charpy impact testing

mechanical testing – charpy impact testing on plastics and composite materials

There are two main types of impact testing using a pendulum, IZOD Impact testing and Charpy Impact testing.  The two methods are relatively similar but they are mainly distinguished by the difference in the positioning of the specimen.  Charpy Impact is defined as the kinetic energy required to initiate fracture and continue until the specimen is fractured completely.

 In a charpy impact test, the specimen (notched or unnotched) is mounted horizontally and support but unclamped.  One of the main purposes of impact testing is to test the material’s toughness.  A material’s toughness indicates the amount of energy the material is able to withstand before complete failure.  In other words, it is the amount of energy absorbed by the material.

charpy impact testing

Briefly, the Charpy impact testing holds the sample horizontally with the notch facing away from the pendulum. Following the standards ISO 179 and ASTM D6110. The pendulum of the Charpy Tester is released and aim to strike the specimen. If the specimen did not break upon the impact, a heavier pendulum hammer is used until breakage occurs. Eventually, the impact performance of the plastic/composite material is recorded by a fracture toughness measurement, which is calculated from the total energy of fracture divided by the fracture area. 


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impact are a one stop shop. Our team have over 120 years of combined experience in the testing industry and can advise you on what type of accelerated weathering testing you need. No matter the question, product, or standard, contact us today for guidance on testing for your product. With our UKAS accreditation, we can test to anything that falls within the boundaries of our extensive flexible scope. impact will always do their best to help you with your testing needs and our experienced weathering consultant, Jo, will advise you on the best method of testing.

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