Hardness testing is widely used for characterizing the mechanical properties of materials. However, the measured hardness values in hardness measurements are strongly influenced by the geometrical parameters of diamond hardness indenters. In the most severe case, the geometrical error of the diamond indenter, Rockwell hardness measurements in particular, leads to be about 50% hardness measurement uncertainty. It has been generally recognized for many years that the geometry of diamond indenters must be calibrated or verified before use to correct the hardness value for each indenter and improve the hardness measurement uncertainty. The contact-based calibration methods and the contactless based optical measuring methods are two typical ways to calibrate the geometrical form of an indenter at present. The contact-based calibration methods characterized by large measurement range of tens of mm with nanometer resolution, has a time-consuming measurement process, the contactless based optical measuring methods have become a general trend. In this work, an optical measuring system, which employs the combination of an interferometric microscope and a profile projection technique, is presented to measure and calibrate the geometrical parameters of Rockwell and Vickers diamond hardness indenters in National Institute of Metrology of China. Initial experiments demonstrated that the angle and axis angle measurement of indenter are achieved with accuracy of 0.1°, the straightness deviation of Rockwell indenters is less than 2μm, the radius measurement uncertainty of the tip of Rockwell indenters is better than 5μm.
According to the new definition of Rockwell hardness given by the International Working Group on Hardness
(WGH), the new Rockwell hardness national primary standard machine in the National Institute of Metrology is
presented in this paper. A tooth-belt is used to reduce the vibration. The loading monitor system, the PLC control system
and the laser measuring system are designed to raise the measuring precision. Experiments show that the Rockwell
hardness standard machine based on this method can meet the requirements of the new definition and accomplish a
high stability and measuring precision.