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Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology

Department of Aerospace Engineering

AE 232-Strength of Materials Laboratory

Experiment No: Hardness test and Impact test

Rahul Tanwar (SC11B158)
Rahul Kumar (SC11B040)
R.S.S. Sai ram (SC11B039)
Rajeev Verma (SC11B041)
D. Sai Teja (SC11B044)
Anurag Rayipudi (SC11B043)
Ranjan Das (SC11BO42)


Date Submitted: 11/09/2012


Hardness is the property of a material that enables it to resist plastic deformation, usually by
penetration. However, the term hardness may also refer to resistance to bending, scratching,
abrasion or cutting. In this experiment Rockwell hardness tests were performed on two

1.1 Aim:

To determine the hardness the Hardness of the given Specimen using Rockwell hardness test.

1.2 Introduction:

Stanley P. Rockwell invented the Rockwell hardness test. He was a metallurgist for a
Large ball bearing company and he wanted a fast non-destructive way to determine if the heat
treatment process they were doing on the bearing races was successful. The only hardness
tests he had available at time were Vickers, Brinell and Scleroscope. The Vickers test was too
time consuming, Brinell indents were too big for his parts and the Scleroscope was difficult
to use, especially on small parts. To satisfy his needs he invented the Rockwell test method.
This simple sequence of test force application proved to be a major advance in the world of
hardness testing. It enabled the user to perform an accurate hardness test on a variety of sized
parts in just a few seconds.

The Rockwell method measures the permanent depth of indentation produced by a load on an
indenter. Hardness numbers have no units and are commonly given in the R, L, M, E and K
scales. The higher the number in each of the scales means the harder the material. The
Rockwell hardness method is characteristic of the direct readout of the hardness number and
rapid testing time. However, many arbitrary non-related scales and possible effects may arise
from the specimen support anvil.

1.3 Applications:

Hardness tests are extensively used to characterize materials and to determine if they are
suitable for their intended use. Correlation can established between the hardness result and
the desired material property thus hardness tests are very useful in the quality control in
industrial and research application. The hardness tests are easy to perform and non-
destructive. As such, the hardness test is by and large used to compare the hardness values of
different materials and not in calculations to determine other properties. Still, there are
multiple applications of hardness tests. Hardness test results can sometimes differentiate
between materials, and materials may be graded according to hardness. Hardness can also be
used to roughly predict material properties, but only roughly. In production, hardness tests
may be performed to check for consistency or the effects of a hardening treatment. This is the
most common use of hardness tests.
The Rockwell test can be used on almost any metal sample as well as some hard plastics. The
test can normally be performed in less than 10 seconds and the indent is usually small enough
to allow the part to be used.
The chief advantage of Rockwell hardness is its ability to display hardness values directly,
thus obviating tedious calculations involved in other hardness measurement techniques.
It is typically used in engineering and metallurgy. Its commercial popularity arises from its
speed, reliability, robustness, resolution and small area of indentation.

1.4 Theoretical background:

Hardness is a material quality with many definitions and applications. In this lab, we
define hardness as resistance to indentation under an applied load, which corresponds with
deformation of the material under a load. Hardness is related to ductility, tensile strength, and
many other material properties, but does not have a defined relationship with any of them.
In case of Rockwell hardness test an accurately shaped indenter is used to make an indent in
the sample to be tested. This indenter is either a spheroconical diamond (120 cone with a
0.2mm radius tip) or a hard metal ball (1/16, 1/8, 1/4, or 1/2 inch diameter). The instrument is
designed to position the centerline of the indenter perpendicular to the test surface and has a
depth-indicating device that can measure the vertical movement of the indenter into the
sample. The indenter is first pressed into the sample a small amount by a relatively low
preliminary force of 10KG (HRC scale). After the preliminary force has been fully applied,
the depth-indicating device is set to a zero indication. Then, a much larger additional test
force of 140KG is applied to the indenter for a total force on the sample of 150KG. This large
total force causes the indenter to penetrate the sample much farther. After the total force is
fully applied, it is maintained for a short time to make sure that all penetration has stopped.
Then, the additional force (140KG) is removed while still maintaining the preliminary 10KG
force. After the preliminary force has been removed, the depth indicating devise indicates the
difference of penetration of the indenter as a result of the additional force. This depth is
converted into the Rockwell number by subtracting the value from 100 (HRC scale). This
will result in a harder material giving a higher number than a softer material. In the HRC
scale the formula is setup to have one Rockwell point be equal to 0.002mm

1.5 Material required and Apparatus:

(a) Specimens: mild steel and cast iron samples.

(b)Machine: Rockwell hardness testing machine.

1.6 Procedure:

1. Examine hardness testing machine.

2. Place the specimen on platform of a machine. Using the elevating screw raise
the platform and bring the specimen just in contact with the ball. apply an initial

3. Release the operating valve to apply additional load for the fixed dwell time.
immediately after the additional load applied, bring back operating valve to its

4. Read the reading on the display, which gives the hardness number.

5. Repeat the procedure three times on the specimen selecting different points for

1.7 Observation table

Specimen Sl.No. Rockwell hardness number
1 HRB 102.7
Mild steel 2 HRB 103.3
3 HRB101.3
Mean Rockwell
Hardness Number
1 HRB 76
Cast iron 2 HRB 71.6
3 HRB 74.6
Mean Rockwell
Hardness Number
HRB 74.07

1.8 Experimental data:
Data sheet is attached with the report.

1.9 Result:
The Rockwell hardness number for mild steel is 92.7 HRB and for magnesium is 35.16 HRB.
.Izod Impact value for specimen is 70 J.

2.0 Discussion:

Hardness is the property of a material that enables it to resist plastic deformation,
penetration, indentation, and scratching. Therefore, hardness is important from an
engineering standpoint because resistance to wear by either friction or erosion by steam, oil,
and water generally increases with hardness.

Hardness tests serve an important need in industry even though they do not measure a unique
quality that can be termed hardness. The tests are empirical, based on experiments and
observation, rather than fundamental theory.

Its chief value is as an inspection device, able to detect certain differences in material when
they arise even though these differences may be indefinable. For example, two lots of
material that have the same hardness may or may not be alike, but if their hardness is
different, the materials certainly are not alike.


Aim: To find out the toughness of the given sample when it suddenly subjected to impact
loading under Izod impact test.

Material required: a suitable test piece with a striker, mounted at the end of a pendulum.
Izod test specimens vary depending on what material is being tested.

Metallic samples tend to be square in cross section, while polymeric test specimens are often
rectangular, being struck parallel to the long axis of the rectangle.

Introduction :

Impact tests are designed to measure the resistance to failure of a material to a suddenly
applied force such as collision, falling object or instantaneous blow. The test measures the
impact energy, or the energy absorbed prior to fracture.

The Izod test is most commonly used to evaluate the relative toughness or impact toughness
of materials and as such is often used in quality control applications where it is a fast and
economical test.

Izod test specimens vary depending on what material is being tested. Metallic samples tend to
be square in cross section, while polymeric test specimens are often rectangular, being struck
parallel to the long axis of the rectangle.

Factors that affect the Izod impact energy of a specimen will include:

Yield strength and ductility : For a given material the impact energy will be seen to
decrease if the yield strength is increased, i.e. if the material undergoes some process that
makes it more brittle and less able to undergo plastic deformation.

Notches :

The notch serves as a stress concentration zone and some materials are more sensitive
towards notches than others. The notch depth and tip radius are therefore very important

Temperature and strain rate :

Most of the impact energy is absorbed by means of plastic deformation during the yielding of
the specimen. Therefore, factors that affect the yield behaviour and hence ductility of the
material such as temperature and strain rate will affect the impact energy

Fracture mechanism :
Metals tend to fail by one of two mechanisms, microvoid coalescence or cleavage

Application :
Polymeric materials that are sensitive to the stress concentrations at the notch ('notch-
sensitive') will perform poorly in the notched izod test. Engineers use this knowledge to
avoid using such polymers in designs with high stress concentrations such as sharp
corners or cutouts.
By measuring the impact value at different temperatures, on can plot the behavior of
materials with change in temperature. One can measure the ductile to brittle transition
temperature, important for low temperature applications.
The Izod test is used to test materials at low temperature to try to simulate conditions
that may occur in the actual use of the material.

Theoretical background :
In the Izod impact test, the test piece is a cantilever, clamped upright in an anvil, with a V-
notch at the level of the top of the clamp.
The test piece is hit by a striker carried on a pendulum which is allowed to fall freely
from a fixed height, to give a blow of 120 ft lb energy.
After fracturing the test piece, the height to which the pendulum rises is recorded by a slave
friction pointer mounted on the dial, from which the absorbed energy amount is read.

Procedure : A test specimen, usually of square crossed section is notched and held
between a pair of jaws, to be broken by a swinging or falling weight.
When the pendulum of the Izod testing machine is released it swings with a
downward movement and when it reaches the vertical the hammer makes contact with
the specimen which is broken by the force of the blow.
The hammer continues its upward motion but the energy absorbed in breaking the test
piece reduces its momentum.
A graduated scale enables a reading to be taken of the energy used to fracture the test
To obtain a representative result the average of three tests is used and to ensure that
the results conform to those of the steel specification the test specimens should meet
the standard dimensions

Experimental data :

Sl. No. Frictional loss (J) Izod impact value(J)
1 0 72

Result : Izod Impact value for specimen is 72 J.

Discussion :

Here we find the impact value of given specimen but what is the use of it? Yes it is important
when we use a material at impact loading like bridges so that we check whether it take this
amount of loading suddenly or not. And one more thing that, what is the difference between
Charpy and Izod test? The difference in orientation of specimen so we check accordingly
which type of loading applied so it withstand without fracture.