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New ASTM Compression Test Method Is Reliable, Cost-Effective, and Easy to Use

D 6641, Standard Test Method for Determining the Compressive Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Laminates Using a Combined Loading Compression (CLC) Test Fixture, was hot off the press in May from ASTM Committee D30 on Composites.

“This new compression test method has the strong potential to eventually replace all of the various other compression test methods standardized by ASTM and other groups,” said Donald F. Adams, Ph.D., who spent 27 years at the University of Wyoming as professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Composite Materials Research Group. “It is relatively easy to use, the fixture is moderate in cost, and the test results obtained have proven very reliable.

“This test method establishes a procedure for determining the compressive strength and stiffness properties of polymer matrix composite materials using a combined loading compression test fixture. This test method is applicable to general flat laminates that are balanced and symmetric.

“Anyone wanting to determine the compressive properties of composite materials will be potential users,” said Adams, who drafted the standard. “This includes all industry sectors, as well as government agencies and universities.”

D 6641 was developed under ASTM Subcommittee D30.04 on Lamina and Laminate Test Methods with “input from many test engineers throughout industry, government agencies, and universities,” said Adams, now president of Wyoming Test Fixtures, Inc., Laramie, Wyo., after retiring from the university in 1999.

“Much of the basic initial work on the test method was reported to and critiqued by the many members of the committee developing MIL-HDBK-17, Polymer Matrix Composites, which is being continually updated and published by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Materials Directorate,” he concluded.

Standard D 6641 was approved by ASTM on March 10 and published in May.

For further technical information, contact Donald F. Adams, Ph.D., Wyoming Test Fixtures, Inc., Laramie, Wyo. (phone: 307/742-8641). Committee D30 meets in Santa Barbara, Calif., Oct. 16-18 in conjunction with MIL Handbook 17, and March 11-14 in Pittsburgh, Pa. For membership or meeting details, contact James P. Olshefsky, manager, ASTM Technical Committee Operations (phone: 610/832-9714). //

Copyright 2001, ASTM