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Application Note

Tribology and Mechanical Testing Unit

Test Method for Measuring the Shore Hardness of


Soft Materials Using the CETR-UMT 2 or CETR-APEX
per ASTM D2240-00
Summary of Test Method:
This indentation test method allows for hardness measurement on rubber specimen using a specified
standard indenter. ASTM D2240-00 refers several rubber hardness measurement scales (A, B, C, D, DO,
O, OO, and M). It is used to evaluate the indentation hardness of materials such as elastomers,
thermoplastic elastomers, vulcanized rubber, cellular, gel-like, and plastics. The method consists of
indenting the specimen using a hardened steel indenter with specific geometry and force, based on the
chosen scale of measurements. The indenter tip displacement is measured for calculating the hardness of
the material. A mathematical relation is used to convert the displacement data into hardness number,
limited within range of 0 to 100. A and D are the two most commonly used scales. The sample thickness
should be at least 6.0 mm.
UMT /APEX System Requirements:
CETR-UMT 2 or CETR-APEX system with load
sensor (maximum 50N), Specimen Table (lower linear
drive recommended), mounting block, rigid adapter,
and adapter for mounting indenter below the force
sensor, and 6.3 mm diameter pin with pin-holder, are
required.
UMT/APEX Software Test Setup:

Figure 1. Schematic Test Setup

Options File:
Load the options file which contains settings for the 5kg force/load sensor and linear drive.

Test Sequence 1: Shore Hardness Test


Engage :
Touch Force: -0.1N; Pretouch: 0.2; Touch: 0.2; Tracking: 0.005mm/s
Test:
Tolerance (N): Positive 0.01; Negative 0.01
Disengage: Z-carriage Retracting Distance: 3 mm; Velocity: 5 mm/s.
Data File: File name: give suitable file name such as C:\Trib\Test\.......Check 'Create
Data File: Check Fz, Z1 (Carriage Position), and T (Time) channels.
Filter width: 1 sample
Sequence Note: Shore Hardness Test
STEP 1: //Applying initial ( FZi ) load//
General :
Controlled: Carriage/Load; Step: Constant Force (Fz); Duration:3 s.
Carriage :
Force: - FZi N
Linear(spindle): Distance: 0; Velocity: 0
Slider :
Position: Idle
STEP 2: //Loading to Final Load FZf //
General:
Controlled: Carriage/Load; Step: Linear Force (Fz) by Time; Duration : 1 s.
i
f
: - FZ N; To: - FZ N
Carriage:
Force From:
Linear(spindle): Distance: 0; Velocity: 0
Slider:
Position: Idle
1717 Dell Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008, USA
Phone: +1.408.376.4040 Fax: +1.408.376.4050

Email: productinfo@bruker-nano.com
Web: www.bruker-axs.com

Application Note
Tribology and Mechanical Testing Unit
f
STEP 3: //Holding at final load of FZ
General :
Controlled: Carriage/Load; Step: Constant Force (Fz); Duration : 3 s.
Carriage :
Force: - FZf N
Linear(spindle): Distance: 0; Velocity: 0
Slider :
Position: Idle

Method of Measurement: The specified initial and final test loads for all scales are shown in Table 1. There are four different
indenters types (Type A and C; Type B and D; Type O, DO, and OO; Type M) that are available to cover all the eight scales
of Shore hardness measurements. Choose an indenter for a particular scale of measurement and mount below the force sensor
of the UMT with an appropriate adaptor. Mount the sample on the lower linear drive. Schematic test set-up is shown in Fig.1.
f

Table 1: Specified Initial (FZi ) and final (FZ ) loads for hardness tests in various scales, N
Load

Scale

Initial ( F Zi )
Final ( F Zf )

DO

OO

0.55
8.05

0.55
8.05

0
44.45

0
44.45

0
44.45

0.55
8.05

0.203
1.111

0.324
0.765

Load the proper UMT option file corresponding to the force sensor and the drive. Prepare a test script as shown in 'UMT Software
Set-up' section, which will apply the initial and final loads and record Fz and Z. Bring down the indenter near to the sample
surface. Run a test using that script. The scale with zero initial load, apply minimum load of 0.05N. Open the test data file with the
UMT Viewer. Find out the total displacement from Z1 plot (say Z in mm) between initial and final load. Use the equation (1) to
calculate hardness (H):

1 Z0

H=
1 Z 1
k
+

S1 F S 2

Where, Z0 = 2.5 mm for all scales except scale M. For scale M, Z0 = 1.25 mm. The terms S1 and S2 are spring stiffness of the Shore
indenter system and the frame stiffness of UMT in N/mm, respectively. F is the difference between final and initial loads in N. The
values of terms k, S1, Z0 and F depend on type hardness scale as shown in Table 2. Move the specimen using the lower linear drive
and repeat the measurements to get a statistical data, if required.
Table 2: Parameters for Shore hardness tests in various scales.
Parameter

Scale
A

DO

OO

0.075

0.075

0.4445

0.4445

0.4445

0.075

0.00908

0.0044

Z0

2.5

2.5

2.5

2.5

2.5

2.5

2.5

1.25

S1

17.78

17.78

17.78

0.363

0.353

7.5

7.5

44.4

44.4

44.4

7.5

0.908

0.441

The frame stiffness can be obtained from another test using a pin. Install a 6.3 mm pin with a pin-holder on to the rigid adaptor, in
place of the indenter. Take out the test specimen from the drive or table. Move down the pin by moving the carriage down to the
top surface of the linear drive. Now run a script (similar to the one for indentation; in Step 2, set initial load = 1.0 N, Final load =
40 N, and duration = 15 s). Record Fz and Z1. Plot Fz vs. Z1 and find out the slope, which is the frame stiffness (S2). Usually the
frame stiffness will not change too much, and it is usually not required to measure very often.
Reporting Test Results: Report the hardness test results mean and standard deviation along with the specimen dimension and
identification details, and ambient conditions such as relative humidity and temperature.

Page 2

1717 Dell Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008, USA


Phone: +1.408.376.4040 Fax: +1.408.376.4050

Email: productinfo@bruker-nano.com
Web: www.bruker-axs.com