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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.
1.1 These test methods cover the determination of the Vickers hardness and Knoop hardness of metallic materials by the Vickers and Knoop indentation hardness principles. This standard provides the requirements for Vickers and Knoop hardness machines and the procedures for performing Vickers and Knoop hardness tests.
1.2 This standard includes additional requirements in annexes:
Verification of Vickers and Knoop Hardness Testing Machines
Vickers and Knoop Hardness Standardizing Machines
Standardization of Vickers and Knoop Indenters
Standardization of Vickers and Knoop Hardness Test Blocks
Correction Factors for Vickers Hardness Tests Made on Spherical and Cylindrical Surfaces
1.3 This standard includes nonmandatory information in an appendix which relates to the Vickers and Knoop hardness tests:
Examples of Procedures for Determining Vickers and Knoop Hardness Uncertainty
1.4 This test method covers Vickers hardness tests made utilizing test forces ranging from 9.807 × 10-3 N to 1176.80 N (1 gf to 120 kgf), and Knoop hardness tests made utilizing test forces from 9.807 × 10-3 N to 19.613 N (1 gf to 2 kgf).
1.5 Additional information on the procedures and guidance when testing in the microindentation force range (forces ≤ 1 kgf) may be found in Test Method , Test Method for Microindentation Hardness of Materials.
1.6 Units—When the Vickers and Knoop hardness tests were developed, the force levels were specified in units of grams-force (gf) and kilograms-force (kgf). 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 mm or µm. However, because of the historical precedent and continued common usage, force values in gf and kgf units are provided for information and much of the discussion in this standard as well as the method of reporting the test results refers to these units.
Note 1: The Vickers and Knoop hardness numbers were originally defined in terms of the test force in kilogram-force (kgf) and the surface area or projected area in millimetres squared (mm2). Today, the hardness numbers are internationally defined in terms of SI units, that is, the test force in Newtons (N). However, in practice, the most commonly used force units are kilogram-force (kgf) and gram-force (gf). When Newton units of force are used, the force must be divided by the conversion factor 9.80665 N/kgf.
1.7 The test principles, testing procedures, and verification procedures are essentially identical for both the Vickers and Knoop hardness tests. The significant differences between the two tests are the geometries of the respective indenters, the method of calculation of the hardness numbers, and that Vickers hardness may be used at higher force levels than Knoop hardness.
Note 2: While Committee E28 is primarily concerned with metallic materials, the test procedures described are applicable to other materials. Other materials may require special considerations, for example see and for ceramic testing.
1.8 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 and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
C1326 Test Method for Knoop Indentation Hardness of Advanced Ceramics
C1327 Test Method for Vickers Indentation Hardness of Advanced Ceramics
E3 Guide for Preparation of Metallographic Specimens
E6 Terminology Relating to Methods of Mechanical Testing
E7 Terminology Relating to Metallography
E29 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Test Data to Determine Conformance with Specifications
E74 Practice of Calibration of Force-Measuring Instruments for Verifying the Force Indication of Testing Machines
E140 Hardness Conversion Tables for Metals Relationship Among Brinell Hardness, Vickers Hardness, Rockwell Hardness, Superficial Hardness, Knoop Hardness, Scleroscope Hardness, and Leeb Hardness
E175 Terminology of Microscopy
E177 Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods
E384 Test Method for Microindentation Hardness of Materials
E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method
ICS Number Code 77.040.10 (Mechanical testing of metals)
UNSPSC Code 41114611(Hardness testers)
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ASTM E92-16, Standard Test Methods for Vickers Hardness and Knoop Hardness of Metallic Materials, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016, www.astm.orgBack to Top