Brinell Hardness Test Blocks
Every year, thousands of Brinell test blocks leave our workshop; destined for customers in over 40 countries. These blocks, more correctly termed ‘Brinell reference blocks’, although we shall refer to them by both titles in this piece, are the means by which users of a metal hardness tester can be assured that the tester is functioning as it should. In technical terms they are calibration blocks. The consequences of errors in metal hardness testing have been referred to in other articles on this website so the need for a hardness tester to be accurate and reliable will not be elaborated here. For a bit of history on the Brinell hardness test click here.
Imagine you are the proprietor of a petrol station and on the forecourt you have a tyre inflator. Naturally you would want to be certain that the machine is giving customers the right air pressure in their tyres. One way you could do this would be to have a couple of tyres or tubes that have been inflated by a super-accurate inflator (a ‘reference’ inflator) to, say, 27 psi and 36 psi. Once a week you could roll these two tyres across the forecourt, put them on the machine and check that its readout stated that each had been inflated to the pressure that you knew to be correct. Now, think about your metal hardness tester: if you have a metal block of hardness x and you put this block on your machine, perform a hardness test and you get the result x, you know the machine is functioning properly. This is what our Brinell hardness test blocks (reference blocks!) are for.
We manufacture blocks in a wide range of hardnesses, not just Brinell test blocks (which come in aluminium and steel) but also Rockwell test blocks (in steel and brass). We purchase the ‘raw’ metal and put the blocks through a multi-stage process. For more on our block manufacturing process click here. Our Brinell reference blocks have a grid laser-etched onto the top face (as standard) to assist technicians in placing the indentations, as the international regulations require these indentations to be spaced widely enough that the metal hardening caused by one indentation does not affect the result on adjacent indentations. Our Rockwell reference blocks can be gridded by prior arrangement. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the range of test blocks and custom grids we can supply.