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. Our laboratory maintains an active ISO17025 accreditation for hole drilling.

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.