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ASTM Standard Revision expands range of coverage.

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April 22, 2010 - As revision to ASTM International standard E384, Test Method for Knoop and Vickers Hardness of Materials, incorporation of ASTM E92, Test Method for Vickers Hardness of Metallic Materials, expands coverage range. It was decided that ASTM E384 would be expanded to include requirements defined in ASTM E92 so older testers that are E384- and E92-compliant will still comply with revised E384.

Revision to ASTM Knoop and Vickers Hardness Standard Expands Range of Coverage

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ASTM International
100 Barr Harbor Dr., Box C700
West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959

Press release date: April 16, 2010

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.-A recent revision to ASTM International standard E384, Test Method for Knoop and Vickers Hardness of Materials, expands the range of its coverage. The standard is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E04.05 on Microindentation Hardness Testing, part of ASTM International Committee E04 on Metallography.

The revision incorporates ASTM E92, Test Method for Vickers Hardness of Metallic Materials, into ASTM E384. ASTM E92 is under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee E28 on Mechanical Testing.

According to Edward Tobolski, chairman of both Committee E28 and Subcommittee E04.05, in the past, hardness testers normally were designed to perform either micro (E384) or macro (E92) hardness tests. The main difference between the two is the test forces used; micro is one kg and lower and macro is one kg and higher. However, newer testing equipment frequently has the capability of covering both force ranges.

"Subcommittee E28.06 on Indentation Hardness Testing was in the process of revising E92 to lower the range to 200 g, which would put it well into the traditionally micro range," says Tobolski. "If that had been done, users would have to get calibration certificates for both standards at the same test forces."

Instead, it was decided that ASTM E384 would be expanded to include the requirements defined in ASTM E92. In doing so, E04.05 was careful to revise E384 so that older testers that are E384 and E92 compliant will still comply with the revised E384. E92 is to be balloted for withdrawal.

The main users of ASTM E384 would be anyone hardening a material through a heat treatment process. E384 is frequently the best method to verify that heat treatment is working properly.

Tobolski notes that E04.05 would encourage users of ASTM E384 to participate in its ongoing development. "The next revision will address defining the optical systems resolution," says Tobolski. "Anyone with a knowledge of optics and how they relate to hardness testing would be welcome to help revise E384."

To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation number, or contact ASTM Customer Relations (phone: 610-832-9585; For more information on becoming an ASTM member, visit

ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions.

View this release on the ASTM Web site at

ASTM Committee E04 Next Meeting: May 17-18, May Committee Week, St. Louis, Mo.

Technical Contact: Edward Tobolski, Wrentham, Mass., Phone: 508-384-6341;

ASTM Staff Contact: Kathleen McClung, Phone: 610-832-9717;

ASTM PR Contact: Barbara Schindler, Phone: 610-832-9603;
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