Volume 31, Issue 5 (September 2003)
Shear Testing of Polymeric Foams
A standard method for the determination of the shear strength of a polymeric foam is a lap shear geometry. The accuracy and validity of this test was evaluated by means of finite-element modeling. Model results show that the shear stress is not constant over the length of the sample, with shear peaks at the ends, so that the average shear stress in the sample can be quite different than the maximum shear stress experienced. Normal stresses are also present at the sample ends giving rise to a combined stress field. Experimental results for a polymeric foam bonded to steel edge plates show that the measured shear strength can vary significantly with the sample geometry (length). Maintaining a minimum length/thickness ratio, as specified in the ASTM C 273 standard, does not necessarily result in a sample with the most uniform shear field, and therefore the most accurate measure of the true shear strength.