ASTM D6110 - 10

    Standard Test Method for Determining the Charpy Impact Resistance of Notched Specimens of Plastics

    Active Standard ASTM D6110 | Developed by Subcommittee: D20.10

    Book of Standards Volume: 08.03


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    Significance and Use

    Before proceeding with this test method, refer to the material specification for the material being tested. Any test specimen preparation, conditioning, dimensions and testing parameters required by the materials specification shall take precedence over those required by this test method. Table 1 of Classification D4000 lists the ASTM materials standards that currently exist. If there is no material specification, then the requirements of this test method apply.

    The pendulum impact test indicates the energy to break standard test specimens of specified size under stipulated conditions of specimen mounting, notching (stress concentration), and pendulum velocity at impact.

    For this test method, the energy lost by the pendulum during the breakage of the specimen is the sum of the energies required to initiate fracture of the specimen; to propagate the fracture across the specimen; to throw the free ends of the broken specimen (toss energy); to bend the specimen; to produce vibration in the pendulum arm; to produce vibration or horizontal movement of the machine frame or base; to overcome friction in the pendulum bearing and in the indicating mechanism, and to overcome windage (pendulum air drag); to indent or deform, plastically, the specimen at the line of impact; and to overcome the friction caused by the rubbing of the striking nose over the face of the bent specimen.

    Note 5—The toss energy, or the energy used to throw the free ends of the broken specimen, is suspected to represent a very large fraction of the total energy absorbed when testing relatively dense and brittle materials. No procedure has been established for estimating the toss energy for the Charpy method.

    For tough, ductile, fiber-filled, or cloth-laminated materials, the fracture propagation energy is usually large compared to the fracture initiation energy. When testing these materials, energy losses due to fracture propagation, vibration, friction between the striking nose and the specimen has the potential to become quite significant, even when the specimen is accurately machined and positioned, and the machine is in good condition with adequate capacity (see Note 6). Significant energy losses due to bending and indentation when testing soft materials have also been observed.

    Note 6—Although the frame and the base of the machine must be sufficiently rigid and massive to handle the energies of tough specimens without motion or excessive vibration, the pendulum arm cannot be made very massive because the greater part of its mass must be concentrated near its center of percussion at its striking nose. Locating the striking nose precisely at the center of percussion reduces the vibration of the pendulum arm when used with brittle specimens. Some losses due to pendulum arm vibration (the amount varying with the design of the pendulum) will occur with tough specimens even when the striking nose is properly positioned.

    In a well-designed machine of sufficient rigidity and mass, the losses due to vibration and friction in the pendulum bearing and in the indicating mechanism will be very small. Vibrational losses are observed when wide specimens of tough materials are tested in machines of insufficient mass, or in machines that are not securely fastened to a heavy base.

    Since this test method permits a variation in the width of the specimens and since the width dictates, for many materials, whether a brittle, low-energy break (as evidenced by little or no drawing down or necking and by a relatively low energy absorption) or a ductile, high-energy break (as evidenced by considerable drawing or necking down in the region behind the notch and by a relatively high energy absorption) will occur, it is necessary that the width be stated in the specification covering that material and that the width be stated along with the impact value.

    This test method requires that the specimen break completely. Results obtained when testing materials with a pendulum that does not have sufficient energy to complete the breaking of the extreme fibers and toss the broken pieces shall be considered a departure from standard and shall not be reported as a standard result. Impact values cannot be directly compared for any two materials that experience different types of failure.

    The value of this impact test method lies mainly in the areas of quality control and materials specification. If two groups of specimens of supposedly the same material show significantly different energy absorptions, critical widths, or critical temperatures, it is permitted to assume that they were made of different materials or were exposed to different processing or conditioning environments. The fact that a material shows twice the energy absorption of another under these conditions of test does not indicate that this same relationship will exist under another set of test conditions.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method is used to determine the resistance of plastics to breakage by flexural shock as indicated by the energy extracted from standardized (see Note 1) pendulum-type hammers, mounted in standardized machines, in breaking standard specimens with one pendulum swing. This test method requires specimens to be made with a milled notch (see Note 2). The notch produces a stress concentration which promotes a brittle, rather than a ductile, fracture. The results of this test method are reported in terms of energy absorbed per unit of specimen width (see Note 3).

    Note 1—The machines with pendulum-type hammers have been standardized in that they must comply with certain requirements including a fixed height of hammer fall, which results in a substantially fixed velocity of the hammer at the moment of impact. Hammers of different initial energies (produced by varying their effective weights), however, are recommended for use with specimens of different impact resistance. Moreover, manufacturers of the equipment are permitted to use different lengths and constructions of pendulums with possible differences in pendulum rigidities resulting (see Section 5). Be aware that other differences in machine design do exist.

    Note 2—The specimens are standardized in that they have a fixed length and fixed depth, however, the width of the specimens is permitted to vary between limits. One design of milled notch is allowed. The notch in the specimen serves to concentrate the stress, minimize plastic deformation, and direct the fracture to the part of the specimen behind the notch. Scatter in energy-to-break is thus reduced. Because of differences in the elastic and viscoelastic properties of plastics, however, response to a given notch varies among materials.

    Note 3—Caution must be exercised in interpreting the results of this test method. The following testing parameters have been shown to affect test results significantly: method of specimen fabrication, including but not limited to processing technology, molding conditions, mold design, and thermal treatment; method of notching; speed of notching tool; design of notching apparatus; quality of the notch; time between notching and test; test specimen thickness; test specimen width under notch; and environmental conditioning.

    1.2 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.

    Note 4—This standard resembles ISO 179 in title only. The content is significantly different.


    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

    D647 Practice for Design of Molds for Test Specimens of Plastic Molding Materials

    D883 Terminology Relating to Plastics

    D4000 Classification System for Specifying Plastic Materials

    D4066 Classification System for Nylon Injection and Extrusion Materials (PA)

    D5947 Test Methods for Physical Dimensions of Solid Plastics Specimens

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


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 83.140.01 (Rubber and plastic products in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D6110-10

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D6110-10, Standard Test Method for Determining the Charpy Impact Resistance of Notched Specimens of Plastics, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2010, www.astm.org

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