White Papers


White Papers



Simon Löhe
Metallographer, group leader of Laboratory-Services Munich
Expert in failure analysis and metallography
+49 8106 9941 17


Jannes Mechler
M. Sc. Materials Science
Specialist metallic materials

+49 8106 9941 58


Hardness test

Hardness is an essential part of strength calculations, drawing specifications or in the characterization of materials. Hence, hardness testing plays an important role in quality assurance/management and in failure analysis.

Hardness testing offers a wide range of applications starting from very soft non-ferrous metals such as Pb or Cu, over (surface layer) hardened steels up to very hard coatings such as tungsten carbide.

Our accredited lab offers diverse standardised testing methods. More methods or load levels are possible on request, especially within the scope of our flexible accreditation.

Anwendung der Härteprüfung

Die Härteprüfung findet in der gesamten metallverarbeitenden Industrie Anwendung. Über die Härteprüfungen lassen sehr effektiv Serien überwachen. Gerade bei der Wärmebehandlung oder der Oberflächenbehandlung ist Prüfung der Härte die wichtigste Maßnahme zur Qualitätskontrolle. In unserem Werkstofflabor bieten wir Härteprüfungen nach allen gängigen Normverfahren an.

Hardness Metals

Brinell according to DIN EN ISO 6506-1:2015-02

  • For soft and medium hard materials, e.g. cast iron, aluminium alloys, copper or heterogenous/multiphase microstructures
  • Load levels e.g. HBW 2,5/62,5; HBW 2,5/178,5 or HBW 5/250

Vickers according to DIN EN ISO 6507-1:2018-07

  • Universally applicable, e.g. single phases in microstructure, welding joints or over complete parts
  • Microindentation hardness testing, e.g. withHV0,025; HV0,05; HV0,1 (HV0,01  possible, but often out of standardised ranges)
  • Low load range: HV0,3; HV0,5; HV1
  • Macroindentation hardness/macrohardness testing: HV5; HV10; HV30

Rockwell according to DIN EN ISO 6508-1:2016-12

  • For hard materials and surfaces, e.g. hardened steelScales HRA and HRC
  • Scales HRA and HRC

Hardness Profiles of Metals

  • Case Depth CHD according to DIN EN ISO 2639:2003-04 (or outdated Eht according to DIN 50190-1)
  • Conventional Depth of Hardening DS according to DIN EN 10328:2005-04 (or outdated Rht according to DIN 50190-2)
  • Effective nitrided case depth Nht according to DIN 50190-3:1979-03
  • Depth of decarburisation according to DIN EN ISO 3887:2018-05 (microhardness testing)
  • General hardness profile of components (Vickers, all available load levels)

Additional Specific Standardised Test Methods for Metals

  • Apparent hardness and microhardness of sintered metal materials according to DIN EN ISO 4498:2010-11 (excluding hardmetals)
  • Vickers microhardness tests on metallic and other inorganic coatings according to DIN EN ISO 4516:2002-10
  • (Micro-)hardness testing of (arc) welded joints according to DIN EN ISO 9015-1:2011-05 and DIN EN ISO 5019-2:2016-02

Hardness Mapping

  • 2D hardness profile for identification of local differences of hardness of large specimen cross sections, e.g. unacceptable hard spots
  • Determination of critical regions in welded joints or other constructional elements
  • Fully automated Vickers hardness testing of over 600 indentations

Shore hardness test

Shore hardness is a material parameter for elastomers and plastics. It is defined in the standard DIN 53505 (ISO 7619), ISO 868 and ASTM D 2240. The Shore hardness is given on a scale of 0 - 100. 0 corresponds to the lowest hardness and 100 to the highest hardness. In order to determine the hardness of test specimens and plastic products, a steel tip of a certain shape and with a defined spring force is pressed into the surface with the aid of a depth gauge.

Shore A is used for soft plastics/elastomers and is determined in the range of 10 to 90 hardness units.

Shore D is used for harder plastics and is determined in the range of 30 to 90 hardness units.

[Translate to English:] Härtevergleichsplatten fuer Vickers Verfahren
[Translate to English:] Härte Vickers Härteeindruck
[Translate to English:] Eindruck Brinell mit Verformung
[Translate to English:] Haerteverlaufsmessung an Nitrierschicht
Hardness Test
[Translate to English:] Härtemapping

Society for Materials Testing
Ensuring quality | Accompanying development | Analyzing damage | Passing on knowledge

GWP Gesellschaft für Werkstoffprüfung mbH
Georg-Wimmer-Ring 25
85604 Zorneding/München

Tel. +49 8106 994110
Fax +49 8106 994111

Handelsregister München
HRB 53245
USt.-IdNr. DE131179893

General Manager
Dr. Julius Nickl