Practical Failure Analysis

, Volume 1, Issue 5, pp 37–42 | Cite as

Micron and sub-micron level hardness testing for failure analysis

  • M. E. Stevenson
  • R. C. Bradt
Peer Reviewed Articles


The important aspects of microhardness and nanohardness testing for failure analysis applications are reviewed. Fundamentals of hardness testing and measurement are discussed. Popular indenter geometries are addressed, with their benefits and limitations highlighted. Common applications of hardness testing to determine mechanical property data are outlined. The most common problems associated with small length scale hardness testing, such as the indentation size effect (ISE) and indentation induced cracking (IIC), are discussed. Practical solutions to these problems are presented and their overall implications discussed.


hardness testing indention size effect microhardness forensic analysis mechanical property estimation 


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Copyright information

© ASM International - The Materials Information Society 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. E. Stevenson
    • 1
  • R. C. Bradt
    • 2
  1. 1.Materials Engineering DivisionQORE Inc.Suwanee
  2. 2.Department of Metallurgical EngineeringUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosa

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