March 2016

A Little More About Mohs Hardness Scale

In earlier days, many geologists compared the hardness of a mineral by seeing which mineral can scratch others visibly and this lacks precision and accuracy. Hence, The Mohs scale was invented to measure the scratch resisting property of various minerals. Introduced by the German mineralogist, Friedrich Mohs in 1812, it measures the ability of one natural mineral to scrape another visibly.

Many minerals of pure and hard in nature were sampled and it was found that diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring mineral known so far. Scratching a mineral to measure on the scale creates non-elastic disorders visible to the naked eye. Minerals that are on the lower side of Mohs scale produce these distortions on materials and they have a higher Mohs number. If both the samples are of equal hardness, they will be no effect for the scrape, or might be difficult to determine the scratch.

mohs_hardness_testerThe procedure is as simple as it states. During the test, place the specimen to detect hardness on the table and hold it tightly in one hand. The reference specimen is kept against the unmarked surface of the sample. With a force, press the reference against the sample and give it a short drag move. Avoid injuries with sharp edges by placing away from your body. Check the blemish if they produced after dusting the residue of mineral powder. Use a hardness pick to get enhance accuracy. They are sharp metal picks, used to create a scrape easily if they are harder than the specimen being tested or leave a mere streak of metal if they are softer.

Hardness test is done as a mode of mineral identification easily when sophisticated techniques are unavailable. The suitability of the material to be used is determined in industries during the manufacture of products. It also helps to confirm that the materials that undergo wear and tear during the manufacturing withstand the pressure.