ASTM D6641 / D6641M - 09

    Standard Test Method for Compressive Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials Using a Combined Loading Compression (CLC) Test Fixture

    Active Standard ASTM D6641 / D6641M | Developed by Subcommittee: D30.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.03


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    Significance and Use

    This test method is designed to produce compressive property data for material specifications, research and development, quality assurance, and structural design and analysis. When tabbed (Procedure B) specimens, typically unidirectional composites, are tested, the CLC test method (combined shear end loading) has similarities to Test Methods D 3410/D 3410M (shear loading) and D 695 (end loading). When testing lower strength materials such that untabbed CLC specimens can be used (Procedure A), the benefits of combined loading become particularly prominent. It may not be possible to successfully test untabbed specimens of these same materials using either of the other two methods. When specific laminates are tested (primarily of the [90/0]ns family, although other laminates containing at least one 0° ply can be used), the CLC data are frequently used to back out 0° ply strength, using lamination theory to calculate a 0° unidirectional lamina strength (1, 2). Factors that influence the compressive response include: type of material, methods of material preparation and lay-up, specimen stacking sequence, specimen preparation, specimen conditioning, environment of testing, speed of testing, time at temperature, void content, and volume percent reinforcement. Composite properties in the test direction that may be obtained from this test method include:

    Ultimate compressive strength,

    Ultimate compressive strain,

    Compressive (linear or chord) modulus of elasticity, and

    Poisson's ratio in compression.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method determines the compressive strength and stiffness properties of polymer matrix composite materials using a combined loading compression (CLC) (1) test fixture. This test method is applicable to general composites that are balanced and symmetric. The specimen may be untabbed (Procedure A) or tabbed (Procedure B), as required. One requirement for a successful test is that the specimen ends do not crush during the test. Untabbed specimens are usually suitable for use with materials of low orthotropy, for example, fabrics, chopped fiber composites, and laminates with a maximum of 50 % 0° plies, or equivalent (see 6.4). Materials of higher orthotropy, including unidirectional composites, typically require tabs.

    1.2 The compressive force is introduced into the specimen by combined end- and shear-loading. In comparison, Test Method D 3410/D 3410M is a pure shear-loading compression test method and Test Method D 695 is a pure end-loading test method.

    1.3 Unidirectional (0° ply orientation) composites as well as multi-directional composite laminates, fabric composites, chopped fiber composites, and similar materials can be tested.

    1.4 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. Within the test the inch-pound units are shown in brackets. The values stated in each system are not exact equivalents; therefore, each system must be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in nonconformance with the standard.

    Note 1—Additional procedures for determining the compressive properties of polymer matrix composites may be found in Test Methods D 3410/D 3410M, D 5467, and D 695.

    1.5 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.


    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

    D695 Test Method for Compressive Properties of Rigid Plastics

    D883 Terminology Relating to Plastics

    D3410/D3410M Test Method for Compressive Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials with Unsupported Gage Section by Shear Loading

    D3878 Terminology for Composite Materials

    D5229/D5229M Test Method for Moisture Absorption Properties and Equilibrium Conditioning of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials

    D5379/D5379M Test Method for Shear Properties of Composite Materials by the V-Notched Beam Method

    D5467/D5467M Test Method for Compressive Properties of Unidirectional Polymer Matrix Composite Materials Using a Sandwich Beam

    D5687/D5687M Guide for Preparation of Flat Composite Panels with Processing Guidelines for Specimen Preparation

    E4 Practices for Force Verification of Testing Machines

    E6 Terminology Relating to Methods of Mechanical Testing

    E122 Practice for Calculating Sample Size to Estimate, With Specified Precision, the Average for a Characteristic of a Lot or Process

    E132 Test Method for Poissons Ratio at Room Temperature

    E177 Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods

    E456 Terminology Relating to Quality and Statistics

    E1309 Guide for Identification of Fiber-Reinforced Polymer-Matrix Composite Materials in Databases

    E1434 Guide for Recording Mechanical Test Data of Fiber-Reinforced Composite Materials in Databases

    E1471 Guide for Identification of Fibers, Fillers, and Core Materials in Computerized Material Property Databases

    ASTM Adjunct

    CombinedLoadingCompr D 6641/D6641M


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 83.140.10 (Films and sheets)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D6641_D6641M-09

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D6641 / D6641M-09, Standard Test Method for Compressive Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials Using a Combined Loading Compression (CLC) Test Fixture, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2009, www.astm.org

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