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Hardness characterizes the resistance of the ceramic to deformation, densification, displacement, and fracture. It is usually measured with conventional microindentation hardness machines using the Knoop or the Vickers diamond indenters. This article discusses the metrology issues of the Knoop and the Vickers hardness in ceramics. It explicates how to estimate fracture toughness from Vickers indentation cracking. The article also provides information on instrumented hardness testing and the Meyer law.

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