The difficulty in manufacturing Rockwell diamond indenters to the required geometric specifications has resulted in most commercially manufactured indenters to vary in shape from one to another. This difference in shape is thought to be a major contributor to the Rockwell C scale hardness measurement uncertainty. In this paper, a finite-element analysis (FEA) is used to simulate the Rockwell hardness measurement process. The influences of the indenter's geometry, including tip radius, cone angle, and form error on Rockwell hardness tests are analyzed by the FEA model, and further verified by experimental results. A new method is developed to directly input the Rockwell indenters' profiles into the FEA model for hardness performance prediction. The prediction results show good agreement with NIST experimental results.
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