Hardness Testing per ASTM A956 (Round Two)

By | May 12, 2010

Consider this part two in a series of two blog postings about testing the hardness of steel per ASTM A956… simply because we saw a second meter that you can use for this sort of testing.

Steel Hardness Tester

Tony from Orlando asked, “What is the ASTM Test Method associated with testing the hardness of steel and what type of instrument is used?”

Well, Tony, we know of several different hardness scales including Shore A, Shore D, Rockwell, Vickers and Brinell. We imagine that you COULD measure hardness of steel using any of those scales, but we also know about ASTM A956 — Standard Test Method for Leeb Hardness Testing of Steel Products.

For those not familiar with ASTM A956, you can read a synopsis of the method’s purpose and scope below.


Significance and Use

Hardness of a material is a poorly defined term that may have many meanings depending on the type of test performed and the expectations of the person involved. The Leeb hardness test is of the dynamic or rebound type, which primarily depends both on the plastic and on the elastic properties of the material being tested. The results obtained are indicative of the strength and dependent on the heat treatment of the material tested.

The Leeb hardness test is a superficial determination only measuring the condition of the surface contacted. The results generated at that location do not represent the part at any other surface location and yield no information about the material at subsurface locations.

1. Scope

1.1 This test method covers the determination of the Leeb hardness of steel, cast steel, and cast iron (Part A), including the methods for the verification of Leeb hardness testing instruments (Part B), and the calibration of standardized test blocks (Part C).
Note 1

The original title of this standard was “Standard Test Method for Equotip Hardness Testing of Steel Products.”

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

2. Referenced Documents

ASTM Standards
E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method

You can purchase a full copy of the method on the ASTM Web Site.

For those interested in purchasing a meter to test hardness of steel per ASTM A956, take a look at this meter: Hardness Tester ASTM Rated Professional Pen Style (EMHT40).

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