Advanced composite materials, such as reinforced polymer matrix composites, have been identified as an essential growth factor in U.S. manufacturing. Their desirable light weight combined with high stiffness and strength make polymer matrix composites attractive to many industries, especially the aerospace industry. When creating new and improved reinforced polymer matrix composites, researchers can turn to TestResources for help navigating through recommended standards.

ASTM D3039

ASTM D3039 is a helpful guide when testing polymer matrix composite materials reinforced by high-modulus fibers. ASTM D3039 determines the tensile properties of the composite for research and development, quality assurance, and structural analysis and design.

Testing procedure

The standard asks for a thin flat strip of material having a constant rectangular cross section to be mounted in the grips of a mechanical testing machine. The tests must be performed a minimum of five times per specimen. Tensile strength can be measured from the maximum load carried before failure.

While testing, the following factors should be considered:

  • Ultimate tensile strength
  • Ultimate tensile strain
  • Modulus of elasticity
  • Poisson’s ratio
  • Transition strain

Researchers should take careful consideration of testing machines and accessories when testing advanced composite materials. According to ASTM D3039, the machine should have a stationary head and an additional movable head. It should have a controlled velocity and an accurate load-sensing device. Excessive bending leads to premature failure and an inaccurate test of elasticity, which can occur with a misaligned machine or misaligned grips. ASTM D3039 considers gripping to be a higher cause of data scatter and testing failure, so it is essential to choose the right grip.

By means of our testing expertise and modular product design, we will help find the testing solution that is right for you. Give one of our application engineers a call today for help with creating the best budget and testing plan according to ASTM D3039.

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