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# MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF

POLYMER

## CHARACTERIZATION & TESTING POL 3204

Prepared by Dildeep J. Pallipad
M.Tech 2nd Semester, PS&RT,
CUSAT
INTRODUCTION
• Mechanical properties of polymers provide a basis for determining
the strength of a particular material for load bearing applications,
designing a product and predicting its lifespan and performance
characteristics.
• Mechanical properties are primarily dependent on the testing
condition, e.g. rate of application of load, temperature and amount of
strain etc.
DEFINITIONS
• Stress (σ)
Load (F) per unit area (A) of minimum original cross section of the test
specimen at any moment. (N/mm2)
Stress (σ) = F/A
• Strain (ε)
Ratio of the elongation (∆L) to the guage length (L0) of the test
specimen. (Dimension Less)
Strain (ε) = ∆L/ L0 , where ∆L = L1 –L2
• Yield Point
The yield point indicates the limit of elastic behavior and the beginning
of plastic behavior. Once the yield point is passed, some fraction of the
deformation will be permanent.
• Yield Strength
It’s the maximum tensile stress the material can handle before
permanent deformation occurs.
• Stiffness
The stiffness of a polymer indicates its resistance to elastic deformation
under low rate of loading
• Modulus of Elasticity (E) / Young’s Modulus
The ratio of stress to corresponding strain in the proportional limit of a
material or slope of the Hookean region is called as elastic modulus.
(N/mm2)
E= Stress / Strain
• Ultimate Strength
Refers to the maximum stress before failure occurs.

• Fracture Strength
It is the value corresponding to the stress at which the total failure occurs.
STRESS-STRAIN BEHAVIOR
• At low strain, the deformation of
most solids is elastic and after
removal of the deforming load the
polymer returns to its original size
and shape.
• In this regime, the stress (σ) is
proportional to the strain (ε):

## Stress / Strain = Constant

or
σ=Eε
CLASSIFICATION OF MECHANICAL
PROPERTIES
• Mechanical force is applied on material in different mode to
determine various mechanical properties.
• Depending upon the nature of force applied and test duration
involved,

Short Term
Surface Properties
Long Term
SHORT TERM MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• Generally short term mechanical test datas are utilized for designing
of engineering components.
• The properties under this category are measured at constant stress or
strain in different modes such as

Tension
Compression
Flexural
Shear
TENSILE PROPERTIES
• Most widely specified properties and are used as an indication of
strength of the polymers.
• It measures the ability of a material to withstand the force that
tends to pull it apart and the extent of deformation before breaking.
• Tensile Strength:
Defined as the maximum tensile stress sustained by a test piece during
the tension test or ultimate strength of a material subjected to tensile
loading.
• Tensile Modulus: Indicates relative stiffness of a material.

## Tensile Modulus = Difference in stress between two points

Difference in corresponding strain

## Change in length (Elongation)

• Elongation at Yield ε = Original length (Gauge length)

## • Percentage Elongation at Break:

The elongation at break at maximum extension produced in the gauge length of the test
piece is expressed as a percentage of the gauge length.
Percentage of Elongation = ε x 100
SIGNIFICANCE
• Tensile modulus is related to the stiffness of the material.
• Higher the modulus of elasticity, higher is the stiffness of a material
and vice versa.
• The area under the stress-strain curve up to yield point gives the
resilience of material and the area up to break point gives the
toughness of material.
• Tensile test is often used for inspection and quality control of the
products and R&D purposes.
TEST METHOD
• For Plastics ASTM D 638 – 08
• For Elastomers ASTM D 412- 16
• Test Specimen;
Dumbbell shaped specimen is
used. Conditioned at 23±2°C for
not less than 40 hours prior to
testing.
BIS IS 3400 (Part 1) : 2012
ISO 37 : 2011
EQUIPMENT
• Universal testing machines with tensile
test fixture and different types of self
alignment grips are used for holding test
specimen in machines,
• Machines can be operated at constant
speed.
• Fitted with load cell and extensometer to
record the test load and extension
accurately.

## Fig. Schematic of an electromechanical twin-screw tensile test machine.

PROCEDURE
1. At least five specimens are tested for each
sample.
2. Width and thickness of each test
specimens are measured accurately.
3. Gauge length is marked on the specimen.
4. Initial position of grip is adjusted and
specimen is mounted.
5. Extensometer is attached with the
specimen
6. Test speed depends upon the nature of
the material to be tested. (Low Speed for
rigid and high speed for flexible material).
COMPRESSIVE PROPERTIES
• Compressive properties describe the behavior of material when it is
subjected to a compressive load at relatively slow and uniform rate.
• It is the ability of a material to resist forces that tend to crush the
material or compress.
• Compressive properties include modulus of elasticity, yield stress,
deformation at yield point and compressive strength at failure,
compressive strain.
• Test Method:
For Plastics ASTM D 695 – 08
For Rubbers ASTM D 575 - 91
• Test Specimen:
Test specimen of cylindrical shape of size 12.7 x 12.7 x 25.4 mm length
or rectangular block of 12.5 mm x 12.5 mm x 25.4 mm with flat and
plane faces is prepared by molding.
Test specimens are conditioned at 23±2°C for not less than 40 hours
prior to testing. The test is carried out in the laboratory maintained at
23±2°C.
EQUIPMENT
• Universal testing machine
consisting of compression test
fixture (anvil) and capable of
compressing the test specimen
between compression plates at a
constant rate and measure the
load and deformation accurately
is used.
• Micrometer or Vernier calipers
are used for determining width
and thickness of specimen.
PROCEDURE
1. Specimen is placed on the anvil between compression plates
vertically.
2. The surface of the specimen shall be parallel to the surface of the
test plate.
3. Test speed of 1.3 ± 0.3 mm/min. is set in UTM and load is applied
over the specimen.
4. An automatic recording device records load deformation curve.
5. Compression strength at any point is calculated by dividing load
with original cross-sectional area of specimen.
Compressive Strength = Force (N) / Area (mm2)
F= Maximum Compressive Load carried out by specimen (N)
A= Original Minimum Cross section area (mm2)
FLEXURAL PROPERTIES
• Flexural test datas are reliable in a number of applications for
designing purpose.
• These properties include flexural strength and modulus which relate
to the resistance of material under bending mode.
• It is also termed as bending strength.
• Material under pure bending mode consists of combination of
compression and tensile stress.
• Flexural Strength:
Flexural strength is the ability of a material to
withstand bending forces applied perpendicular
to its longitudinal axis.
Stress induced is the combination of
compressive and tensile load.

• Flexural Modulus:
Flexural modulus is a measure of the stiffness
during the first or initial portion of bending
process.
• Test Method:
For Plastics ASTM D 90- 07
For Elastomers ASTM D 6109- 13
• Test Specimen:
A minimum of five test pieces are required by ISO 178 for each
direction tested.
The preferred test piece is a strip with the following dimensions:
Length: l = 80.0 ± 2.0
Width: b = 10.0 ± 0.2
Thickness: h = 4.0 ± 0.2
Test specimens are conditioned at 23±2°C.
• The change in stress occurs from
maximum tensile stress at one surface
through the thickness to maximum
compressive stress on other surface.

## • The top surface is in tension and the

bottom surface is at an equal
compression, if the tensile and
compressive modulus of a material is
equal.
PROCEDURE
1. The length, width and thickness of specimens are measured
accurately by micrometer.
2. Span length between two supports is adjusted equal to 16 times
the thickness of specimen.
3. Specimen is placed on support centrally with load axis
perpendicular to the loading noise.
4. 3 point loading system – 0.01 mm/mm.min
5. 4 point loading system – 0.1 mm/mm.min
6. Load is applied at specified crosshead rate and load deflection data
is recorded.
• Flexural Strength = 3PL/2bd2
Where,
P= Load (N)
L= Distance of supports (mm)
b= Width of specimen (mm)
d= Thickness of test specimen (mm)
SHEAR STRENGTH
• Ability of a material to resist shearing when one portion is removed
from a stationary section is called shear.
• Shear strength has great significance in the case of films and sheets as
wells as for molded and extruded products.
• In thermoforming, processed sheets are subjected to shear load.
• Shear test data of material is useful in designing tools/punching dies
for the plastic sheet.
• Test Method:
ASTM D 732- 09
• Test Specimen:
Molded or cut specimens from sheets in the form of disc of 50 mm dia.
or 50 x 50 mm is used.
Thickness 0.125 – 12.5 mm.
Centre of specimen marked with tools and a hole of 7/16 inch dia. is
drilled.
Test specimens are conditioned at 23±2°C.
The test is carried out in laboratory at 23±2°C.
EQUIPMENT
• Universal testing machine with
shear tool and punching jigs of
specified dimensions is used.
• Procedure:
The initial dimensions of test
specimen such as internal diameter
and thickness is determined.
Specimen is clamped in punch shear
tool at a rate of 1.25 mm/min till
specimen completely shears.
The force required to shear is
recorded using test data recorder
device.
REFERENCES
• Fundamentals of Plastic Testing, Prof. (Dr.) S.K. Nayak, Dr. S.N. Yadav,
Dr. S. Mohanty, LARPM, CIPET.
• Handbook of Plastic Test Methods, R.P. Brown (Ed.), George Godwin,
London 1981.
• Physical Testing of Rubber, R.P. Brown, 3rd Ed. Springer 1995.
• ASTM Standards for tests of Plastic & Rubbers.