Hardness Testing (Breaking Force)

Welcome to the Hardness Testing section of our web site. Please select one of the categories below for further information:

Tablet Hardness Tester TBF 1000

The Tablet Hardness Tester Model TBF 1000 combines the economy of a simple easy to use tester with the performance and accuracy of microprocessor controlled data collection.

Foremost in the design specification were those features that you, the user, identified as being essential to the “ideal” hardness tester.

You told us, for example, that the unit must be as compact as possible such that it could be used in the confines of the tablet press booth. So, we made it compact.

Tablet Hardness Tester TH3

The Tablet Hardness Tester Model TH3 is a portable semi-automatic electronic tablet hardness tester with LCD display designed to accept tablets up to 30 mm in diameter – ideal for the tablet production area as a quick check as to compression force settings.

The tablet is placed on the test platform between the test jaw and the load cell plunger. A multi-turn low-friction hand-wheel similar to the type used on machine tools is used to apply load to the tablet until it fractures.


Traditionally, the breaking force of tablets has always been referred to as hardness. However, as the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) points out, this term is really a misnomer since hardness refers to the resistance of a surface to penetration or indentation by a probe e.g., penetrometer.

For this reason, in its Chapter <1217>, USP refers to Tablet Breaking Force not hardness describing the breaking force of a tablet as being the force required to cause it to fail (i.e. break) in a specific plane.

Introduction to Tablet Hardness Testing

Together with friability testing, the testing of a tablets hardness (or more correctly breaking force) plays a vital role in both product development and subsequent quality control.

In this test method, the tablet is placed between two platens (jaws), one of which is attached to a load cell and the other to a motor which provides the mechanical drive. During testing, the motorised jaw drives forward pressing the tablet against the fixed jaw until such time as the tablet breaks whereupon the motorised jaw retracts and the load required to break the tablet is recorded.