ASTM Plastic Mechanical Testing

Polyhedron Laboratories performs mechanical testing according to ASTM standards, such as:

All ASTM standard descriptions below are paraphrased from the ASTM website (www.astm.org). Due to copyright restrictions, Polyhedron Laboratories cannot make available copies of standards. Standards can be found and are available at www.astm.org.

Abrasion Resistance with the Taber Abraser:

ASTM D 1044-05

Standard Test Method for Resistance of Transparent Plastics to Surface Abrasion
This test procedure describes a method for estimating the resistance of transparent plastics to one kind of surface abrasion by measurement of its optical properties. Abrasive damage is judged by the percentage of transmitted light that, in passing through the abraded track, deviates from the incident beam by forward scattering. For the purpose of this test procedure, only light flux deviating more than 0.044 rad (2.5°) on average is considered in this assessment of abrasive damage. Abrasive damage is visually judged and numerically quantified by the difference in haze percentage between an abraded and unabraded specimen. This procedure has been successfully used with plastic films and sheeting.

ASTM D 4060-01

Standard Test Method for Abrasion Resistance of Organic Coatings by the Taber Abraser
This test procedure deals with the determination of the resistance of organic coatings to abrasion created by the Taber Abraser on coatings applied to a plane, rigid surface, such as a metal panel. This test method is most successful when testing in only one laboratory where numerical abrasion resistance values are to be used. Inter-laboratory results are notably improved when rankings of coatings are used in place of numerical values.

Coefficient of Friction of Plastic Film:

ASTM D 1894-01

Standard Test Method for Static and Kinetic Coefficients of Friction of Plastic Film and Sheeting
This test procedure outlines the determination of the coefficients of sliding and starting friction of plastic sheeting and film when sliding over it or other substances at specific test conditions. The test method permits the use of a moving sled with a stationary plane or a stationary sled with a moving plane. Both test methods yield the same coefficients of friction values for a given specimen.

Compression Testing

ASTM D 695-02a

Standard Test Method for Compressive Properties of Rigid Plastics
This test procedure deals with the determination of the mechanical properties of reinforced and unreinforced rigid plastics, including high-modulus composites, when loaded in compression at relatively low uniform rates of loading or straining. Test samples of standard shapes are employed.

Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (-100 to 200 Degrees Centigrade)

ASTM D 5026-01

Standard Test Method for Plastics: Dynamic Mechanical Properties: In Tension
This test procedure outlines the use of dynamic mechanical instrumentation for reporting and gathering the viscoelastic properties of thermosetting and thermoplastic resins and composite systems in the form of rectangular samples molded directly or cut from molded shapes, plates or sheets – only small samples are needed. This test procedure provides a means for determining the modulus as a function of temperature of a wide variety of plastics materials using nonresonant forced-vibration techniques. Plots of the loss (viscous); elastic (storage); and complex moduli and tan delta as a function of temperature, time, or frequency indicate considerable transitions in the thermomechanical performance of the polymeric material system. This is the best method for determining the glass transition temperature. This test procedure is valid for a wide range of frequencies from 0.01 to 100 Hz.

Flexural Strength

ASTM D 790-03

Standard Test Methods for Flexural Properties of Unreinforced and Reinforced Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materials
These test procedures deal with the determination of flexural properties of reinforced and unreinforced plastics, including electrical insulating materials and high-modulus composites in the form of rectangular bars molded directly or cut from molded shapes, plates or sheets. These test routines are generally applicable to both semi-rigid and rigid materials. These test procedures utilize a three-point loading system that is applied to a simply supported beam. Test Method A is designed principally for materials that break at comparatively small deflections; Test Method B is designed particularly for those materials that undergo large deflections during testing.

Hardness (Durometer)

ASTM D 2240-05

Standard Test Method for Rubber Property—Durometer Hardness
This test procedure outlines twelve types of rubber hardness measurement devices known as durometers: Types A, B, C, and D. The procedure for determining indentation hardness of substances classified as vulcanized (thermoset) rubber, thermoplastic elastomers, cellular materials, elastomeric materials, gel-like materials, and some plastics are also described.

Hardness (Rockwell)

ASTM D 785-03

Standard Test Method for Rockwell Hardness of Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materials
This test procedure outlines two methods for testing the indention hardness of plastics and related plastic electrical insulating materials using a Rockwell hardness tester.

Izod Impact

ASTM D 256-06

Standard Test Methods for Determining the Izod Pendulum Impact Resistance of Plastics
These test procedures cover the determination of the resistance of plastics to "standardized" pendulum-type hammers, mounted in "standardized" machines, in breaking standard samples with one pendulum swing. The standard tests for these test routines require samples made with a milled notch. In Test Procedures A, C, and D, the notch produces a stress concentration that increases the probability of a brittle, rather than a ductile, fracture. In Test Procedure E, the impact resistance is obtained by reversing the notched specimen 180 degrees in the clamping vise. The results of all test procedures are reported in terms of energy absorbed per unit of specimen width or per unit of cross-sectional area under the notch.

Shear Strength

ASTM D 732-02

Standard Test Method for Shear Strength of Plastics by Punch Tool
This test procedure outlines the punch-type of shear test and is intended for use in determining the shear strength of test specimens of organic plastics in the form of molded discs and sheets in thicknesses from 0.127 to 12.7 millimeters (0.050 to 0.500 inches).

Tear Resistance

ASTM D 1004-03

Standard Test Method for Initial Tear Resistance of Plastic Film and Sheeting
This test procedure deals with the determination of the tear resistance of flexible sheeting and plastic film at very low rates of loading, 51 millimeters (2 inches)/min. and is designed to measure the force to initiate tearing. The sample geometry of this test routine produces a stress concentration in a small area of the sample. The maximum stress, typically found at the onset of tearing, is recorded as the tear resistance in newtons (or pounds-force).

Tensile Properties of Plastics/Strength and Elongation/Tensile Modulus

ASTM D 638-03

Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics
This test procedure deals with the determination of the tensile properties of reinforced and unreinforced plastics in the form of standard dumbbell-shaped test samples when tested under defined conditions of humidity, temperature, pretreatment, and testing machine speed. This test procedure can also be used for testing materials of any thickness up to 0.25 inches. Materials with a thickness greater than 0.25 inches must be reduced by machining.

Compression Properties of Rigid Cellular Plastics

ASTM D 1621-04a

Standard Test Method for Compressive Properties of Rigid Cellular Plastics
This test procedure outlines a method for determining the compressive properties of rigid cellular materials, particularly expanded plastics.

Tensile Properties of Rigid Cellular Plastics

ASTM D 1623-03

Standard Test Method for Tensile and Tensile Adhesion Properties of Rigid Cellular Plastics
This test procedure deals with the determination of the tensile and tensile adhesion properties of rigid cellular materials in the form of test samples of standard shape under defined conditions of testing machine speed, humidity and temperature. Tensile properties shall be measured using three types of samples – Type A is the preferred sample in those cases where enough material exists to form the required sample; Type B is the preferred sample when only smaller samples are available, as in sandwich panels and the like; Type C is the preferred sample for the determination of tensile adhesive properties of a cellular plastic to a substrate as found in a sandwich panel or the bonding strength of a cellular plastic to a single substrate.

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