Tag: Ames tester

Why you Need a Superficial Hardness Tester

Why choose a Superficial Hardness tester?

Superficial testers are designed to test very soft and very thin materials and are designed to leave minimal surface distortion.  The three reasons to choose an Ames Superficial hardness tester are, you are testing a very thin or soft material, standard superficial testers will destroy these materials or the test will show the hardness of the penetrator.  This test will leave a less noticeable mark on the material you are testing.  The superficial tester uses 15, 30, and 45 kg weight to measure rather than 60, 100, or 160 kg as with a standard hardness tester. 

Use the Rockwell “N” scale to test Hardened steels, case hardened steels, and hardened strip steels down to about.006″ thick, and when you need to keep the mark left behind by the tester to a minimum.  Use the Rockwell “T” scale to test soft steels, copper, and aluminum alloys.  You can use an additional ball penetrator to test in Rockwell “W”  for some hard thin material down to .006″ thick and cemented carbides.  Rockwell “X”  and “Y” scales are used for testing plastics.  The model 1-ST is designed to test small-diameter and thin-walled tubes.  Using Rockwell “15-T” to test tube materials like aluminum, thin steel, lead, iron, titanium, copper alloys, and cemented carbides.

Industries such as aerodynamics, steel plants, stamping manufacturers, electronics, appliances, and air conditioning part manufacturers use these superficial testers because their components are super soft and thin.

Superficial and standard hardness testers operate in the exact same way.    The major difference is the material tested and the  Rockwell scale you are testing in. You can purchase an Ames superficial tester in most of the same sizes as standard testers, with the exception of the model 8 and 16 testers, there is a like tester in the 4 main sizes of superficial testers:

Model 1-S and model 1 Ames testers are the same size.  They have an opening  1 inch wide and a depth of 1 inch, so they are ideal for testing smaller parts.

The model 2 and 2-s are the same size and have an opening of 2 inches with a depth of 2.115 inches. 

The model 1-4S and model 1-4 are the same sizes featuring an opening of 1 inch and a depth of 4 inches, great for longer, thin materials.

The model 4-4S and model 4-4 testers are the same size 4 inches wide and deep to allow you to test larger materials

The only tester with no standard equivalent is the model 1-ST, a special tube 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 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 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.