September 26, 2023
UCI hardness testers

Ultrasonic contact impedance hardness testing is a nondestructive method for measuring the hardness of work samples. The tester has a vibrating bar with a Vickers diamond on the end, which creates an ultrasound signal that is then evaluated.

It is ideal for measuring small items, objects with thin walls, and complex shape parts. It also allows for the measurement of hardness values on difficult-to-access positions, such as tooth flanks.


Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a technique that allows the inspection of a product without damaging it. NDT methods include diamond and ball indentation, ultrasound, eddy current, and rebound. While these techniques can damage the surface of a product, ultrasonic contact impedance can measure a hardness value without indenting the workpiece.

This method allows the user to test on the spot and can be used in difficult positions such as tight spaces and challenging component geometries. It also allows the user to store and compare multiple measurements. It can also convert values among HB, HRC, and HV.

UCI uses a mechanical resonator rod to vibrate the surface of the material being tested. This produces a dynamic coupling effect, and the vibration amplitude is measured in order to derive a hardness value. This measurement method complies with ASTM A1038 and is suitable for a variety of applications such as small forgings, cast materials, weld inspection, heat-affected zones, ion-nitride stamping dies and molds, thin walled parts, bearings, and tooth flanks.


Portable hardness testers are a great option for jobs where taking a sample and transporting it to a lab is either impractical or cost-prohibitive. They can be used on large or small components and are perfect for taking measurements in difficult test positions, such as the flanks of gear teeth.

The UCI method works by measuring the frequency of indenter-free oscillations at a contact point on the workpiece surface. The resulting data is converted into common hardness values, such as HV, HB, and HRC. The measured hardness values can then be displayed and saved digitally.

The UCI hardness testing device consists of a hand-held host and probe connected with the cable. The probe has a vibration bar with a 136-degree diamond at the end or also known as a Vickers pressure head, that is pressed onto the material surface and produces ultrasonic vibration. This allows the device to measure the hardness without damaging the workpiece.

Easy to use

UCI testing is a nondestructive inspection method that utilizes vibration sensors to measure the hardness of metals and alloys. This nondestructive testing technique creates a microscopic indentation on the surface of the material, and is ideal for weld inspection, quality control for coatings, ion-nitrided stamping dies and molds, thin walled structures and parts, bearings, tooth flanks and more.

The UCI method converts the frequency shift into a Vickers hardness scale. The adjustment curve is set between 128 and 900 HV on MPA-calibrated steel hardness reference blocks with an E-modulus that is uniform for the class.

With its mass storage capabilities, simple calibration and quick measurement techniques that take less than 2 seconds, the Qualitest UCI Portable Hardness Tester is easy to use for any user. This UCI test instrument is also compatible with any standard hardness scale and material, making it perfect for a wide range of applications. The UCI portable hardness tester requires little or no maintenance and has a low power consumption, allowing you to use it for extended periods of time.


Ultrasonic contact impedance hardness testing is a fast, accurate and easy-to-use method for measuring the hardness of workpieces. This technology can test workpieces that are too thin or large for traditional impact-based testers. It is also non-destructive, making it ideal for use on products that cannot be removed from the production line and used for testing purposes.

During the process, a mechanical resonator is excited to longitudinal vibrations by a frequency of about 78 kHz and forced into the test material. As the test force is increased, a change in the vibrational frequency occurs, and the differential frequency can be measured by a portable hardness tester.

UCI hardness testers can be used for a wide variety of applications including small forgings, cast material, weld inspection, heat-affected zones, Ion-nitrided stamping dies and molds, presses, thin-walled parts, bearings, tooth flanks, etc. They are equipped with mass storage capabilities, a large LCD display and simple calibration techniques for a quick measurement result.

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