The Brinell hardness testThe Brinell hardness test method consists of indenting the test material with a 10 mm diameter hardened steel or carbide ball subjected to a load of 3000 kg.
For softer materials the load can be reduced to 1500 kg or 500 kg to avoid excessive indentation. The full load is normally applied for 10 to 15 seconds in the case of iron and steel and for at least 30 seconds in the case of other metals.
The diameter of the indentation left in the test material is measured with a low powered microscope. The Brinell harness number is calculated by dividing the load applied by the surface area of the indentation.