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Path: Home>Applications>Case Depth Hardness Testing
Hardness Testing Applications
Hardness Testing Basics
Rockwell Testing
Brinell Testing
Vickers Testing
Knoop Testing
Durometer IRHD Testing
Case Depth Testing

Selecting A Hardness Tester
Case Depth Hardness Testing
Hardness is a characteristic of a material, not a fundamental physical property. It is defined as the resistance to indentation, and it is determined by measuring the permanent depth of the indentation. More simply put, when using a fixed force (load) and a given indenter, the smaller the indentation, the harder the material. Indentation hardness value is obtained by measuring the depth or the area of the indentation using one of over 12 different test methods. Click here to learn more about hardness testing basics.


Case depth is the thickness of the hardened layer on a specimen. Case hardening improves both the wear resistance and the fatigue strength of parts under dynamic and/or thermal stresses. Hardened steel parts are typically used in rotating applications where high wear resistance and strength is required. The characteristics of case hardening are primarily determined by surface hardness, the effective hardness depth and the depth profile of the residual stress. Gears and engine parts are examples where hardening is used.

Effective case depth is the depth up to a further point for which a specified level of hardness is maintained.

Total case depth is the depth to a point where there is no difference in the chemical or physical properties.

Case depth testing often involves performing a series of hardness impressions from the edge of the specimen towards the center. The hardness progression is plotted on a graph and the distance from the surface to the hardness limit (HL) is calculated.

For more information, see our guide Selecting a Newage Microhardness Tester for Case Depth.
References & Guides to Hardness Testing
Hardness Conversion for Rockwell C Scale or High Hardness Range
Hardness Conversion for Rockwell B Scale or Low Hardness Range
Minimum Thickness Requirements Guide
Roundness Correction Factors
Common Problems in Microhardness Testing
Newage Hardness Tester Selection Guide
Rockwell Hardness Testing Reference Guide
ASTM Hardness Standards Reference Guide

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