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International Standards


Introducing ASTM E92 - Industrial Physics

ASTM E92 is a global ASTM standard test method to measure the vickers hardness and knoop hardness of metallic materials. 

When you need to evaluate the hardness of metals that are too thin - or too small - for macroindentation hardness test, you’ll need a microindentation hardness test. If you follow the detailed instructions of the ASTM E92 standard then you’ll get just the results you’re seeking.   

You’ll find both the vickers and knoop hardness tests are important tools for such material evaluation, quality control of manufacturing processes and research and development efforts.  

Measuring hardness is empirical in nature. However, it can be correlated to tensile strength for many metals. So the ASTM E92 microhardness test is a useful indicator of wear resistance and ductility. 

So, what’s a microindentation hardness? It’s a measure of how tough a sample is - and how well it will resist penetration. The microhardness test allows you to investigate specific sample areas and constituents that a macrohardness test can’t cope with.  

The difference between vickers and knoop hardness testing

The main difference between vickers testing and knoop testing lies in the hardness testing indenter used.  

The vickers hardness test uses a square-based, pyramid-shape indenter. Typically the vickers test indenter produces the same hardness number at all test forces (when testing a homogeneous material). The exception to this is when using low forces (below 25 gf), or for indentations with diagonals smaller than about 25 µm.  

The knoop hardness test features an elongated, four-sided rhombohedral shaped indenter. The dimensions of which mean that it produces narrower and shallower indentations. The knoop test indenter usually produces similar hardness numbers over a wide range of test forces - plus the numbers tend to rise as the test force is decreased. Expect to see more of a hardness number hike, while using lower test forces, when testing harder materials. It becomes increasingly significant when using test forces below 50 gf. 

Whatever approach you go for, it’s important to remember that - while both vickers and knoop hardness testing reveal hardness variations that may exist within a material - a single test value may not be representative of the overall bulk hardness. 

ASTM E92 hardness testing equipment

So, how can Industrial Physics improve your ASTM E92 testing?  

UTS Tru-Blue mVT (MicroVT) 

A highly accurate, semi-automated microhardness testing system. Just what you need for effective and insightful ASTM E92 testing! 

Our microhardness tester is perfect for both vickers testing and knoop testing from 10g up to 1KG. Our state-of-the-art electronics and high-quality optical displays make running tests on this versatile microhardness tester both quick and easy. 

Your global test and inspection partner for ASTM E92