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    Tension Testing of Thin Bulk Adhesive Specimens

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    This paper describes a method of measuring the tensile properties of a bulk adhesive — including modulus of elasticity, yield stress and strain, and tensile strength and strain. The authors developed the method unaware of ASTM Test Method for Tensile Properties of Thin Plastic Sheeting (D 882). Not surprisingly, requirements founded on common sense are the same in the ASTM Standard as in the present study.

    Augmenting ASTM D 882, this paper offers suggestions on (1) building tensiometers for low-load tests including a load cell and displacement-controlled loading apparatus, (2) building environmental chambers housing multiple tensiometers per chamber, (3) controlling relative humidity and temperature, (4) casting adhesive sheets, (5) cutting strip specimens from the sheets and preparing them for testing, (6) conditioning the specimens, (7) applying displacements with a computer-controlled stepper motor, and (8) acquiring data automatically.

    The need to carefully control the environment and strain rate is shown with stress-strain curves that were measured at different relative humidities (15, 50 and 85%), temperatures (-15, 30 and 50 °C) and initial strain rates (10-2, 10-4, 10-6 and 10-8 s-1).

    Five series of tests were conducted to determine the effects of batch, loading method, environment, strain rate, and adhesive. The results show that the testing system is highly reliable. Stress-strain curves of replicate specimens tested in the same environment and at the same strain rate are highly reproducible.

    The testing system is suited particularly well for thin film specimens of any material whose tensile properties are affected by relative humidity and temperature such as epoxy, acrylic, gelatin, photographic emulsion, and many kinds of paints and plastics.


    tension testing, tensiometer, environmental chamber, structural adhesive, FM 300K, hygro-thermo-mechanical properties, strain rate

    Author Information:

    Albrecht, P
    Professor, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

    You, J
    Graduate Assistant, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

    Albrecht, M
    PAA Consultant, Hyattsville, MD

    Eley, K
    PAA Consultant, Hyattsville, MD

    Committee/Subcommittee: D20.10

    DOI: 10.1520/STP14343S