Difference Between Hardness and Toughness

While thinking about the strength of a material, Hardness and Toughness are the properties which come into consideration. You may think that both of these properties are the same. But that’s not true. Both of them are different. In fact, a material which has more hardness generally have less toughness and the material which has more toughness generally has less hardness. But there may also be some exceptions.

Now let’s get into a brief introduction of both of these properties of the material, before talking about the difference between them…

Hardness is the property or ability of a material by virtue of which it can resist abrasion, wear, scratching, penetration, etc. The hardest material, known at present, is the diamond. Hardness is tested by various hardness tests like Rockwell Hardness test, Brinell Hardness Test, Vickers Hardness Test, etc. Hardness Testing Machine measures the hardness by measuring the indentation.

On the other hand, Toughness is the measure of the amount of the load or force that a material can absorb before fracture. You can also say that it is actually the maximum amount of energy that a material can absorb before fracturing. Various Toughness Tests are Impact Toughness, Notch Toughness, Fracture Toughness tests, etc.

Difference Between Hardness and Toughness or Hardness vs Toughness

Some of the most important points highlighting the difference between Hardness and Toughness are as follows:

  1. Hardness is the measure of the ability of a material to resist abrasion, scratching, wear, penetration, etc. On the other hand, Toughness is the measure of the maximum amount of the energy or force a material can absorb before getting fractured.
  2. Hardness can be tested by Rockwell Hardness test, Brinell Hardness Test, Vickers Hardness Test, etc. On the other hand, Toughness can be tested by Notch Toughness, Fracture Toughness, Impact Toughness tests, etc.
  3. Hard Materials cannot be easily scratched and Tough Materials cannot be easily broken.
  4. The hardest material is Diamond. On the other hand, tough materials are Mils Steel, Magnesium, etc.

So these are the most important points highlighting the difference between Toughness and Hardness. Do you think there is any other important difference that I have missed to mention above? If you think so, please give your response in the comments below. And, if you have any confusion or query in your mind about the topic discussed above, you can ask your question also, using our comment section below. I will be there to answer everything.

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Below there are the links to some other important articles that you should not miss to read:

Difference Between Malleability and Ductility Explained in Detail

Tensile Test of Mild Steel

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