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What is a metal hardness comparison?

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A metal hardness comparison is a method by which the hardness or resistance to malformation of a metal is determined by comparing it to other materials. Since multiple scales are used to determine hardness, comparing metals on the same scale ensures consistency.

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Two methods are used in determining the hardness of a metal: Mohs and Barcol hardness. Mohs hardness is determined by observing how well a substance resists being scratched by another substance. Barcol hardness is a value obtained by measuring a substance's resistance to being penetrated by a sharp steel point under a spring load. The hardness testing method may vary based on a variety of factors; some methods include the Rockwell, Brinell, Vickers and Knoop hardness tests. The Rockwell hardness test is most frequently used, as it is the most versatile, and appropriate for a wide variety of materials.

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