A hardness test performed on a Rockwell hardness testing machine. Hardness is determined by a dial reading which indicates the depth of penetration of a steel ball for softer steels and a diamond cone for heat treated and harder steels when a load is applied.
In this test a standard constant load, usually 500 to 3,000 kg, is applied to a smooth flat metal surface by a hardened steel-ball type indenter, 10 mm in diameter. The 500-kg load is usually used for testing nonferrous metals such as copper and aluminum alloys, whereas the 3,000-kg load is most often used for testing harder metals such as steels and cast irons. The numerical value of Brinell Hardness (HB), is equal to the load, divided by the surface area of the resulting spherical impression.
The Vickers test is often easier to use than other hardness tests since the required calculations are independent of the size of the indenter, and the indenter can be used for all materials irrespective of hardness. The basic principle, as with all common measures of hardness, is to observe the questioned materials' ability to resist plastic deformation from a standard source. The Vickers test can be used for all metals and has one of the widest scales among hardness tests.
The Vickers hardness test method consists of indenting the test material with a diamond indenter, in the form of a right pyramid with a square base and an angle of 136 degrees between opposite faces subjected to a load of 1 to 100 kgf. The full load is normally applied for 10 to 15 seconds. The two diagonals of the indentation left in the surface of the material after removal of the load are measured using a microscope and their average calculated. The area of the sloping surface of the indentation is calculated. The Vickers hardness is the quotient obtained by dividing the kgf load by the square mm area of indentation.
The term microhardness test usually refers to static indentations made with loads not exceeding 1 kgf. The indenter is either the Vickers diamond pyramid or the Knoop elongated diamond pyramid. The procedure for testing is very similar to that of the standard Vickers hardness test, except that it is done on a microscopic scale with higher precision instruments. The surface being tested generally requires a metallographic finish; the smaller the load used, the higher the surface finish required. Precision microscopes are used to measure the indentations; these usually have a magnification of around X500 and measure to an accuracy of +0.5 micrometres. Also with the same observer differences of +0.2 micrometres can usually be resolved. It should, however, be added that considerable care and experience are necessary to obtain this accuracy
The Charpy impact test, also known as the Charpy v-notch test, is a standardized high strain-rate test which determines the amount of energy absorbed by a material during fracture. This absorbed energy is a measure of a given material's toughness and acts as a tool to study temperature-dependent brittle-ductile transition. It is widely applied in industry, since it is easy to prepare and conduct and results can be obtained quickly and cheaply.
Bending tests are carried out to ensure that a metal has sufficient ductility to stand bending without fracturing. A standard specimen is bent through a specified arc and in the case of strip, the direction of grain flow is noted and whether the bend is with or across the grain.