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While mechanical properties such as tensile strength (UTS) and ductility may be correlated with hardness, destructive testing is required to characterize the mechanical properties of a material following heat treatment. At AIHT we use a combination of destructive and non-destructive techniques to qualify and validate our heat treatment procedures.
With multiple Ph.D. in Metallurgy & Materials Engineers on staff, we can answer your difficult technical questions and help with all your project needs.
Tensile or compression testing is routinely performed to directly evaluate material strength and ductility. Primarily used for tension testing, AIHT’s universal testing machine (UTM) has the ability to apply 60,000 lbf (~267,000 N) loads to evaluate cylindrical or rectangular cross section samples with a typical 0.5-inch diameter reduced section.
The data collected is a relative change in length of the sample and the applied forces that are converted to the engineering stress and strain. The results of these tests provide four key pieces of information about a materials performance capabilities; its yield strength, ultimate tensile strength (UTS), percent elongation (ductility), and reduction of area (RA).
Charpy Impact Testing
AIHT owns and operates a Charpy Impact (or Charpy V-Notch) testing machine to evaluate the impact performance of a material through the high-impact strain rate loading conditions of a Charpy test. The potential energy difference between swing height before and after impact represents the total energy absorbed by the sample to initiate and propagate the crack through the material. Internal friction and windage is compensated for according to ASTM standards. The machine can generate 300 ftlbs (407J) of force, and with a sample cooling bath, tests can be performed at temperatures down to liquid nitrogen temperatures (-196°C/-321F).
Vickers Microharness Testing
Microhardness testing is an essential tool for measuring hardness of individual, microscopic aspects of a material microstructure such as individual grains or reinforcing particles. Tests are typically gram force (gf) loads and the resulting indents from the test must be measured using a microscope. Vickers microhardness testing is also used to map hardness transitions from a treated surface or through dissimilar materials. The size of microstructurally susceptible regions such as the heat affected zone (HAZ) of a weld can be mapped by regular spacing of microhardness indents. This procedure is a standard for case hardening heat treatments such as gas nitriding, gas carburizing, and induction heat treatment.
Rockwell Hardness Testing
Rockwell hardness testing is the industry standard for measuring representative bulk hardness. From a metallurgical perspective, Rockwell hardness testing occurs over a relatively large area capturing a large scale or “macro” region of the sample. A Rockwell indentation combines the resistance of many grains, phases, and/or secondary particles in the sample revealing their overall contribution to the bulk hardness. The test is performed on a flat, polished surface, and a minimum of 3 points are taken to report an average value. AIHT’s machine uses both the “B” Scale (HRB) to test softer materials along with the higher hardness “C” scale to evaluate our wear and corrosion resistant products produced through laser cladding and laser heat treating.
Superficial Rockwell Testing
Superficial Rockwell testing is a non-destructive method of testing the surface hardness of a component. Superficial Rockwell testing is similar to Rockwell Hardness but can use smaller indenters and lower loads to create smaller indents. It is ideal for thin cases (such as nitrided cases) where a typical Rockwell Hardness Tester would measure the hardness of the core material rather than the surface hardness. We predominantly use the Superficial Rockwell Tester for a statistical sampling of production components as surface hardness is a good screening method for evaluating the success of heat treatments, particularly when combined with the process control measures in place which minimize manual intervention.
We provide certified test reports for any testing required!
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