Standard Historical Last Updated: Oct 08, 2020
ASTM D7027-13

Standard Test Method for Evaluation of Scratch Resistance of Polymeric Coatings and Plastics Using an Instrumented Scratch Machine

Significance and Use

5.1 Scratch tests are performed on specimens:

(1) to evaluate the scratch resistance of a particular material,
(2) to rank the relative scratch resistance of different materials, or
(3) to determine the scratch coefficient of friction of materials.

5.2 Since polymers exhibit mechanical properties that are strongly dependent on temperature, the test standard prescribed herein is designed to yield reproducible results when users perform tests under the similar testing environment and on specimens of the same material and surface texture that are subjected to the same conditioning procedures.

5.3 Certain polymers are self-healing (recoverable) when subjected to scratches and other physical deformations because of their viscoelastic and relaxation properties. It is important to note the difference between the instantaneous (if readily measurable) and residual scratch damage and compare results appropriately to ensure reproducibility. It is recommended that 24 hours be allowed for viscoelastic recovery when considering residual scratch depth.

5.4 “Whitening” of the scratched surface is a key damage mechanism that has prompted much concern in automotive and other applications where surface aesthetics is important. This type of damage is undesirable because it is evident to the human eye. The critical normal load at which this phenomenon appears serves as a benchmark in ranking material performance, especially from an aesthetic point of view.


1.1 This test method describes a laboratory procedure using an instrumented scratch machine to produce and quantify surface damage under controlled conditions. This test method is able to characterize the scratch resistance of polymers by measuring many significant material parameters. The scratch-inducing and data acquisition process is automated to avoid user-influenced effects that may affect the results.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values in parentheses are for information only.

1.3 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: 08.03
Developed by Subcommittee: D20.10
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.1520/D7027-13
ICS Code: 25.220.60