Brinell methods and applications

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The Brinell method is suitable for testing the hardness of soft metals (light metals, lead, tin) through to hard metals, such as steel and iron.

Brinell testing of a material with different ball diameters and test forces must be conducted within the same force-diameter index ("Brinell test procedure") in order to enable direct comparison of the measured hardness values.

The tabular overview below presents the Brinell methods grouped by force-diameter index, the associated hardness range and recommended applications (materials). The higher the load factor, the harder the metals that can or should be tested with the methods within this force-diameter index. The most common force-diameter index is HBW 30. Brinell methods belonging to HBW 30 are used for testing hard metals, such as steel and iron.

Overview of Brinell methods and applications (materials)

In the Brinell method, the indents must be positioned such that there is sufficient clearance from the specimen edge and between the individual indents. The minimum values to be observed in accordance with the standard can be found here. The specimen must be thick enough for the indent not to cause any visible deformation on the underside of the specimen (supporting surface).

According to the standard, this means that the specimen must be at least eight times thicker than the indentation depth of the Brinell ball. The indentation depth can be estimated from the expected hardness value, which in turn depends on the average indent diameter. The minimum specimen thickness can therefore be derived as a function of the average indent diameter and the ball diameter of the Brinell indenter. A detailed table, from which the minimum specimen thickness can be read correspondingly for Brinell, can be found here.