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Significance and Use
4.1 The Rockwell hardness test is an empirical indentation hardness test that can provide useful information about metallic materials. This information may correlate to tensile strength, wear resistance, ductility, and other physical characteristics of metallic materials, and may be useful in quality control and selection of materials.
4.2 Rockwell hardness tests are considered satisfactory for acceptance testing of commercial shipments, and have been used extensively in industry for this purpose.
4.3 Rockwell hardness testing at a specific location on a part may not represent the physical characteristics of the whole part or end product.
4.4 Adherence to this standard test method provides traceability to national Rockwell hardness standards except as stated otherwise.
1.1 These test methods cover the determination of the Rockwell hardness and the Rockwell superficial hardness of metallic materials by the Rockwell indentation hardness principle. This standard provides the requirements for Rockwell hardness machines and the procedures for performing Rockwell hardness tests.
1.2 This test method includes requirements for the use of portable Rockwell hardness testing machines that measure Rockwell hardness by the Rockwell hardness test principle and can meet all the requirements of this test method, including the direct and indirect verifications of the testing machine. Portable Rockwell hardness testing machines that cannot meet the direct verification requirements and can only be verified by indirect verification requirements are covered in Test Method .
1.3 This standard includes additional requirements in the following annexes:
Verification of Rockwell Hardness Testing Machines
Rockwell Hardness Standardizing Machines
Standardization of Rockwell Indenters
Standardization of Rockwell Hardness Test Blocks
Guidelines for Determining the Minimum Thickness of a
Hardness Value Corrections When Testing on Convex
1.4 This standard includes nonmandatory information in the following appendixes that relates to the Rockwell hardness test.
List of ASTM Standards Giving Hardness Values Corresponding
Examples of Procedures for Determining Rockwell
1.5 Units—At the time the Rockwell hardness test was developed, the force levels were specified in units of kilograms-force (kgf) and the indenter ball diameters were specified in units of inches (in.). This standard specifies the units of force and length in the International System of Units (SI); that is, force in Newtons (N) and length in millimeters (mm). However, because of the historical precedent and continued common usage, force values in kgf units and ball diameters in inch units are provided for information and much of the discussion in this standard refers to these units.
1.6 The test principles, testing procedures, and verification procedures are essentially identical for both the Rockwell and Rockwell superficial hardness tests. The significant differences between the two tests are that the test forces are smaller for the Rockwell superficial test than for the Rockwell test. The same type and size indenters may be used for either test, depending on the scale being employed. Accordingly, throughout this standard, the term Rockwell will imply both Rockwell and Rockwell superficial unless stated otherwise.
1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.8 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
A370 Test Methods and Definitions for Mechanical Testing of Steel Products
A623 Specification for Tin Mill Products, General Requirements
A623M Specification for Tin Mill Products, General Requirements [Metric]
A883 Test Method for Ferrimagnetic Resonance Linewidth and Gyromagnetic Ratio of Nonmetallic Magnetic Materials
A956 Test Method for Leeb Hardness Testing of Steel Products
A1038 Test Method for Portable Hardness Testing by the Ultrasonic Contact Impedance Method
B19 Specification for Cartridge Brass Sheet, Strip, Plate, Bar, and Disks
B36/B36M Specification for Brass Plate, Sheet, Strip, And Rolled Bar
B96/B96M Specification for Copper-Silicon Alloy Plate, Sheet, Strip, and Rolled Bar for General Purposes and Pressure Vessels
B103/B103M Specification for Phosphor Bronze Plate, Sheet, Strip, and Rolled Bar
B121/B121M Specification for Leaded Brass Plate, Sheet, Strip, and Rolled Bar
B122/B122M Specification for Copper-Nickel-Tin Alloy, Copper-Nickel-Zinc Alloy (Nickel Silver), and Copper-Nickel Alloy Plate, Sheet, Strip, and Rolled Bar
B130 Specification for Commercial Bronze Strip for Bullet Jackets
B134/B134M Specification for Brass Wire
B152/B152M Specification for Copper Sheet, Strip, Plate, and Rolled Bar
B370 Specification for Copper Sheet and Strip for Building Construction
B647 Test Method for Indentation Hardness of Aluminum Alloys by Means of a Webster Hardness Gage
E29 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Test Data to Determine Conformance with Specifications
E92 Test Methods for Vickers Hardness and Knoop Hardness of Metallic Materials
E110 Test Method for Rockwell and Brinell Hardness of Metallic Materials by Portable Hardness Testers
E140 Hardness Conversion Tables for Metals Relationship Among Brinell Hardness, Vickers Hardness, Rockwell Hardness, Superficial Hardness, Knoop Hardness, Scleroscope Hardness, and Leeb Hardness
E384 Test Method for Microindentation Hardness of Materials
E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method
ISO StandardsConformity AssessmentGeneral Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies ISO 6508-1 Metallic MaterialsRockwell Hardness TestPart 1: Test Method (scales A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, K, N, T) Available from American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 25 W. 43rd St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036, http://www.ansi.org. ISO/IEC 17025
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) StandardSAE J417
American Bearings Manufacturer Association StandardABMA 10-1989
ICS Number Code 77.040.10 (Mechanical testing of metals)
UNSPSC Code 41114611(Hardness testers)
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ASTM E18-18, Standard Test Methods for Rockwell Hardness of Metallic Materials, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2018, www.astm.orgBack to Top