ASTM E4 - 13

    Standard Practices for Force Verification of Testing Machines

    Active Standard ASTM E4 | Developed by Subcommittee: E28.01

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.01


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 Testing machines that apply and indicate force are used in many industries, in many ways. They may be used in a research laboratory to measure material properties, and in a production line to qualify a product for shipment. No matter what the end use of the machine may be, it is necessary for users to know the amount of force that is applied and indicated, and that the accuracy of the force is traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), formerly NBS. Practices E4 provides a procedure to verify these machines, in order that the indicated forces may be traceable. A key element to this NIST traceability is that the devices used in the verification have known force characteristics, and have been calibrated in accordance with Practice E74.

    4.2 The procedures in Practices E4 may be used by those using, manufacturing, and providing calibration service for testing machines and related instrumentation.

    1. Scope

    1.1 These practices cover procedures for the force verification, by means of standard calibration devices, of tension or compression, or both, static or quasi-static testing machines (which may, or may not, have force-indicating systems). These practices are not intended to be complete purchase specifications for testing machines. Testing machines may be verified by one of the three following methods or combination thereof:

    1.1.1 Use of standard weights,

    1.1.2 Use of equal-arm balances and standard weights, or

    1.1.3 Use of elastic calibration devices.

    Note 1These practices do not cover the verification of all types of testing machines designed to measure forces, for example, the constant-rate-of-loading type which operates on the inclined-plane principle. This type of machine may be verified as directed in the applicable appendix of Specification D76.

    1.2 The procedures of 1.1.1-1.1.3 apply to the verification of the force-indicating systems associated with the testing machine, such as a scale, dial, marked or unmarked recorder chart, digital display, etc. In all cases the buyer/owner/user must designate the force-indicating system(s) to be verified and included in the report.

    1.3 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.3.1 Since conversion factors are not required in this practice, either inch-pound units, SI units, or metric values can be used as the standard.

    1.4 Forces indicated on displays/printouts of testing machine data systems—be they instantaneous, delayed, stored, or retransmitted—which are verified with provisions of 1.1.1, 1.1.2, or 1.1.3, and are within the ±1 % accuracy requirement, comply with Practices E4.

    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

    D76 Specification for Tensile Testing Machines for Textiles

    E74 Practice of Calibration of Force-Measuring Instruments for Verifying the Force Indication of Testing Machines

    E467 Practice for Verification of Constant Amplitude Dynamic Forces in an Axial Fatigue Testing System


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 19.060 (Mechanical testing)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E0004-13

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