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Compression Test Equipment and Procedures for Cellular Foam

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Compression Test Equipment and Procedures for Cellular Foam

Compression testing provides mechanical strength data and additional properties of rigid cellular materials under compressive loads. Testing makes it possible to compute the modulus of elasticity and the compressive stress at any load (such as compressive stress at proportional-limit load or compressive strength at maximum load).

Compressive strength of polymeric plastic foam cellular material is determined by applying compression loads to testing specimens having a square or circular cross section. Specimens must be carefully prepared so faces are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the sides. A spherical seat upper compression platen is required for this kind of testing. Compression test specimens are centered between two compression platens and compressive load is applied at a constant crosshead rate of 2.5 mm (0.1 in/min) for each 1 inch of sample thickness. Crosshead travel and load should be recorded throughout the test.

Compressive strength can be determined in one of two manners depending on the characteristics of the stress-displacement curve. Strain can more accurately be determined using an extensometer that measures the distance between the upper and lower compression platens.