ASTM D638 Plastic Tensile Properties Testing

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ASTM D638 | Plastics and Elastomers | Tension Testing

ASTM D638 is one of the most common plastic strength specifications and covers the tensile properties of unreinforced and reinforced plastics.  This test method uses standard “dogbone” shaped specimens under 14mm of thickness.  A universal testing machine (tensile testing machine) is needed to perform this test. Prior to conducting ASTM D638, it is important to read the entire specification in the relevant ASTM publication.

ASTM D638 | Plastics and Elastomers | Tension Testing

  1. To perform ASTM D638, begin by cutting your material into a “dogbone” sample.
  2. Load the sample into a pair of tensile grips and attach your extensometer (if required).
  3. The speed at which you separate your tensile grips depends on the shape of the specimen and can range from 0.05-20 inches per minute.  End the test at sample break (rupture).
Calculations:
  • Tensile Strength
  • Elongation at Yield
  • Elongation at Break
  • Nominal Strain at Break (Grip Separation)
  • Modulus of Elasticity
  • Secant Modulus
  • Poisson’s Ratio (Requires Transverse Extensometer)

ASTM D638 | Plastics and Elastomers | Tension Testing

ASTM D638 | Plastics and Elastomers | Tension Testing

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