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UNIVERSITI TENAGA NASIONAL

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING
DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

MEHB221 MECHANICS OF MATERIALS LAB


(INFORMAL REPORT)
EXPERIMENT NO 5 (HARDNESS TEST)

NAME

NUR FAZLIN BINTI MOHD ZAMANI

ID NUMBER

ME 098695

SECTION

05

GROUP

04

LECTURER

PUAN FARAH ELIDA BINTI SELAMAT

SEMESTER

SEMESTER 2, 2016/2017

DATE

3 NOVEMBER 2016

OBJECTIVE
1. To study the hardness of the polymer based on experiment which is done by using the
principles of Rockwell Testing method.
2. To understand how different surface of particle could obtain different reading value based
Rockwell hardness principle.
3. To compare the hardness and tensile strength between two polymers used which are
HDPE and UHDPE.
DATA AND OBSERVATIONS
UDPE and HDPE Hardness Value
Number of Reading
1
2
3
4
5

UHDPE Value (HRB)


26.0
27.7
18.8
26.4
31.7

HDPE value (HRB)


17.2
21.4
18.1
16.0
19.3

The readings were being recorded five times for each polymer. Based on the reading and
experiment observations, higher HRB value could be obtained from UHDPE polymer compared
to HDPE polymer. The average reading for UHDPE polymer is 26.12HRB meanwhile for HDPE
polymer is 18.4HRB. The observations proved that UHDPE polymer has more hardness
compared to HDPE polymer.

ANALYSIS AND RESULTS


The reading taken from this experiment were being recorded and shown based on the graph
below. The reading obtained from HDPE polymer is basically much lower compared to UHDPE
polymer.

GRAPH 1.0: POLYMERS READING VALUE

35
30
25
20
Reading Value 15

UHDPE value (HRB)


HDPE value (HRB)

10
5
0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
Number of Reading

The result shown producing outcome such that UHDPE polymer has higher density compared to
HDPE polymer. Thus, it is approvable that we can eventually say that UHDPE has more tensile
strength compared to HDPE polymer. This is because, although both polymers have its own
polymer chain but they eventually differ a lot from each other as HDPE polymer contain minimal
branching on its polymer chains while UHDPE polymer has extremely long chains in its
molecular particle that there are more bonds holding the material together. The longer chains of
this particular polymer serve to transfer load more effectively to the polymer backbone by
strengthening its intermolecular interactions. This causes the material to be very tough and gives
it the highest impact strength of the polyethylene. Based on the theories, since HDPE is
unbranched, the polymers or chains can be packed together much more tightly, making HDPE
more dense compared to LDPE or other similar polyethylene that could increase its hardness and
strength. However, UHDPE formed from exceptionally long chains are even much denser than
HDPE which makes this type of polymer contain more hardness and producing great strength.

DISCUSSIONS

1. Compare the hardness properties of HDPE and UHDPE polymer.


Based on the theories and also data recorded from this experiment, it could be proven that
UHDPE polymer contains more hardness compared to HDPE polymer. UHDPE has great
tensile strength compared to other materials. Meanwhile, HDPE polymer still considered
to have high value of hardness compared to other similar polyethylene such as LDPE.
2. HDPE and UHDPE have different polymeric chain. Explain how it affects the
hardness properties.
UHDPE polymer has extremely long particles holding the material together which makes
the polymer much denser than any other material. The chains in UHDPE align in the
same direction. Meanwhile, HDPE polymer only has minimal branching in its polymer
chains but still be considered denser enough which makes it much rigid and less
permeable than LDPE. Those polymer chains that could be found in both polymers
makes them provided with higher hardness and tensile strength. They polymeric chains
also serve to transfer load more effectively to the polymer backbone by strengthening
intermolecular interactions. Because UHDPE has longer polymeric chain, the value of its
hardness is much higher compared to HDPE polymer.
3. What are the important samples preparations need to be considered before
conducting hardness test?
First of all, before undergo hardness test those particular material need to be tested to
obtain its approximate hardness. This is important to specify which test that should be
done on those materials as various classifications are provided for hardness test in certain
scale limitations. Furthermore, a clean reflective surface is also required and care must
also be taken to ensure that the surface preparation does not have a major impact on the
target materials properties. The surface preparation relies on the applied load and the
type of test. The materials also need to be inspected in order to avoid any major
deformation on the surface of the materials as it would lead error in reading value and
also needed calculations.
4. Give two examples of the importance of hardness test.
Hardness test is important because the material need to be identified thoroughly before
they are accepted for processing, and also before they are being put in to any use in

engineering industry. Hardness test is vital for every material to determine whether those
particular materials meet the required specifications or not. The hardness test also
important because based on this particular test, other mechanical properties of the
materials could also be determined from hardness test data, such as tensile strength and
material density.
5. What is the advantage of hardness testing in contrast to tensile testing?
Hardness testing has so many advantages as it is much simpler to be carried on compared
to tensile testing. The equipment needed is also inexpensive and much more affordable to
undergo any experiments. Ordinarily, hardness test has no special specimen that needs to
be prepared and this particular test also known to be non-destructive. Besides, the
specimen used for this test also producing no major deformation. They neither fractured
nor is excessively deformed and the data can be precisely without major error.

CONCLUSIONS
Hardness test is actually an experiment to measure the hardness of materials resistance to
localized plastic deformation. The hardness of each polymer used in this experiment which is
UHDPE and HDPE could be obtained by using method of Rockwell Hardness testing principle.
The reading value for each polymer however differs a lot as the average reading for UHDPE are
26.12HRB meanwhile for HDPE polymer is 18.4HRB. Based on the result obtained, it is proven
that UHDPE has more hardness compared to HDPE polymer.

Hardness test is very important because all materials need to be tested and thoroughly checked
before being processed and before they are used in any industries. This particular step need to be
done in order to determine whether those materials meet their specific requirement or not.
Therefore, we need to be able to handle all hardness testing accurately.
REFERENCE
1. Callister, W.D. and Rethwisch D. G. (2011). Material Science and Engineering.
8th Edition.Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, 174-178
2. Hardness Testing Basics (2016)
https://www.buehler.com/best-practices-rockwell-hardness-testing.php
3. About Hardness Testing (2016)
http://www.struers.com/en-GB/Knowledge/Hardness-testing#hardness-testing-about
4. Mechanics of Material Lab Manual
(Experiment 5 - Hardness test)