Standard Test Method for Propagation Tear Resistance of Plastic Film and Thin Sheeting by Pendulum Method
4.1 This test method is of value in ranking relative tearing resistance of various plastic films and thin sheeting of comparable thickness. Experience has shown the test to have its best reliability on relatively less extensible films and sheeting. Variable elongation and oblique tearing effects on the more extensible films preclude its use as a precise production-control tool for these types of plastics. This test method should be used for specification acceptance testing only after it has been demonstrated that the data for the particular material are acceptably reproducible. This test method should be used for service evaluation only after its usefulness for the particular application has been demonstrated with a number of different films.
4.2 This test method has been widely used as one index of the tearing resistance of plastic film and thin sheeting used in packaging applications. While it is not always be possible to correlate film tearing data with its other mechanical or toughness properties, the apparatus of this test method provides a controlled means for tearing specimens at straining rates approximating some of those found in actual packaging service.
4.3 Due to orientation during their manufacture, plastic films and sheeting frequently show marked anisotropy in their resistance to tearing. This is further complicated by the fact that some films elongate greatly during tearing, even at the relatively rapid rates of loading encountered in this test method. The degree of this elongation is dependent in turn on film orientation and the inherent mechanical properties of the polymer from which it is made. These factors make tear resistance of some films reproducible between sets of specimens to ±5 % of the mean value, while others potentially show no better reproducibility than ±50 %.
4.4 Data obtained by this test method may supplement that from Test Method D1004, wherein the specimen is strained at a rate of 50 mm (2 in.) per minute. However, specimen geometry and testing speed of the two test methods are dissimilar. The rate of tearing in this test method, while varying as a function of resistance to tear, is in the range from 7.6 to 46 m (300 to 1800 in.)/min.
4.5 There is not a direct, linear relationship between tearing force and specimen thickness. Data from this test method are expressed as tearing force in millinewtons (or grams-force, if desired), with specimen thickness also reported. But sets of data from specimens of dissimilar thickness are usually not comparable. Therefore, only data at the same thickness is compared.
4.6 For many materials, there may be a specification that requires the use of this test method, but with some procedural modifications that take precedence when adhering to the specification. Therefore, it is advisable to refer to that material specification before using this test method. Table 1 of Classification System D4000 lists the ASTM materials standards that currently exist.
1.1 This test method2 covers the determination of the average force to propagate tearing through a specified length of plastic film or nonrigid sheeting after the tear has been started, using an Elmendorf-type tearing tester. Two specimens are cited, a rectangular type, and one with a constant radius testing length. The latter shall be the preferred or referee specimen.
1.2 Because of (1) difficulties in selecting uniformly identical specimens, (2) the varying degree of orientation in some plastic films, and (3) the difficulty found in testing highly extensible or highly oriented materials, or both, the reproducibility of the test results may be variable and, in some cases, not good or misleading. Provisions are made in the test method to address oblique directional tearing which may be found with some materials.
1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.
1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific precautionary statements are given in 13.1.
Note 1: Film has been arbitrarily defined as sheeting having nominal thickness not greater than 0.25 mm (0.010 in.).
Note 2: This standard is equivalent to ISO 6383-2.
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