Sheen Instruments - manufacturer and supplier of quality testing instruments for the paint and coatings industry

Sheen Instruments - quality testing instrumentation for paint and industrial coatings

Barcol Indentation Hardness Tester

Barcol Indentation Tester

A handy and easy to use instrument to test the hardness of soft materials such as metals (aluminium, brass, alloys), plastics, fibreglass, polyesters, leather etc. By pressing the instrument onto the test surface a needle penetrates the material and the degree of hardness is displayed on a dial scale from 0 to 100. It can be used on fabricated parts as well as raw material. Three variations of this hand-held portable hardness tester are available.


  • Easy to use - no training or experience required
  • Repeatable - consistently accurate results each time
  • Versatile - can be used in any position and in any space that will allow for the operators hand.
  • Efficient - the hardness reading is instantly indicated on the dial, no waiting, pre-loading or seperate measurement required.

Principle of Operation

By pressing the instrument into the test surface an identer penetrates the material and the degree of hardness is displayed on a dial scale 0 to 100.

Display Dial Analogue Scale - 0 – 100 units, major divisions (numbered) in increments of 10, minor division increments of 1 (identified by lines)

Units of measurement - Barcol Units (BU) Scale readings 0 - 100 BU.

Test sample size

The minimum thickness is 0,8mm thick the area of the sample must be sufficient to enable multiple indentations to be made with at least 6,0 mm free space between edges of the sample and other indentations.

Barcol Indentation Tester with caseMethod of use

Place the instrument over the test sample and apply downward pressure by hand, the indenter point will penetrate the surface, read the hardness value from the position of indicator on the display dial. Several indentations should be taken over the area of the sample in order to determine the consistency.


The indenters are not suitable for materials that are very soft and fibrous, or very course grained as this will produce inconsistent readings, also not suitable for very hard metals.

International standards

ASTM B648 (Aluminium alloy) ASTM D2583 (Rigid plastics and soft metals)

Packing list

  • Adjusting Spanner
  • 2 x indenting points
  • Appropriate standard test disc
  • Operating instructions
  • Case

Weight and dimensions     

Weight: 900 grams

Dimensions: 152 x 106 x 50mm


Model SH/GYZJ934/1 requires two Hardness Discs to enable calibration over the instrument range.

Hardness Discs: One disc is supplied with the instrument, this should be replaced when the number of indentations is such that there is no distance less than 2mm between other indentations.

Indenters: Damaged or worn indenters must be replaced in order to maintain precision.

Get a quotation

SKU Name Add to quote
SHGYZJ934/1 Barcol Indentation Hardness Tester (25-150 Brinell - flat surfaces)
SHGYZJ935 Barcol Indentation Hardness Tester (Softer metals and plastic)
SHGYZJ936 Barcol Indentation Hardness Tester (Very soft metals, lead, leather)


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