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rockwell method
Rockwell Hardness Scales
- Reference Information and Standards -

In theory Rockwell hardness scales are to be selected based on the correct range and the combination of highest load and smallest diameter that will provide a good result without violating the minimum thickness, round correction, or other limitations, like case hardened samples. In practice there are more often practical concerns for selecting a scale. There may be specifications for which test to use on a sample and your tester may only be certified for testing in certain scales and there may only be test blocks/indenters for those scales as well. So people generally will test in Rockwell C or B depending on if the material is hard or soft, or look at the minimum thickness requirements if the sample is thin. If your company is involved with a certain industry, there may be scales other than B and C that people know to use.

Scale Designation Indenter Major Load (kg) Minor Load (kg) Application
A Diamond 60 10 thin steel, thin case hardened steel
B 1/16" ball 100 10 Mid-range copper, aluminum, malleable iiron
C Diamond 150 10 Most steels, hard cast iron
D Diamond 100 10 thin steel, thin case hardened steel, pearlitic malleable iron
E 1/8" ball 100 10 cast iron, aluminum & amgnesium alloys
F 1/16" ball 60 10 Softer copper, soft thin sheet metal
G 1/16" ball 150 10 Harder copper, malleable iron
H 1/8" ball 60 10 Zinc, lead, aluminum
K 1/8" ball 150 10 Thin soft metals or plastics
L 1/4" ball 60 10
M 1/4" ball 100 10
P 1/4" ball 150 10
R 1/2" ball 60 10
S 1/2" ball 100 10
V 1/2" ball 150 10
15N Diamond 15 3 Thin metals, small diameter rounds like wire, or surface hardness testing on shallow case depth materials
30N Diamond 30 3
45N Diamond 45 3
15T 1/16" ball 15 3
30T 1/16" ball 30 3
45T 1/16" ball 45 3
15W 1/8" ball 15 3
30W 1/8" ball 30 3
45W 1/8" ball 45 3
15X 1/4" ball 15 3
30X 1/4" ball 30 3
45X 1/4" ball 45 3
15Y 1/2" ball 15 3
30Y 1/2" ball 30 3
45Y 1/2" ball 45 3


Rockwell Hardness Chart (+PDF)
(aka Hardness Scale Conversion Chart)

Round Correction Factor (+PDF)
Hardness Minimum Thickness (+PDF)

ASTM Hardness Test Methods (+PDF)
Rockwell Hardness Scales (+PDF)

Brinell Hardness Chart (+PDF)
Vickers Hardness Chart (+PDF)

Rockwell Hardness Testing
Brinell Hardness Testing
Microhardness Testing

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