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How do you use hardness conversion tables?

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Quick Answer

Use hardness conversion tables to translate the value of a material's durability on a particular hardness scale into the related value on another scale. The process involves locating the starting value for a material and checking across the row for its corresponding value in the new measurement system.

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Full Answer

Most hardness conversion tables include values for several types of hardness measurement methods, such as the Rockwell test, the Brinell test and the Vickers test. To use the chart, locate the known value according to one of the methods, then move left or right on the chart to find the value for the other testing method. Some methods do not have corresponding values in other testing methods.

Hardness is a characteristic of solid materials that represents its resiliency to indentation from an outside force. It is not an inherent physical property, as the hardness for each material varies according to numerous factors, such as chemical composition and temperature. As such, manufacturers developed several scales for measuring hardness in different types of materials under specific circumstances, most commonly focusing on metals. The tests involve pressing an object, sometimes a diamond-tipped machine part, into the metal at different forces over a period of time, and measuring factors such as the depth at which the tip indents the metal. The scales report values for each part of the test, which correspond to the metal's ability to withstand force and trauma.

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