Standard Test Methods for Rockwell Hardness and Rockwell Superficial Hardness of Metallic Materials
1.1 These test methods cover the determination of the Rockwell hardness and the Rockwell superficial hardness of metallic materials, including test methods for the verification of machines for Rockwell hardness testing (Part B) and the calibration of standardized hardness test blocks (Part C).
1.2 Values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as the standard. SI units are provided for information only.
1.3 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. (See Note 6.)
Note 2—In previous editions of this standard, ball indenters were required to be of hard steel. Beginning with this edition, tungsten-carbide balls are also allowed. This change is a first step in a planned future transition to eliminate steel balls and allow only the use of tungsten carbide balls. The elimination of steel ball indenters is scheduled to occur in about two years. The use of tungsten carbide balls will provide an improvement to the Rockwell hardness test because of the tendency of steel balls to flatten with use, which results in an erroneously elevated hardness value. In addition, NIST is planning to standardize the HRB scale using tungsten-carbide balls. As a result of this change, this edition also requires that when a ball indenter is used, the Rockwell hardness value must be reported with the scale designation followed by the letter "S" to indicate the use of a steel ball or the letter "W" to indicate the use of a tungsten carbide ball. The user is cautioned that Rockwell hardness tests comparing the use of steel and tungsten carbide balls have been shown to give different results. For example, depending on the material tested and its hardness level, Rockwell B scale tests using a tungsten carbide ball indenter have given results up to one Rockwell point lower than when a steel ball indenter is used.
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