ASTM D903 is a common test performed for determining the strength of adhesive bonds. In the following procedures, a piece of tape or adhesive is bonded to a standard material and peeled backwards at a 180 degree angle. The main calculation determined through this ASTM standard is average peel or stripping strength. The information contained here is meant to explain the basic test procedure and provide details on the equipment required. In order to perform the adhesives test according to ASTM D903, the official ASTM publication should be referenced.
Prepare at least 10 specimens according to the guidelines in the specification. A specimen consists of a flexible adhesive capable of folding back and peeling at a 180 degree angle as well as a substrate material to bond the adhesive to. The substrate object may be wood, textile, metal, or rubber. Samples must be conditioned according to the standard between preparation and testing.
Bond approximately six inches of the adhesive to the substrate material. Fold back the free end of the tape or sealant to a 180 degree angle.
Attach the free end of the substrate material to the vice grip on the testing machine’s crosshead section. Keeping at least one inch of separation between the substrate material and the free end of the adhesive, secure the free part of the adhesive to the second vice grip.
Ensuring that the sample is in the plane of the vice grips, zero the materials testing machine. Move the crosshead at the specified rate until at least half of the bonded section has been peeled.
Record the average load. Repeat this test at least 10 times for each adhesive type.