Martens hardness test

The Martens hardness test, also known as universal hardness test or instrumental indentation test for hardness, serves to determine certain important characteristics of the mechanical properties of materials in a fast and comparatively inexpensive way compared to other methods used in industrial engineering. In this article, we explain what the Martens hardness test is and what it consists of.

What is the Martens test?

The Martens test is one of the methods used to measure and determine the hardness of materials. In other words, the resistance of a material to being permanently perforated. In the case of the Martens test, what is quantified is the opposition of a material to being scratched. A pyramid-shaped diamond indenter is used for this purpose.

How is the Martens hardness test performed?

The Martens test technique consists of measuring the indentation depth left by the pyramidal tip of a diamond on a test piece when it is moved over the surface of the material. Therefore, the Martens hardness is calculated from the course of the indentation depth under load.

In contrast to the indentation hardness, the Martens hardness (HM) provides information on the plastic and elastic properties of the material. To determine the hardness and material parameters, the Martens hardness test incorporates a method of recording and evaluating the loading and unloading cycle. This provides a complete set of data, including force, depth and time.

Technology and hardness measurement of the Martens hardness test method

It is indisputable that, in order to introduce a new test method industrially, the availability of reliable, easy-to-use and effective technology is absolutely necessary. Based on the experience and know-how of material testing machines, new hardness testing machines are designed, firstly, on the basis of digital measuring and control technology and, secondly, according to the modular principle. That is why at Infinitia, we have the latest technological innovations to carry out the tests accurately and to obtain as much information as possible about the analyzed materials, in order to develop innovative solutions or to correct defects by means of forensic engineering techniques.

It must be taken into account that knowing the value of certain material properties, such as Young’s modulus, tensile strength and fracture toughness, are essential for quality management during product manufacturing and material innovation. In particular, strength values are evaluated by correlation with the microhardness exhibited by the materials. However, in the case of microcomponents and composites, often not all of these properties can be measured or can only be measured by individualized and complex experiments. However, this situation has changed in recent years thanks to the Martens hardness test according to ISO 14577, with which all these measurements can be performed.

Advantages of the Martens hardness test

In conclusion, we can emphasize that, compared to classical hardness testing methods, the Martens test is able to provide additional information on the mechanical characteristics of the material, can be carried out on virtually any material and is also suitable for automation.

Do you want to develop a product successfully and need to know the properties of the materials you are going to use? Contact Infinitia and our team of experts will offer you the best solution for your project.