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The hardness of a metal is defined as "the property of a metal, which gives it the ability to resist being permanently deformed…when a load is applied,” according to Encyclopedia Britannica Online. When a metal is to be used for industrial parts, it is important to know how that metal will stand up to stress. The Brinell hardness test uses a weight to press a small carbide ball into a metal and measures the resulting dent to determine the hardness of the material. The Brinell hardness test has several advantages over other hardness tests like Rockwell and Vickers.
Nearly All Metals Can Be Tested
Other hardness tests rely on a set load being applied to a metal, or a standard-sized object being pressed into the metal, which means the more fragile metals cannot be tested for hardness. Because the Brinell test allows for accurate hardness testing while allowing both the load and the size of the ball being pressed into the metal to vary, more delicate metals can be tested than with other hardness tests.
The Brinell Tests a Wider Sample of Material
Because the Brinell uses a sphere instead of a point or cone as other hardness tests do, a wider section of the metal is tested. As metals, particularly alloys, can vary in strength at different points, having a wider test space to average the hardness measurement is a more accurate way to measure metal hardness and better predict how the metal will stand up to stress in the real world.
Results of the Brinell Test are Force Independent
The results of the Brinell are considered force-independent because the force can be adjusted for metals of different sizes or strengths and the results will not be affected. This is because a sphere distributes pressure evenly along its surface, and points and cones do not. Therefore, as long as the relationship between the load and the size of the carbide ball used remains constant, the results of the test will accurately measure the hardness of the material tested.