Tag: Ames portable hardness tester

The Importance of Hardness Testing in Machine Shops, Freight Yards, Warehouses, Factories and Laboratories

Hardness testing of metals before and after heat-treating is a common practice in manufacturing establishments like yours. Tests are made of materials before machining begins; of tools that are used and to check hardness after heat-treating.

Sheets of metals are tested to make certain they are not too hard to cause breakage of valuable dies. Bars are tested to insure proper machining speeds and protection of turning tools. Heat-treated parts are checked to control hardness within established limits for better performance and longer wear.

Ames Portable Hardness Testers are ideal for these purposes since they can be taken to the material receiving departments, to machines where you are working, and to every place by inspectors during the entire manufacturing process. Being portable, they check the hardness of parts while in machines being fabricated, and also after being assembled into complete sets.

Ames testers are used to check parts being machined that work harden under certain conditions. You test the hardness of large shear blades and cutters in machines, to check if heat developed in the operation of machines has affected the hardened shafts and parts. A book could be written on the many applications that Ames testers have found.

Customers all over the world learned to expect the best in design workmanship and accuracy in Ames hardness testers. With great pride, Ames offers portable hardness testers to all who make tests in Rockwell hardness scales. They are precisely made, carefully tested for accuracy, and beautifully finished. Enthusiastic owners, like you, have told others about Ames portable hardness testers and the savings made on a variety of interesting applications.

Until Ames Portable Hardness Testers were made in the year 1947, it was thought that only large bench-type hardness testers with weights and levers would give accurate results. Many attempts at building portable hardness testers were made by others that were failures, and the large bench machines seemed like the only accurate dependable type.

Ames employed the principle of the ordinary micrometer a C frame with a screw to perfect a lightweight, accurate easy-to-use hardness tester. Incorporating a sensitive dial indicator and graduated barrel dial, readings are taken directly in the Rockwell scales with no calculating or transposing. No skill is required by the operator, and the tests are made quickly and easily.

Ames portable hardness testers are used everywhere in a plant saving your company installation expenses, cost of transporting materials, and valuable stock that would be cut from bars and or sheets for test purposes with bench testers. Ames portable testers save you the cost of large stationary testers that would otherwise be needed in a plant. The cost of Ames testers is only a fraction of the bench-type testers.

The principle of Rockwell Hardness Testing is based on the scientifically established theory that a definite relationship exists between the hardness of a material and the depth of the penetration when the indentation method of measurement is used. The numbers of the Rockwell scales represent the depth of penetration when standard indenters are used under known pressure loads.

Frequently Used Rockwell Scales

This method has proved practical and accurate and is the simplest and quickest method yet devised for measuring hardness, hence the universal acceptance of Rockwell scales as a standard for measuring hardness. For testing hardened steels and alloys by the Rockwell method, a standard “C” penetrator is used under a pressure load of 150 kgs. The penetrator has a 120-degree cone carefully ground and polished and a diamond point that has been mechanically lapped to a spherical point with a .008-inch radius. For testing soft steels, nonferrous alloys, and cast iron, a standard 1/16″ diameter specially hardened steel ball penetrator, known as the “B” penetrator, is used and a pressure load of 100 kgs is applied. Readings in other Rockwell scales are obtained by using the diamond penetrator and ball penetrators of 1/8″ and 1/2″ diameter and 60 and 100 kg loads.

In the Rockwell method of Hardness testing, two loads, a minor, or initial load and a major load are applied. The depth of penetration actually measured is the additional depth resulting from the major load after the initial or minor load has been applied. This causes no serious difficulty or computation as the tester is set back to zero following the initial load. The resultant reading is believed to be a truer and more accurate measurement of hardness, in as much as surface imperfections or variations in the piece would cause inaccurate readings. By measuring only the increment or additional depth caused by the major load, inaccurate readings due to surface variations are eliminated.

In the Rockwell B and C scales, the minor load is 10 kgs and the major load is 100 and 150 kgs respectively. In the Rockwell Superficial scales, the minor load is 3 kgs and the major load is 15, 30, and 45 kgs respectively. Ames hardness testers employ the same penetrators and pressure loads as specified in Rockwell hardness testing and consequently read directly in the Rockwell scales. A chart of Rockwell scales is provided with each tester giving the penetrators and pressure loads to be used. This chart also gives equivalent Brinell readings.

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 Announced the Model 8 Portable Hardness Tester in 1975

Ames introduced the model 8 hardness tester in February of 1975. This portable hardness tester has the capacity for either rounds or flats up to 8 inches to determine the hardness of metals and alloys in various Rockwell scales.

The model 8 Ames portable Hardness Tester saves time and money by its ability to be taken to the workpiece being tested rather than having to cut pieces off to be taken to the laboratory for testing. The measuring head is independent of the measuring clamp or machine tool holder of your own design.

The model 8 Ames Portable Hardness Tester is accurate, light to carry, and easy to use. This tester meets the needs of both large and small plants. Use model 8 to test standard Rockwell scales, this tester is convienently is supplied with a carrying case.

With a frame depth of 4 inches, this tester reads Rockwell A, B, C, and other scales. The measuring head may be removed and mounted on a tool holder. This tester weighs 8.25 pounds.

6 Easy Steps to Testing Clutches with your Ames Portable Hardness Tester

Your Ames Portable Hardness Tester was designed for checking the hardness of materials in the Rockwell scales. This has become an asset to the racing industry which has developed a scale* for checking clutches using the Ames Portable Hardness Tester. The Ames tester helps to win races by providing repeatable results every time.

Featured in one of our promotions, Mike Bell, team II driver for Roy Hill Drag Racing, knows how important clutch plate survival is to victory in Pro Stock. Sudden heating can affect both surface and internal structure of clutch metals. Mike used Ames Rockwell Hardness Tester model 2 to check surface hardness of both plates before installation. He used the following recommended configuration. Roy Hill Drag Racing’s Ford Thunderbird set a Pro Stock National record of 6.73 seconds in 1995.

They provide the following recommendations for testing clutches* with your hardness tester in 6 easy steps:

To get yourself set up, make sure you have the following items: Model 2 Ames Portable Tester with a 1-inch anvil and 1/2 inch ball penetrator.

Step 1: Rotate the outer ring on the dial indicator and align the “dot” directly under the indicator needle. Position the clutch between the 1/2 inch ball penetrator and the 1-inch anvil. Make sure the surface is flat and the ball will not fall into holes or grooves.

Step 2: Rotate the handwheel clockwise until the needle on the gauge moves to the set position on the gauge face.

Step 3: Rotate the aluminum barrel counterclockwise so that the pin rests on top of the lucite magnifier

Step 4: Rotate the handwheel clockwise until the indicator needle reaches 60 on the indicator face.

Step 5: Immediately rotate the handwheel counterclockwise until the indicator is back at the set position.

Step 6: Read the black scale on the barrel. The thick line across the barrel is the whole number. (10, 20, 30, 40 etc.) The smaller hash marks on the left side of the barrel are in two-point increments.

Note: It has been established that using this method, test readings that fall between 65 to 80 give the best results.

You probably recognize former racing customers such as Massey Race Cars, Wayne County Speed, Stouts, Carl Smith, Glidden Racing, Ricky Smith Racing, Paul Rebeschi, Gary Brown Racing, Heck Racing, and Nickens Bros. Racing maintenance crews have come to rely on the results provided by Ames hardness testers.



*Please note that this is a special testing method designed by professionals in the racing industry for use as described in these steps and does not represent recommended testing methods for our Ames Portable Hardness Testers.  In this case, the ball penetrator is used and the “B” scale is read.  The ball penetrator is not used to produce readings in the “B” scale.

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 Upgraded their Wooden Instrument Case in 2000

What you get when you purchase an Ames Hardness Tester has never changed, the case you get your tester in did. From the time Electro Arc purchased Ames Portable Hardness Testers in 1975, they were sold as a kit including the tester, a set of hardness test specimens, diamond and ball penetrators, and flat and “V” anvils. Models larger than 1″ also include a set of jaw-opening adapters.

Ames portable hardness testers have a very traditional, fine-instrument look to them. They should: they have been around manufacturing and metal shops for fifty years, quietly doing their jobs. In their highly varnished, dovetail-joined wooden cases, some of them have probably been mistaken for antiques. Ames announced sleek new cases for its proven line of portable, easy-to-use hardness testers in May of 2000. The smart black bolded high impact cases, with full loam cradling provide better protection for these precision instruments than the wooden cases previously supplied.

Although they are precision instruments and should be handled as such, they are surprisingly durable. Some Ames testers are still working perfectly after thirty years of service, an age at which other machines really are antiques. Accuracy testing and annual calibration are required to keep these testers testing accurately. To help Ames owners get the most value from their investment, we offer both calibration and repair services for your Ames tester.

This kit contains everything you need to take your portable hardness tester with you in a secure and durable case. Ames portability lends itself to the appeal of using Ames portable hardness testers. Easy to use with one hand, easy to learn to use, and applicable in a number of work environments. Ames portable Rockwell testers have been manufactured continuously under the Ames name for over seventy years and for over fifty years under Electro Arc (now owned by Stillion Industries). They are guaranteed to comply with ASTM standard E-110 for testing hardness in Rockwell scales, with no conversion needed.

All Ames testers are 100% made in the USA, now 97% of the parts are machined by Stillion Industries. All Ames testers are assembled, tested, and calibrated onsite at our facility in Dexter, Michigan.

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.

Rockwell Hardness Charts for Metals

Ames Rockwell-Brinnell Conversion Chart

Our handy conversion chart helps you convert your Ames Hardness Readings from the Rockwell scales to Brinnell scales

Download Now

Choosing a Rockwell Hardness Scale

Below are a few Hardness Scale charts that will help you choose the proper set up for your Ames Rockwell portable hardness tester. The charts cover the following :

All information included in this article is found in the Ames Tester Manual. Download it here.

Material to be tested – 

Very hard metals, soft and hard steel, aluminum, brass, and thinner materials can all be tested with our testers.

Brass and aluminum alloys can be handled by using a 1/16 ball

The penetrator that is needed – 

Very hard metals like tungsten carbide, and thin steel needs to be tested using a Diamond penetrator.

Brass and aluminum alloys can be handled by using a 1/16 ball

Brass and aluminum alloys can be handled by using a 1/16 ball

The major load to be applied – 

Your tester is guaranteed to +/- 1 point Rockwell. When using this tester, you must use extreme care to position the pointer exactly on the minor and major load marks.

Lastly, the correct Barrel dial setting – 

The upper line of the barrel’s hardness scales should be exactly aligned beneath the hairline on the magnifier.

Do you need to convert Brinell to Rockwell?  See our Rockwell/Brinell conversion chart.

 

Metal hardness chart scale Rockwell Metal Hardness Charts

Here are some commonly used scales on our models.

Frequently Used Rockwell Scales

Please contact us with any questions regarding proper maintenance and set up of our Rockwell testers.

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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.