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This article reviews the factors that have a significant effect on the selection and interpretation of results of different hardness tests, namely, Brinell, Rockwell, Vickers, and Knoop tests. The factors concerned include hardness level (and scale limitations), specimen thickness, size and shape of the workpiece, specimen surface flatness and surface condition, and indent location. The article focuses on the selection for specific types of materials, such as steels, cast irons, nonferrous alloys, and plastics, and industrial applications, of hardness tests.

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