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The contributions of David Tabor to the science of indentation hardness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011

Ian M. Hutchings*
Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1RX, United Kingdom
a) Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: This author was an editor of this focus issue during the review and decision stage. For the JMR policy on review and publication of manuscripts authored by editors, please refer to
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Tabor’s book The Hardness of Metals, published in 1951, has had a major influence on the subject of indentation hardness and is by far the most widely cited source in this area. Although hardness testing was widely used for practical purposes in the first half of the 20th century, its use was generally based on little scientific understanding. The history of indentation hardness testing up to that point is reviewed, and Tabor’s contribution is appraised in this context.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2009

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