When you order thermoset sheets, you want to be confident that your chosen material will live up to expectations and suit your application. Plastic sheet testing evaluates the mechanical properties of thermoset materials, including tensile strength and hardness. Atlas Fibre can perform testing on thermoset laminate sheets at your request.
There is no single uniform film and sheet testing method. The test method used depends on what is being measured.
One common test measures the tensile strength of a thermoset material. Tensile tests measure the amount of force needed to break a thermoset sheet. The tests also measure how much the test specimen elongates or stretches before it breaks.
The data from a tensile test often determines which materials and parts will withstand the force of an application. It can also be used for quality control. For best results, the tensile test must be performed at temperatures that are similar to those of the use environment.
Another test measures a thermoset’s flexural strength. The material is placed on two parallel anvils and bent during the test. The specimen shouldn’t break during the test.
Additional test methods may be used to evaluate compressive strength, bond strength, dielectric strength and other properties. For example, dielectric strength testing can determine the point at which an electrical charge will cause the breakdown of a specific sheet of material.
How a plastic sheet test is carried out depends on the type of test, and several processes exist.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is a trade association dedicated to developing standards. It oversees 700 standards. The association occasionally publishes test procedures that fabricators and manufacturers can use to evaluate the safety and functionality of materials.
ASTM International also publishes standards for plastic and thermoset testing. ASTM tests evaluate the mechanical properties of plastic, such as flexural and tensile strength and how plastics respond to heat and flame.
The Vickers hardness test evaluates materials’ hardness, particularly in the thinnest or smallest sections. During the test, an indenter is placed against the test material, and a light load is applied. The indentation’s depth determines the object’s hardness. Very hard materials will have small indentations, while softer materials will have larger indentations.
The Vickers test is valuable for companies that must determine which type of material to use for their essential equipment and operations.
Atlas Fibre offers test results for specific thermoset sheets by request and for a fee. Analyzing test results can give you confidence that a particular material has the properties your project requires.