Does your metal hardness testing put your operators at risk? Foundrax MD Alex Austin discusses the hazards:
I have visited several customer sites where the hardness testing practices really worried me.
More than once I observed people testing steel bars two metres or more in length by holding one end on a crane and the other end on a vee anvil beneath the head of the testing machine. When I’ve pointed out the risks of doing it this way the response has been that either that the client has not seen it as a problem or that the client has been aware of a risk – but only a risk to the accuracy of the hardness test result.
I’ve also been to more than one factory where the need to understand safe testing procedures was revealed by my being informed that components had slipped when being loaded onto the hardness machine and that the machine itself had fallen over and the metal bar being tested had come crashing to the ground. Luckily nobody was hurt in these incidents but I couldn’t see how anyone standing in the path of the bar would have survived without permanent injury, or worse.
The problem with performing a Brinell hardness test like this is that, in effect, you are sticking a long, high-mass lever into the testing machine but expecting both the machine to apply the test force perfectly and the jigging of the component to be appropriate every time without fail, despite the opposite end of the lever being susceptible to movement. Not only is the most likely outcome a dubious test result but the potential outcome is too terrible for words.
If you are carrying out Brinell hardness tests like this, please get in touch. We have designed radial-arm (BHD) and bridge-type (X-BHD) Brinell hardness testers specifically for this sort of requirement and we have considerable experience of solving customer’s testing problems with design adaptations. You can see examples of these machines here for Foundrax on www.youtube.com.
When it comes to Brinell hardness testing, our job is to solve your problems and provide a way for you to accurately test materials without risk to yourself or your colleagues.