Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 31, 2010 Track Document
ASTM D4541-02

Standard Test Method for Pull-Off Strength of Coatings Using Portable Adhesion Testers

Standard Test Method for Pull-Off Strength of Coatings Using Portable Adhesion Testers D4541-02 ASTM|D4541-02|en-US Standard Test Method for Pull-Off Strength of Coatings Using Portable Adhesion Testers Standard new BOS Vol. 06.02 Committee D01
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Significance and Use

The pull-off strength of a coating is an important performance property that has been used in specifications. This test method serves as a means for uniformly preparing and testing coated surfaces, and evaluating and reporting the results. This test method is applicable to any portable apparatus meeting the basic requirements for determining the pull-off strength of a coating.

Variations in results obtained using different devices or different substrates with the same coating are possible (see Appendix X1). Therefore, it is recommended that the type of apparatus and the substrate be mutually agreed upon between the interested parties.

The purchaser or specifier shall designate a specific test method, that is, A, B, C, D or E, when calling out this standard.


1.1 This test method covers a procedure for evaluating the pull-off strength (commonly referred to as adhesion) of a coating on rigid substrates such as metal, concrete or wood. The test determines either the greatest perpendicular force (in tension) that a surface area can bear before a plug of material is detached, or whether the surface remains intact at a prescribed force (pass/fail). Failure will occur along the weakest plane within the system comprised of the test fixture, adhesive, coating system, and substrate, and will be exposed by the fracture surface. This test method maximizes tensile stress as compared to the shear stress applied by other methods, such as scratch or knife adhesion, and results may not be comparable.

1.2 Pull-off strength measurements depend upon both material and instrumental parameters. Results obtained by each test method may give different results. Results should only be assessed for each test method and not be compared with other instruments. There are five instrument types, identified as Test Methods A-E. It is imperative to identify the test method used when reporting results.

1.3 This test method uses a class of apparatus known as portable pull-off adhesion testers. They are capable of applying a concentric load and counter load to a single surface so that coatings can be tested even though only one side is accessible. Measurements are limited by the strength of adhesion bonds between the loading fixture and the specimen surface or the cohesive strengths of the adhesive, coating layers, and substrate.

1.4 This test can be destructive and spot repairs may be necessary.

1.5 The values stated in MPa (inch-pound) units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

1.6 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 06.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D01.46
Pages: 13
DOI: 10.1520/D4541-02
ICS Code: 87.040