Brinell hardness testing was one of the earliest techniques developed for measuring the hardness of metal.
The MEE laboratory has a variety of hardness testing equipment including Brinell and Rockwell machines. The preferred testing machine is determined by material, sample size and shape, and desired test scale. Brinell testing produces the largest impression on the test specimen, typically 2 - 6 mm in diameter. The large impression is beneficial for materials with inhomogeneous or coarse-grained microstructures, such as castings, because any local variation in the microstructure is averaged by the large test area. Literature hardness references are also often in Brinell, so direct testing on the Brinell scale is beneficial for comparison to literature values. To provide accurate and repeatable results, MEE tests to recognized standardized procedure, ASTM E10.
On large samples where laboratory testing is impractical or test specimens cannot be cut from a larger item, portable hardness can be performed. Portable hardness test methods include comparative Brinell testing (i.e., a TeleBrineller) and Leeb hardness.