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Vickers Hardness Testing

The Vickers hardness test method, otherwise called a microhardness test method, is used for small objects, thin sections, as well as the case depth work. Due to the small indentation in a Vickers test, it can test very thin materials like foils, small parts, small areas, or the surface of a part, and individual microstructures. It can also figure out the depth of hardening by sectioning apart and creating a series of indentations to find the change in hardness. This method can evaluate almost any type of material such as ceramics, metals, and composites as well.




This testing method is based on an optical measurement system, which requires a range of light loads with the help of a diamond indenter to create an indentation. This indentation can then be measured and converted into a hardness value. It can evaluate a wide type of materials; however, test samples should be highly polished to help in evaluating the size of the impressions. Here, a square base pyramid shaped diamond is used for testing. The ‘Micro’ loads typically range from 10gm to 1kgf, while ‘Macro’ Vickers loads up to 30 kg or more.


Sectioning is required to deliver a small specimen that can fit in the tester. In addition to that, it is mandatory to make the specimen’s surface smooth by allowing the properly shaped indentation with the right measurement. This step ensures that the sample can be held perpendicularly to the indenter.

These prepared samples are mounted in a plastic medium to proceed with the preparation and testing. The indentations should be large enough to improve the measurement resolution. As the indentation size decreases, the error magnifies. This procedure is subjected to the problems of operator influence on the test outcome. For more information about Vickers hardness tester, contact us.

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