Plastics Composites Compression Test Equipment

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Plastics Composites Compression Test Equipment

Continued advancements in the design and manufacture of engineered composites has allowed composite materials to work their way into the products we use everyday. By definition, a composite material is simply any material that contains two or more constituent materials. The materials that make up a composite are chosen either to enhance or supplement the material properties of the individual materials. The typical material combination seen in today's composites is a material that performs well in tension (fiber or rebar) paired with a material that performs well in compression (epoxy, ceramic, or cement). The most common modern advanced composites are fiber-matrix composites and they can be manufactured with polymer, carbon, metal, or ceramic matrix and an extremely wide range of reinforcement fiber including, carbon, graphite, boron, aramid, and glass.

The compressive strength of modern advanced composites is primarily determined by the compressive strength of the matrix material. Composites compression tests are commonly conducted using specially designed grips and fixtures. These grips aid in the proper alignment of test samples, help ensure failure in the specific mode being tested, and prevent improper load application which could damage the composite microstructure and adversely impact test results. For some compression tests of composites, it is important to ensure that the specimen is not able to rotate and failure does not occur by buckling. These rotational and buckling constraints help to constrain loading and failure to the desired material plane. Test fixtures are also designed to be used in a wide variety of test environments, which are necessary to recreate the real life application conditions of composite materials. The creation of these environments is achieved through the use of saline baths for testing composites used in marine, biological, and outdoor environments and high temperature environmental chambers for composites used in the aviation, aerospace, and automotive industries.