ASTM D1922 - 09

    Standard Test Method for Propagation Tear Resistance of Plastic Film and Thin Sheeting by Pendulum Method

    Active Standard ASTM D1922 | Developed by Subcommittee: D20.19

    Book of Standards Volume: 08.01


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    Significance and Use

    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.

    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 may 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.

    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 may show no better reproducibility than ±50 %.

    Data obtained by this test method may supplement that from Test Method D 1004, 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.

    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 can be compared.

    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 D 4000 lists the ASTM materials standards that currently exist.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method 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 μm (0.010 in.).

    Note 2—This standard and ISO 6383-2 are technically equivalent.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D618 Practice for Conditioning Plastics for Testing

    D689 Test Method for Internal Tearing Resistance of Paper

    D1004 Test Method for Tear Resistance (Graves Tear) of Plastic Film and Sheeting

    D4000 Classification System for Specifying Plastic Materials

    D5947 Test Methods for Physical Dimensions of Solid Plastics Specimens

    D6988 Guide for Determination of Thickness of Plastic Film Test Specimens

    E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method

     ISO Standard

    ISO6383-2 Plastics--Film and Sheeting--Determination of Tear Resistance--Part 2 Elmendorf Method Available from American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 25 W. 43rd St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036.


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 83.140.10 (Films and sheets)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 13111200(Films); 30265802(Plastic sheet)


    DOI: 10.1520/D1922-09

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