish.
5.2 Demonstration of proficiency shall include making hardness measurements on laboratory calibrated test
blocks oriented in both the horizontal and vertical positions.
5.3 As a minimum, the individual operator shall have 10 hours experience working with the hardness tester
and related equipment.
6.0 PREREQUISITES
6.1 Preparation of the test surface.
6.1.1 Using the MIC 1060 (or equivalent) grinding set, prepare a ~15-mm diameter test area by
grinding the surface of the component to remove any ash (if present), paint, scale, and de-
carburization. The overall size of the grinding area might be significantly larger if considerable
surface material must be removed. On pipes and large components the depth of the grinding on
base materials should be between 0.035" and 0.055" (1 mm 1.25 mm) to ensure complete
removal of any decarburized layer; welds only need to be smoothed to remove the bead
patterns. On tubes, especially ones that have not been exposed to service conditions, the
material removal is usually less and the concern becomes one of violating minimum wall
thickness requirements. In these instances, it is prudent to check the wall thickness as part of
the test site selection and, if possible, select the thickest wall area.
6.1.2 Caution: Excessive force can either overheat the test surface and affect test results or the
grinding media, itself, can shatter.
6.1.3 Smooth the test area using the MIC 1060 grinding set (or other appropriate equipment) to create
a flat, uniform finish meeting the requirements of the Operating Manual.
Hardness Testing by Ultrasonic Contact Impedance SOP-030 Rev 0.doc Page 1 of 2
6.2 Check the depth of surface preparation.
6.2.1 Place the ruler on edge and across the test area so that it rests on the un-ground areas on each
side of the prepared area. On cylindrical components, the ruler should be parallel to the cylinder
axis. On doubly curved or irregular components, the ruler orientation will be somewhat arbitrary
and will require reasonable judgment.
6.2.2 Verify that an adequate amount of material was removed and that the test area is sufficiently flat
by sliding the ruler back and forth across the test area and using the feeler gage to measure the
distance from the bottom of the ruler to the top of the ground surface.
6.3 Identify the test sites.
6.3.1 Use the same ruler and feeler gage technique to identify a region meeting the depth and flatness
requirements.
6.3.2 Outline the perimeter of this region with the marker.
7.0 PROCEDURE
7.1 Verify the instrument calibration using a calibration block having the same nominal composition and
hardness as the material to be tested. This will involve taking 10 successive readings and verifying that
the average of these readings is within +/-5% of the calibration block hardness.
7.2 Obtain ten successive hardness readings within the perimeter of the test region, taking care to space the
local test sites such that the material disturbed by one test does not influence subsequent readings.
7.3 Calculate the average of the ten readings and report this value as the hardness of the test location. All
readings, including the average must be recorded on the data sheets or by a suitable electronic device.
8.0 ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA
8.1 The ten hardness readings obtained from any test site must not differ by more than 20 Vickers points.
9.0 RETEST CONSIDERATIONS
9.1 Physical access to test site for making or reading indentations.
9.2 Flatness of test area and uniformity of surface preparation depth at test spots.
9.3 Retest spots must be sufficiently separated from originals to avoid interaction.
9.4 If test area has to be reground, care must be taken to identify original indentation locations so that retest
spots are not near, or on top of, the originals.
10.0 DOCUMENTATION
10.1 Use an appropriate data collection form or suitable electronic device to record all information pertinent to
the testing.
10.2 Include:
10.2.1 Customer/Supplier.
10.2.2 Contract Number/PO Number.
10.2.3 Component involved (Piece Mark).
10.2.4 Type of material tested.
10.2.5 Sketch or attached drawing showing location of test sites.
10.2.6 Individual hardness readings for each test and average value for test location.
10.2.7 Date testing was performed.
10.2.8 Personnel performing the testing.

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