Vickers [HV] is a common unit used for:

  • listing the hardness of carbide grades and other hard cutting materials such as Ceramics, CBN, and PCD.

Vickers Hardness Testing is one of the oldest hardness testing methods, and has a wide hardness scale, making it suitable for most metals and welds.

The test is done by measuring the surface area of the indentation created by a diamond in the shape of a square-based pyramid. The load is applied for a time of 10–15 s. The HV number is equal to the force divided by the area (F/a). Carbide grades are usually in the range of 1,300-1,900 HV. Ceramics can reach a hardness of 2,000 HV, CBN up to 3,000 HV, and PCD up to 6,000 HV.