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Hardness is a property of all materials and refers to the ability of a material to resist deformation. The harder a material is, the more resistance it has to scratching, cutting, abrasion, or indentation. Additionally, hardness means resistance to permanent breakage, which can occur through the material being bent, broken, or altered in such a way that its shape changes. Usually, hardness is tested by the application of some type of force, looking to see how much damage results. A few tests of hardness include the Mohs Scale, the Brinell Hardness Test, the Vickers Hardness Test, the Rockwell Hardness Test, and the Shore Hardness Test. Higher degree of hardness is not always the property that is needed. For particular jobs, the intention of testing hardness is to determine if a material is the appropriate level of soft, and therefore malleable. Testing the hardness level of a material is very important in knowing a part can withstand any potential pressures or forces.
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