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ASTM E384-11e1

Standard Test Method for Knoop and Vickers Hardness of Materials

Standard Test Method for Knoop and Vickers Hardness of Materials E0384-11E01 ASTM|E0384-11E01|en-US Standard Test Method for Knoop and Vickers Hardness of Materials Standard new BOS Vol. 03.01 Committee E04
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Significance and Use

4.1 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.

4.3 Because the Knoop and Vickers hardness will reveal hardness variations that may exist within a material, a single test value may not be representative of the bulk hardness.

The Vickers indenter usually produces a geometrically similar indentation at all test forces. Except for tests at very low forces that produce indentations with diagonals smaller than about 25 μm, the hardness number will be essentially the same as produced by Vickers machines with test forces greater than 1 kgf, as long as the material being tested is reasonably homogeneous. For isotropic materials, the two diagonals of a Vickers indentation are equal in size. Recommendations for low force microindentation testing can be found in Appendix X5.

The Knoop indenter does not produce a geometrically similar indentation as a function of test force. Consequently, the Knoop hardness will vary with test force. Due to its rhombic shape, the indentation depth is shallower for a Knoop indentation compared to a Vickers indentation under identical test conditions. The two diagonals of a Knoop indentation are markedly different. Ideally, the long diagonal is 7.114 times longer than the short diagonal, but this ratio is influenced by elastic recovery. Thus, the Knoop indenter is very useful for evaluating hardness gradients or thin coatings of sectioned samples.


1.1 This test method covers determination of the Knoop and Vickers hardness of materials, the verification of Knoop and Vickers hardness testing machines, and the calibration of standardized Knoop and Vickers test blocks.

1.2 This test method covers Knoop and Vickers hardness tests made utilizing test forces in micro (9.807 × 10-3 to 9.807 N ) ( 1 to 1000 gf ) and macro (>9.807 to 1176.80 N) ( >1kg to 120 kgf ) ranges.

Note 1—Previous versions of this standard limited test forces to 9.807 N (1 kgf).

1.3 This test method includes all of the requirements to perform macro Vickers hardness tests as previously defined in Test Method E92, Standard Test Method for Vickers Hardness Testing.

1.4 This test method includes an analysis of the possible sources of errors that can occur during Knoop and Vickers testing and how these factors affect the accuracy, repeatability, and reproducibility of test results.

Note 2—While Committee E04 is primarily concerned with metals, the test procedures described are applicable to other materials.

1.5 UnitsWhen Knoop and Vickers 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.

1.6 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 03.01
Developed by Subcommittee: E04.05
Pages: 43
DOI: 10.1520/E0384-11E01
ICS Code: 19.060