THE Rockwell hardness number is based on the additional depth to which the penetrator is driven by a heavy load beyond the depth to which the same penetrator has been driven by a definite light load. A minor load is applied and often, without moving the specimen, a major load is applied. The major load is then removed leaving the minor load on, and the hardness number is indicated on the dial.
Skerry, E. (1934), "The Testing of Metallic Materials: An Explanation of the Methods in Common Use, with Description of Some Standard Machines", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 111-114. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb029794
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