Active Standard ASTM E92 Developed by Subcommittee: E28.06
Book of Standards Volume: 03.01
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Significance and Use
4.1 Vickers and Knoop hardness tests have been found to be very useful for materials evaluation, quality control of manufacturing processes and research and development efforts. Hardness, although empirical in nature, can be correlated to tensile strength for many metals, and is an indicator of wear resistance and ductility.
4.2 Microindentation hardness tests extend testing to materials that are too thin or too small for macroindentation hardness tests. Microindentation hardness tests also allow specific phases or constituents and regions or gradients too small for macroindentation hardness testing to be evaluated. Recommendations for microindentation testing can be found in Test Method .
4.3 Because the Vickers and Knoop hardness will reveal hardness variations that may exist within a material, a single test value may not be representative of the bulk hardness.
4.4 The Vickers indenter usually produces essentially the same hardness number at all test forces when testing homogeneous material, except for tests using very low forces (below 25 gf) or for indentations with diagonals smaller than about 25 µm (see Test Method ). For isotropic materials, the two diagonals of a Vickers indentation are equal in length.
4.5 The Knoop indenter usually produces similar hardness numbers over a wide range of test forces, but the numbers tend to rise as the test force is decreased. This rise in hardness number with lower test forces is often more significant when testing higher hardness materials, and is increasingly more significant when using test forces below 50 gf (see Test Method ).
4.6 The elongated four-sided rhombohedral shape of the Knoop indenter, where the length of the long diagonal is 7.114 times greater than the short diagonal, produces narrower and shallower indentations than the square-based pyramid Vickers indenter under identical test conditions. Hence, the Knoop hardness test is very useful for evaluating hardness gradients since Knoop indentations can be made closer together than Vickers indentations by orienting the Knoop indentations with the short diagonals in the direction of the hardness gradient.