Cranfield Defence and Security offers hardness and microhardness analysis testing and evaluation over the complete range, covering conventional hardness (loads 1kg to 50kg), microhardness (loads 1g to 2kg) and nanohardness (loads 0.001g to 30g).

Types of testing

  • Conventional hardness testing,
  • Microhardness testing,
  • Nanohardness testing,
  • Common tests used are Rockwell, Vickers, Knoop and Brinell.

Summary of applications

Hardness is generally defined as a materials resistance to permanent or plastic deformation. In many materials, hardness is a measure of resistance to an indentation where a ball, diamond pyramid or cone is forced into the material being tested under an applied load (typically 1kg to 50kg) for a given time.

Common hardness tests used are the Rockwell, Vickers, Knoop and Brinell. All tests use the relationship between total applied force and area or depth of impression to provide a measure of hardness.

For measurement of thin foils, surface treatments, anodised layers, thin solid films, or microstructural constituents, the microhardness test and the nanohardness test can be employed. This is based on the Vickers and Knoop test but produces a smaller impression due to the lighter loads used (loads below 1kg are generally termed as microhardness).

Using the facility

The facility can be used for:

  • Evaluating the success of various types of heat treatments,
  • Determining the effective depth of surface hardening treatments,
  • Testing and evaluating anodising treatments/layers,
  • Studying wear resistance.