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.