technique articles

Brinell Hardness Tester

The Brinell hardness testers manufactured by TX company apply Brinell hardness testing principle, with 5 kinds of test forces for choosing, they are:

  • 3000kgf test force with 10mm ball indenter

  • 1580kgf test force with 7.26mm ball indenter

  • 500kgf test force with 2.5mm ball indenter

  • 187.5/62.5kgf test force with 2.5mm/5mm ball indenter

Test range can be from 32 HBW to 650 HBW. Test force error and indication error which comply with ISO and ASTM standards are less than 1% except the pin impact Brinell hardness tester being less than 5%.

As the light weight and being convenient to take, Brinell hardness tester is a portable instrument that can be used in the workshop. It is easy to operate and carry. It can realize the detection of large parts by piece. The portable Brinell hardness testers are widely used on site to test the metal hardness without taking samples.

  • Brinell Hardness Testing Principle

  • Advantages of Brinell Hardness Tester

  • Application of Brinell Hardness Tester

  • Brinell Hardness Test Conversion Table

  • Factors That Influence of Brinell Hardness Testing

  • Brinell Hardness Test Standards

The working principle of Brinell hardness tester is to press the ball of certain diameter into the sample surface under a certain test force and a certain rate, remove the test force after the specified test force maintain time. Then unload the test force, and measure the diameter of the indentation. The Brinell hardness value is the quotient of test force devided by indentation surface area.
             Brinell hardness (HB): a certain test force such as: 187.5kg \ 250kg \ 3000kg load with a certain diameter of the ball or carbide ball press into the material surface to maintain a period of time. After loading, load and the ratio of indentation area is the Brinell hardness value (HBS \ HBW) and the unit is N / mm2. Brinell hardness tester is suitable for measuring cast iron and other workpiece of high hardness materials. In the steel pipe standard, Brinell hardness is the most widely used with indentation diameter d to represent the hardness of the material, both intuitive and convenient.
             Measuring range
             Portable Brinell hardness tester is the same with King Brinell hardness tester. Before coming out of the factory, it can be selected 500kg, 750kg, 1000kg, 1500kg, 3000kg test force, 5mm or 10mm ball head according to user requirements. It can test aluminum, copper, copper alloy, steel, iron and other common metal materials.

Brinell Hardness Tester Manual PDF Download

PHB-150 Pin Brinell Hardness Tester pdf:


PHB-3000 Hydraulic Brinell Hardness Tester pdf:


PHB-750 Magnetic Brinell Hardness Tester pdf:


Ms-1a Brinell Indentation Measurement System manual pdf:


1. The Brinell hardness tester is the most common used hardness tester. Brinell hardness tester applies Brinell test method, and has good accuracy, repeatability and stability.
2. The conversion between Brinell hardness and other hardness           

The choice of Brinell hardness test conditions is the same with the choice on scale of Rockwell hardness test. Brinell hardness test also encountered the choice of test conditions, that is the choice of test force F and pressure ball diameter D. This choice is not arbitrary, but to follow certain rules and pay attention to the reasonable match of the test force and pressure ball diameter. Therefore, its application is slightly complex than Rockwell hardness test.

Hardness is a measure of the softness of the material. There are many different hardness test methods whose principle are definitely different, measured hardness values and meaning are not exactly the same. Brinell hardness(HB), Rockwell hardness(HRA, HRB, HRC), Vickers hardness (HV), rubber and plastic Shore hardness (HA, HD), etc. are the most common static load press hardness tests of which the value of the material  show its surface ability to resistant the press of hard objects. Therefore, the hardness is not a simple physical quantity, it reflects a comprehensive performance including elasticity, plasticity, strength and toughness of the material.
             Hardness of steel: the code of steel Hardness is H. Depending on the different hardness test method,
             ● The common methods are Brinell hardness (HB), Rockwell hardness (HRC), Vickers hardness (HV), and Richard hardness (HL), among which HB and HRC are more commonly used.
             ● HB has wide range of applications, while HRC is suit for high hardness materials, such as heat treatment hardness. The difference between the two is that they have different probe. The probe of Brinell hardness is the carbide ball, and the probe of Rockwell hardness is diamond.
             ● HV is suitable for microscopic analysis. Vickers hardness (HV) press into the material surface with diamond square cone for about 120kg load and the top angle of 136 °, then the surface area of the indentation of the material is divided by the load value that is, Vickers hardness (HV ).
             ● HL hand-held hardness tester is easy to measure. The impact ball assaults the hardness surface to generate bounce; the hardness is calculate by the ratio of the impact speed and rebound speed at 1mm between the impact ball and the sample. The formula: Hardness HL = 1000 × VB (rebound speed) / VA (impact speed).
             HB - Brinell Hardness:
             Brinell hardness (HB) is generally used for the soft material, such as non-ferrous metals, steel before heat treated or after annealing. Rockwell hardness (HRC) is generally used for high hardness materials, such as the hardness after heat treatment and so on.
             Brinell hardness (HB) press a certain diameter of hardened steel ball or carbide ball into the metal surface to be measured with a certain size of the test force to maintain the specified time, and then remove the test force, measuring the measured surface indentation diameter. The Brinell hardness value is the quotient of the indentation spherical surface area divided by the test force. Generally: press a certain size (diameter is generally 10mm) of hardened steel ball into the material surface with a certain test force (usually 3000kg) to maintain a period of time, then remove the test force, the ratio of load and its indentation area is the Brinell hardness (HB) in kg / mm2 (N / mm2). (For details of Brinell hardness (HB), please click "Brinell hardness tester PHB-3000")

The Brinell hardness tester applies large test force, bigger diameter of indenter, and leave large indentation, so it is suitable for testing steel products, nonferrous metal, aluminium alloys, castings, forgings, carbon steel, steel plates, steel pipes, moulds, plastics, heat treatment parts & semi-finished heat treatment parts, and serious shapes parts with suitable testing surface that can not be tested by table hardness tester.
             It is widely used in metallurgy, forging, hardened steel and nonferrous metals and other industrial fields, laboratories, universities and scientific research units. Brinell hardness test is the biggest indentation test of all test method. It is a high accuracy hardness test method, as it can reflect the comprehensive performance of the material without effected by the microscopic segregation of the specimen and the uneven composition.

Besides, it is also used to test parts which is too large for desk testers to test. It will replace Leeb hardness testers with low accuracy and reliability. The hardness test is very accurate, especially for the softer metals. Brinell hardness tester mainly used for the detection of raw materials and semi-finished products. Due to large indentation, it is not used for finished product testing generally.

Hammer Impact Brinell Hardness Tester Application:





In the actual testing, many factors would effect the accuracy of the test results, including the following aspects:

1. Whether the Test Force of Instrument is Accurate

If the test force increases, the test result will be lower. Otherwise the test result will be higher. This means that the accuracy of the applied test force will directly effect the test result. The test head of PHB-3000 hydraulic Brinell hardness tester of Shenyang Tianxing applies a small hydraulic system, with a control valve in it. The hydraulic system which is accurately calibrated to 3000kgf is specifically applied to control the test force. The control accuracy of this product reaches the level of foreign advanced  instrument.

2. Effect of the Ball Indenter

The diameter of ball indenter has direct relationship with the test result. If the diameter of ball indenter increases, the relevant hardness value will be lower. Otherwise, the hardness value will be higher. Besides, there is exact requirement of the material of ball indenter. If the material of ball indenter is not   hard enough, in the actual testing,elastic and plastic deformation will happen on the ball indenter, effecting the test result greatly. The PHB-3000 of Tianxing company applies a ball indenter with carbide alloy material and 10mm diameter with high accuracy and quality, ensuring the accuracy of test result.

3. Inaccurate Testing of Indentation Diameter

Brinell hardness value is got from conversion table according to indentation diameter. Reading the indentation diameter correctly has great influence with test result. The Brinell hardness tester of Tianxing company assembles professional reading microscope to accurately read the diameter of indentation.

4. Effect of Specimen Quality

The roughness, thickness, and curvature will all effect the test error. In general, the more rough the   surface is, the smaller the hardness value will be. Being not thick enough will lead to a lower hardness value. At this time, users will notice to calibrate the test result.

5. Effect of Environment Temperature

If the environment temperature of specimen changes, the material organization structure of specimen will change. The organization structure will effect the result of Brinell hardness testing greatly. The increasing of environment temperature will lower the hardness value. Therefore, in the actual testing, people should consider the change of environment temperature, making test result more accurate.

ASTM Standards


ASTM E10-14 Standard Test Method for Brinell Hardness of Metallic Materials


International Standards


ISO 6506-2:2014 Metallic Materials- Brinell Hardness Test-Part 2: Verification and Calibration of Hardness Testing Machines