A simplified equation for calculating rapidly a parameter of a Gaussian curve fitted to a diffraction line peak is proposed for use in the evaluation of the diffraction line width. An equation for calculating the standard deviation of the parameter, caused by counting statistics, is also given to evaluate the reproducibility of the parameter. The parameter together with its standard deviation can be calculated in only 0.8 s with an inexpensive microcomputer. The time required for the X-ray intensity measurement in determining the parameter is about one third of that required in the half-width determination. The line width represented by the parameter of various quenched and tempered steels increases with increasing hardness. Hence, the use of the parameter allows a rapid and nondestructive estimation of hardness of hardened steels.
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