Hole Drilling Method

Portable near surface stress measurement backed by an industry standard

Hole Drilling measures near-surface residual stress, and has been standardized in ASTM as E837. The method can be applied to quantify the average residual stress over the depth of a drilled hole (typically 1.0 mm depth). Or, it can be applied to determine the distribution of residual stress versus depth from the surface to a depth of half the hole diameter. Hole Drilling is portable, and is a common method for residual stress measurement that can be applied under a variety of circumstances, including in the field. Hill Engineering has extensive experience with Hole Drilling, and a reputation for providing high-quality data and precise installation of instrumentation. Hole Drilling measurements are performed in our laboratory or at your site, to your specifications.

Hole-Drilling is useful for

  • Applications requiring in-field measurements with portable equipment
  • Near-surface residual stress determination (to depth of 2.0 mm)
  • Measuring multiple stress components (in-plane principal stresses)
  • Parts with large or complex geometry
  • Applications with challenging measurement access
  • Applications requiring rapid turn time

A Hole Drilling measurement on a shot-peened Ti-6Al-4V test specimen

Illustration of a Hole Drilling measurement

An incremental Hole Drilling residual stress measurement according to ASTM E837-13 on an aluminum forging.

Results from a Hole Drilling measurement on a shot peened aluminum alloy test specimen. Hole Drilling provides in-plane residual stress versus depth from the surface.

A Hole Drilling measurement repeatability comparing the results from six independent measurement trials.