Evaluation of Portable Electronic Hardness Testers

Photo of Randy Bogard, Alex Calisto, Matthew Carter Students: Randy Bogard, Alex Calisto, Matthew Carter

Sponsor: Fluor Corporation

Date: Fall 2007



The main goal of our project is to create the methodology for analyzing electronic hardness testers against each other. Since there are so many electronic hardness testers on the market and many soon to follow, it is most important for the evaluation procedure to be correct so that Fluor may use our technique to evaluate electronic hardness testers in the future. In this way, recommending the best electronic hardness tester for Fluor to use will only be a secondary goal. In fact, Fluor predicts that our procedure may help several other companies decide which electronic hardness tester best fits their needs.


The heat affected zone created by the welding of two pipes is a major concern of petrochemical and refining companies such as the Flour Corporation. If the material in the heat affected zone is too hard, it will be brittle and will be prone to sulfide stress cracking. The hardness within the heat affected zone is currently measured in the field by a portable hardness tester, the MIC 10, which is not only expensive, but also provides inconstant measurements across a wide range of alloys. Several other companies, including Proceq and Phase 2, are now selling their own portable hardness testers. The Flour Corporation has asked the design team to develop a procedure to test the accuracy, usability, and repeatability of these hardness testers in order to determine if there is a better portable hardness tester available. After the design team developed the procedure, it was used to evaluate several of the portable hardness testers on the market today. This included Krautkramer's MIC 10, Proceq's Equotip 3, and Phase 2's PHT 2500. The results from the design team's procedure provided benchmark tests of portable hardness should the Flour Corporation want to evaluate other portable hardness testers not used in our experimentation. The conclusion derived from the procedure evaluated the Proceq Equotip 3 as the best portable hardness tester used in the experimentation.

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