2.1 Significance of the Test
The Rockwell hardness test is an empirical indentation hardness test. Its worldwide adoption has likely resulted from the many advantages provided by the test method. The test is fast, inexpensive, and relatively non-destructive, leaving only a small indentation in the material. The simplicity in the operation of a Rockwell hardness machine has provided the added advantage that Rockwell hardness testing usually does not require a highly skilled operator. By way of correlation with other material properties, the Rockwell hardness test can provide important information about metallic materials, such as the tensile strength, wear resistance, and ductility. The test is generally useful for material selection, for process and quality control, and for acceptance testing of commercial products. Consequently, in today’s manufacturing facilities, Rockwell hardness machines can be found in use in almost every testing environment, from the hot, oily surroundings of some manufacturing facilities, to environmentally controlled metallographic and calibration laboratories.