Category: Rockwell Hardness Testers

What Comes with a New Ames Portable Hardness Tester?

A Look at the Ames Portable Hardness Tester Kit

The Ames Portable Hardness Tester case is made from high impact plastic, lined with foam to keep your Ames Portable Hardness Tester safe in transit.  There is a space for your Ames Portable Hardness Tester, 3 test blocks, penetrators and anvils in this case.  You may also choose to purchase one of Ames limited edition Model 1 testers in the original wood box.  This is a new tester in the old style box which was discontinued.

Of course your Ames kit will include the Ames Portable hardness Tester you have selected.  We manufacture Standard hardness testers which include the Model 1, Model 2, Model 1-4, Model 4-2, Model 4-4, Model 8 and Model 16 which test in Rockwell A, B, C, D and F scales, if you use them with our optional ball penetrators, they also test in Rockwell E, H, L, M, R, S and V scales as well. Our Superficial hardness testers include Model 1-S, Model 1-ST, Model 1-4S, and Model 4-2S which read in Rockwell scales N and T.  Using the additional ball penetrator they can also read in W, X and Y scales with the exception of the Model 1-ST which only reads in 15-T for tube testing. The only tester that does not include a carrying case is the model 16. 

Your kit will include a flat and a “V”anvil.  Anvils aid you in ensuring your tester provides valid readings.  The standard flat stock anvil is our most used anvil as it is designed for use with flat stock.  The “V” anvil is for small, round stock. Anvils are interchangeable.  We also sell raised flat anvils for thin stock, convex anvils for tube stock, round anvils for larger round stock.

You will receive one diamond penetrator and one ball penetrator in your Ames Portable Hardness Tester kit.  These penetrators are interchangeable.  You will need a different penetrator depending on the scale you are testing in.  Diamond penetrators are necessary for harder metals.  You can always purchase replacements on our website.

You will receive one hard steel, one soft steel and one brass test block with your Ames Portable Hardness Tester kit.  These testers help you with accuracy testing to ensure your tester is reading correctly.  Each Ames test block includes a certificate of calibration.  Superficial test blocks are standard with our superficial testers, and standard test blocks come with our standard hardness testers.  You may special order test blocks as well.

Ames hardness tester kits come standard with two extensions, one 1″ and one 1/2″ extension.  

Each Ames Portable Hardness tester includes a manual for use of your hardness tester.  If you lose your manual or need another copy, you can download it from our website at any time.  It is important to review this manual for proper care of your hardness tester, it also includes conversion charts for your use. 

Every Ames tester is factory calibrated before it is sold and every tester comes with a certification of calibration, our Ames test blocks include certification to the hardness on the test block.  Our testers meet NIST, ASTM E-110 and E118 standards.  You should return your tester to our factory for calibration once a year to ensure it continues to read accurately.  We also offer repair services.

What Ames Compliance Means for You

ASTM and ISO are standards designed to ensure traceability and repeatable accuracy. Our testers give accurate measurements in both large and small plants.

What is traceability? This term is indefinite as applied to relationships between calibrations and measuring activities of manufacturers and suppliers. Uncertainty concerning the validity of calibration data arises because of drift, environmental effects, transportation, and use. To provide support for the current validity of a calibration or to otherwise provide a basis for estimating accuracy, other procedures may be important or essential. Such as, the analysis of performance records of the instrument, local intercomparisons with other limits, checks the calibration at discrete points by the use of standard materials or devices, application of statistical methods in analysis of repeated measurements and in planning of measurements to determine or minimize the effects of disturbing variables, determination of measurement agreement between laboratories and the use of information related to the design and performance characteristics of the instrument.

hardness tester

The Ames portable tester uses the penetration method of testing and is based on the Rockwell principle. A diamond penetrator is forced into hardened steel and hard alloys and a ball penetrator into soft steel, nonferrous metal and gray and malleable iron castings. Pressure to the penetrators is applied to screw action, caused by turning the large operating wheel. A supersensitive dial indicator has graduations on the dial that indicates when pressures of 10, 60, 100 and 150 KG have been applied.

 

 

The portable hardness tester has a wide field of applications. Its use on a wide variety of hardness testing jobs is facilitated by the use of attachments. An extended V anvil is used to test small diameter round stock. The special spindle is used to keep the spindle from extending nearly full length from the tester frame and to prevent the penetrator from riding off-center. Larger round s are tested with a V anvil which is supplied as standard equipment with each tester.  Small rounds are difficult if not impossible to test the accuracy of tests drops sharply on diameters under 3/16 in.  Tables and charts have been worked out showing the degree of accuracy attainable in small diameters.

The hardness of full lenth sheets of steel, brass, aluminum, tin plate and the like are tested without the necessity of cutting off coupons or specimens.  Because of that fact, warehouses are finding such testers useful for checking quantities of sheet stock.  Some manufacturers use portable testers for checking the hardness of sheets before they go through pressure because one sheet of hard stock may breakdown valuable punches and dies.

Repeatable accuracy means repetitive tests on the same material will result in the same reading.  This benefit is not generally available on competitive portable testers.  No loss of accuracy is experienced when transferring readings into the Rockwell scale because all readings are made directly into the Rockwell scales.  The accuracy of Ames testers may be favorably compared to the accuracy of large bench-type testers when testes are performed in the same environment.

Ames 4-4 portable hardness tester with manual

5 Benefits of using Ames Portable Rockwell Hardness Testers

Do you wonder if Ames portable hardness testers are the best option for you to use when testing the hardness of metal? Here are 5 reasons to choose Ames when you choose your hardness tester.

  1. Ames provides you with repeatable accuracy. Repetative tests on the material will give you in the same reading. You may not find this benefit generally available on competing hardness testers. You will experience no loss of accuracy when you transfer your readings into Rockwell scales. This is because all readings are made directly into Rockwell scales. Ames tester accuracy may be compared to the accuracy of bench-type testers when you perform tests in the smae enviornment.
  2. Ames hardness testers are simple for you to operate. Even unskilled users can learn to make accurate tests after a very limited period of practice. This means you do not need highly qualified inspectors to make hardness tests. This allows you to perform hardness testes more frequently, and provide your customers with maintenance and closer tolerances for their products.
  3. Portable testers can be taken anywhere. With hardness testers that are not confiened to the labratory you can perform hardness tests on material at the assembly line, in the receiving yard, or on material still assembled in the machine. You will avoid delays in production. You can also perform hardness tests in scenerios that are not accessable for use with bench style hardness testers.
  4. Test in Rockwell A, B, and C. Ames portable hardness testers allow you to test directly in regular Rockwell A, B and C scales, or in Rockwell Superficial N and T scales. You can simply change the penetrator and the major load and your tests can be made in Rockwell D, E, F, G, H, K, L, M, P, R, S and V scales. You can refer to the following conversion chart for Rockwell Hardness. Ames’ extensive line of portable hardness testers allows you to test material in a size range of 1mm to 1 meter in diameter.
5. Ames testers perform rapid tests. You can perform a single test in less than one minute. Ames portable hardness testers are faster to use than bench-type Rockwell testers. It is of particular value when numerous repetitive tests are required on the material.

Ames Model 16 Solves Super-Size Quality-Check Problems

Model 16’s chain clamp system and dual “V” anvils allow testing round items from zero to16 inches in diameter. For testing Rockwell A, B, C and other scales. This tester can be ordered in standard or superficial versions. The measuring head is independent of the clamp and may be removed for mounting on a holder of your own design. This tester weighs 8 pounds and conforms to ASTM standard E-110.

Ames Precision Model ST allows you to Check the Hardness of Tubing in Rockwell Scales

In May of 1977, Ames announced the release of the Ames Model ST portable Hardness Tester. This superficial tester is specifically designed for testing small diameter or thin wall tubing. The small anvil will fit into the inner wall of tubing as small as 3/16″ and is effective in checking larger sizes as well. The tube hardness tester reads in the 15-T scale and comes in a high-impact case just like our other portable hardness testers.

Original promotion for Ames Model ST – Tube Tester

The Ames model ST tubing tester uses a special cylindrical anvil to test soft tubular materials such as copper. This tester is recommended for small diameter tubing with thin walls. The maximum load for the model ST is 15 KG, anything greater will damage this tester.

Before you begin a hardness test using your model ST, be sure that the 1/16 ball penetrator is snuggly screwed into the end of the tester spindle shaft. The 1/18″ pin perpendicular to the spindle is the anvil.

How to use your Model ST Tube tester:

Step 1: Rotate the bezel (outer ring of the dial indicator) and position the face of the dial so that the dot on the face is directly below the indicator’s pointer hand.

Step 2: Position your part over the 1/8″ anvil and slowly rotate the handwheel until the penetrator makes contact with the part and moves the pointer hand on the dial indicator to the line marked set. Stop at this point. You have reached the minor load point (3 kg).

Step 3: Rotate the numbered aluminum barrel dial, so that the 1/16 inch pin rests on top of the lucite magnifier.

Step 4: Rotate the handwheel until the pointer hand on the dial indicator reaches the major load of 15 kg (do not over or undershoot the target). Immediately after reaching the major load, rotate the handwheel back to the “set” (minor load) position.

Step 5: To read the Rockwell hardness, find the fine line on the magnifier. The scale below the magnifier on the aluminum barrel is graded in units of 10. The short hash marks are in units of two.

Is my Ames or DoAll Portable Hardness Tester Eligible for Repair or Calibration?

The Electro Arc company obtained the Ames Portable Hardness Tester line in 1975 and began manufacturing the standard and superficial hardness testers and accessories. For a short period of time, the company also made Fowler Hardness Testers and in the mid 1980’s through the early 1990’s also made DoAll portable hardness testers. Ames is now a Stillion Industries product line, continuing to make and service all Ames Portable Hardness Testers and DoAll hardness testers with a serial number of 12000 or newer. Some DoAll Hardness testers were issued with serial numbers starting with 17 by mistake and these testers may not be eligible for repair or calibration.

Ames precision is based on the flex of the Ames Frame during hardness tests. Over time, the portable testers are no longer serviceable, they must be replaced. If you are considering buying a used Ames, DoAll or Fowler portable hardness tester, it is strongly recommended that you check the model number to determine if your tester is new enough to receive calibration or repair service.

DoAll Portable Hardness Testers are identical to Ames portable Hardness testers with the exception of the dial indicator which bears the DoAll Precision logo.

When determining if your Ames or DoAll precision tester can be calibrated or repaired, look at the model number engraved into the frame of the tester. If your portable tester does not have an engraved model number, chances are, it is not a genuine Ames Portable Hardness Tester. You can always call us with your model number because we have records of every portable hardness tester made and sold by Ames.

All portable hardness testers made and sold by Electro Arc, and now Stillion Industries feature the model number in the same place. DoAll and Fowler hardness testers also followed the same pattern. If you are planning to send your tester in for calibration or maintenance please be sure to include your company information with the tester when you send it.

Ames portable hardness testers collection

Benefits of Using a Hand Held Rockwell Hardness Tester

Hardness calculations on metals and a are important for the manufacturing of different things: from automobiles to electrodes. Hardness qulaity control is used in various fields like machine engineering, metallurgy, mining and energy resource extraction.

Metal hardness measurements are performed with the help of stationary or bench and portable hardness testers. The operating principle of stationary hardness testers on Rockwell scales are described in the standards on the corresponding methods. Hardness tests on stationary hardness testers are direct measurements. Consequently, hardness tests performed using these methods are more accurate than the measurements via indirect methods.

Hardness tests on portable hardness testers are indirect measurements. Most portable hardness testers use the ultrasonic contact impedance method. The result of measurements on portable hardness testers is recalculated into hardness values on the Rockwell scales. Usually portable hardness testers have the following error limits of hardness measurements: ± 2 HRC on Rockwell scales.

The following is why portable Rockwell hardness testers have an advantage. Portable hardness testers are significantly lighter, they can measure hardness directly on a manufactured detail and in hard-to-reach places. Portable hardness testers are the only hardness testers suitable for conducting measurements in the field. One portable hardness tester enables the user to obtain hardness values using at least three different methods. The cost of portable hardness testers is lower than that of stationary ones. Important characteristics of portable hardness testers are repeatability and reproducibility of measurements. Despite relatively modest accuracy in comparison with stationary hardness testers, portable units have high reproducibility and repeatability and can be successfully used for components screening, control of the product homogeneity on hardness, as well as measurements in the field

There are several other ways for hardness to be measured, but the Rockwell test is the easiest one to perform. The portable tester provides an accurate measurement that can then be converted to a number on the hardness scale. The device is also highly versatile, and metals of nearly any size and shape can be used

Call or email us with any questions.

734-475-8527

UK +44 (0) 1384 231535

Email U.S. @ sales@electroarc.com
UK @ sales@electro.co.uk

The Rockwell Metal Hardness Scales Explained

You can use the Rockwell hardness test to test the hardness of materials. You will use the Rockwell test to perform tests on metals ranging from thin steel all the way to harder metals like Titanium. However, there are multiple scales to test in and these are identified by a letter ranging from A-V  Each scale uses a different indenter and load to perform the test.

When you perform a hardness test using the Rockewell scale, you can determine the hardness of metals and alloys of all kinds.  You will use a sphero-conical diamond penetrator or a hard steel penetrator which is forced into the part being tested with a predetermined pressure load and the readings represent the hardness numbers.

You can avoid errors in measurement due to surface imperfections or distortions at the periphery of the indentation with both minor and major loads.  The minor load of 10 KGS is applied first.  Remove the major load turning the handwheel back until the indicator hand is in position “set” on the dial.  The reading is taken from the barrel dial, which completes the whole operation in a few seconds.

The equation for the Rockwell hardness test for metals is below:  d=depth from zero load point.  N and s = various scale factors that can be found in the chart below.

Rockwell A scale

Used to test: Tungsten carbide.

Rockwell B Scale

Used to test: aluminum, brass, and softer steels

Rockwell C Scale

Used to test: harder steels.

There are other scales that are associated with a Rockwell superficial test. These scales use a lighter loads and shallow impressions to perform the test. These are used on testing very thin metals.

Ames Superficial Hardness Tester
Note: There is only one row of dial numbers for the Ames superficial tester.

Is your Ames Hardness tester genuine?

How to tell if your Tester is a Genuine Ames Hardness Tester

Ames began making Ames Portable Rockwell Hardness Testers in 1947.  In 1975 Ames was acquired by Electro Arc.  The Ames line of portable hardness testers has been made in Michigan since.

In 1997 it came to the attention of the Electro Arc company that each of it’s testers had been purchased by a company in China and duplicated.  Now Chinese copies of Ames Portable Hardness testers are available online, bearing a striking resembelance to the handcrafted testers we manufacture everyday.  Each of our testers are built one at a time following the ASTM E110 standard for the Rockwell scale.  Each genuine Ames Hardness tester is individually calibrated to the Rockwell scales and bears a signed certificate with each tester.

Is your Ames Hardness tester genuine?

How can you tell if your Ames Portable Hardness Tester is genuine?

  • It bears the Ames symbol within the dial indicator
  • You bought it directly from Amesportablehardnesstesters.com
  • Call us with the model number located on the front of your tester – we keep records of every tester we sell
  • Check the documentation included with your tester

How important is metal hardness testing? Consider the information provided by hardness testing and its significance in structural (i.e. bridges), aerospace, automotive, quality control, failure analysis and many other forms of manufacturing and industry. Determining material properties provides valuable insight to the durability, strength, flexibility and capabilities of a variety of component types from raw materials to finished goods.

Hardness testing is used extensively to characterize materials and to determine if they are suitable for their intended use. Why then would you buy a Chinese copy of a hardness tester?

  •  When quality is critical, should you trust a counterfeit hardness tester?
  •  Can it be calibrated?
  •  Will it hold up?
  •  Can it be serviced?
  •  Does it really meet the ASTM standard?

Ames Hardness Testers can be repaired and calibrated at our facility in Dexter Michigan.  We also service Dell models.  We do not offer service for any other brands.  When considering a purchase of a Rockwell Hardness Tester to insure quality, you should consider its quality, repeat-ability and reliability.

7 Things you Should and Should Not Do When Caring For Your Rockwell Tester

Your Ames portable hardness tester is a precious instrument.  As with any tool, proper care and maintenance is essential to maintain accurate testing results.  Remember, annual calibration is essential to properly maintaining your teseter.  Our metal hardness testers and accessories are machined, assembled and calibrated in our facility located in Dexter Michigan.

Ames Portable Hardness Testers are Made in Michigan

We have compiled the following list of do’s and don’ts to protect your hardness testing machine and keep it in the best working order.

7 Things You Should Do to Properly Care for your Ames Portable Tester:

  • Spray WD- 40 on a soft towel to clean your tester and test blocks
  • Make sure the Penetrator, extensions, and anvils are tightly secured
  • Store your test blocks in the plastic bag that is provided
  • Store your Rockwell tester in a safe location
  • Send your tester back for a yearly cleaning and re- calibration (if needed)
  • Only use the appropriate anvil for the application.
  • Perform regular tests on your Ames Tester to ensure accuracy
    Ames 4-4 portable hardness tester with manual

7 Things you Should Not Do to Your Ames Portable Tester:

  • Never apply oil directly on the tester
  • Do not drop or bang your tester
  • Never exceed major loads
  • Never use both sides of the test blocks. (one side only)
  • Do not retract the spindle past the threads of the penetrator
  • Never bang the tip of the diamond into the part or test block
  • Do not over or under shoot the minor or major loads

Your Ames Portable Hardness Tester is guaranteed to last for years if you follow these recommendations.  Be sure to follow the directions in the manual included with your tester.  Store your tester and testing blocks in the case provided when it is not in use.  As recommended by ASTM, perform regular accuracy checks to your tester to ensure the readings are accurate.

This blog was updated on December 14, 2021