Hardness is a mechanical property of material which refers to resistance to plastic deformation by indentation under applied force.

Hardness is very common terminology used by almost every engineering person to describe materials behaviour in terms of hard, soft, machinability, strength, etc.

Hardness values are used as a reference to determine materials machinability, ductility, elasticity, malleability, brittleness, toughness, strength in various modes and wear resistance.

Hardness test is also used to measure hardened case ( effective case depth and total case depth) on case carburised and hardened or induction or flame hardened ( surface hardening).

There are several types of hardness test.

The most common laboratory based hardness tests are Rockwell hardness, Vickers hardness, Vickers Micro-hardness, Brinell hardness.

The most common portable hardness testers are Brinell hardness tester (Mohr & Federhaff and King ), Leeb hardness tester ( Equotip, time, Mitech), Rockwell/Vickers hardness tester ( Akashi) and Poldi hardness tester. LMATS Melbourne and Sydney laboratories performs hardness test regularly in accordance with AS 1815, ISO 6508.1, ASTM E18, ASTM A370, ISO 6506, AS 1816, ASTM E10, ISO 6507, AS 1817, ASTM E92, ASTM E384, ASTM A956, ASTM E110, AS 1982, EXXON Mobil, ESSO Shell specification and similar other national and international standards.

LMATS Melbourne and Sydney laboratories can determine material grade by performing on-site hardness test using portable hardness tester. The hardness values are converted to equivalent tensile strength in accordance with AS 5016. The tensile properties and the chemical composition is matched to determine material grade.