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ASTM D3574 F | Foam | Tension Testing

ASTM D3574 F covers the tear resistance of foam by the block method. Complete instructions for the foam tear strength test can be found in ASTM D3574 F which applies to slab, bonded, and molded flexible cellular urethane foams (polyolefin foams are tested similarly). Tear strength is determined by measuring the peak force during the tear test. This provides a measure of the material’s resistance to tearing. The specification does not call for it, but it is common to measure the average load over an extension range. Average force over extension range calculations are built into all ADMET testing systems. For example, if you tear your sample four inches, you may want to average the load from 1″ to 3″ to eliminate start and end of test force conditions.

The D3574 F foam tear strength test is similar to testing other polymers, but due to sample thickness, gripping the foam is sometimes a challenge. The specimen is usually 1″ wide by 1″ thick with 1/2 of the 1.5” long split clamped by each grip. Foams do not typically have high tear strengths, so low force (1kN) capacity manual or pneumatic vise grips with at least a 20mm wide opening work best.

Prior to conducting ASTM D3574 F, it is important to read the entire specification in the relevant ASTM publication.

ASTM D3574 F | Foam | Tension Testing

  1. Prepare a block shaped sample with the dimensions specified in the standard. Place a 1.5” long cut in one end of the sample.
  2. Clamp the cut end of the sample in the upper and lower grips.
  3. Pull the sample at the grip separation rate specified in ASTM D3574 Test F until rupture or until at least a 50mm length is torn.
  4. Record the maximum force.
Calculations:
  • Tear Strength

ASTM D3574 F | Foam | Tension Testing

ASTM D3574 F | Foam | Tension Testing

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