A peel test is a fundamental mechanical test that measures the properties of an adhesive bond. Peel tests involve applying a tensile force to a flexible substrate that is bound by an adhesive to either another flexible substrate (such as tape, thin film, or rubber) or a rigid substrate (such as metal, rigid plastic, or composite).

Our peel testers will measure characteristics such as ultimate peel strength, yield strength, elongation, and modulus. Each peel test machine is configured to your testing needs by our application engineers with the correct controller, grips, and accessories.

We have a wide range of peel testing equipment that can be configured for your exact application. Our team of peel testing experts is dedicated to helping you find the right solution that meets your specific requirements.

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90 Degree Peel Test

What Is a Peel Test?

Peel testing is essential for evaluating the adhesion strength and failure mode between two flexible materials joined by an adhesive or coating. It measures how well an adhesive bond holds two substrates, or materials together. A flexible substrate is gradually pulled away from a rigid or a second flexible substrate at a specific angle and the force required to cause separation is measured.

Peel testing is used in a wide range of different industries including packaging, automotive, medical devices, electronics, construction, aerospace, textiles, and consumer products.

Why Is Peel Testing Important?

Peel testing is crucial for industries like medical devices, packaging, electronics, and construction where bonding is critical. Peel tests confirm the right adhesives and substrates, production processes, product quality, and reduce in-field failures. They improve the chances of meeting the goal of creating stronger, more durable, and specialized bonds.

Peel testing is important for several key reasons across various important functions:

In Quality Control and Assurance, peel testing quantifies the force needed to separate bonded materials. That helps maintain product consistency and prevent product failures. In Research and Development, peel tests aid in the selection of optimal adhesives and substrates for specific applications, allowing companies to make informed material choices. Meeting Industry Standards requires peel tests so that their products comply with specific industry standard test methods for peel strength. Problem Solving and Failure Analysis is performed in corporate test labs to understand root causes of product failures and to improve product reliability.

Peel testing is an essential tool to improve product quality, drive innovation, meet regulatory requirements, and deliver safe and reliable products to consumers.

What Are the Different Types of Peel Tests?

Peel tests come in various configurations, each suited for specific applications and material combinations. Here's a breakdown of the most common types:

T-Peel Fixture

T Peel tests pull apart two flexible substrates that are bonded together in a "T" shape. The force needed to separate the two substrates across the bond is measured. This test is ideal for evaluating bonds between two flexible materials where both substrates contribute to the overall strength. It's commonly used for packaging films, laminates, or medical products.

90 Degree Peel Test Fixtures

90 Degree Peel involves a flexible substrate bonded to a rigid substrate. The flexible end is pulled at a 90 degree angle while the rigid substrate is held by the test fixture. The force to progressively peel away the flexible substrate is measured. This test is helpful to evaluate the bond strength between a flexible material and a rigid surface, such as assessing the adhesion of coatings, painted surfaces, or labels.

180 Degree Peel Test Fixture

180 Degree Peel involves a flexible substrate bonded to a rigid substrate. The flexible end is folded back on itself at 180 degrees and then peeled away. The progressive peel strength of the bonded materials is measured. This test is ideal for flexible substrates like tapes, films, or labels bonded to a rigid surface.

Floating Roller Peel Test Fixture

Floating Roller Peel is an ideal test for materials that can't easily be bent to 90 or 180 degrees. The flexible substrate passes over a roller, creating a variable angle of peel. This test is particularly useful for very flexible materials that might experience stress variations during a standard peel test.

Climbing Drum Peel Test Fixture

Climbing Drum Peel is used for flexible-to-rigid bonds where the flexible material is too stiff for other standard peel tests. This test involves the flexible material being bonded to a rotating cylinder that continuously peels the material. It's helpful for evaluating the long-term durability of a bond under continuous stress.

Adjustable Angle Peel Test Fixture

Adjustable Angle Peel is needed to evaluate bonds in finished products that aren't limited to simple 90- or 180-degree configurations. Having an adjustable angle allows you to mimic unique angles more accurately. Peel strength can vary significantly with angle. Adjustable angle tests let you map this relationship. Adjustable angle peel tests provide a comprehensive picture of bond performance, enhancing understanding of adhesive behavior.

What's Involved in Peel Testing and Where Do You Start?

Peel test methods vary from material to material and application to application. Start your process by researching the materials you want to test and establishing what results you should expect.

ASTM and ISO Industry standards provide the most comprehensive list of different peel tests and their applications. In general, industry standards serve both an educational and a potential regulatory role. They address many important topics, including:

  • Testing equipment required including test machine, grips and fixtures, data analysis requirements, test control modes, etc
  • Definitions of terms and technical jargon used.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to perform a test on your specific material, including:
    • Equipment setup and calibration
    • Specimen mounting
    • Test machine loading speeds or strain rates
    • Test machine data collection requirements
  • Special formulas and equations to calculate properties
  • Specifies special information that should be included in a test report

What Are the Common Peel Test Industry Standards?

The specific equipment needed to perform a peel test depends on your application. However, the most common equipment used for a peel test is a universal test machine that is configured for your specific application. Universal test machines are extremely versatile and can perform various tests on a variety of different samples by simply switching out different grips and fixtures.

Common ASTM Test Methods for Peel Tests

  • ASTM D1876 Peel Resistance of Adhesives (T-Peel Test)
  • ASTM D3330 Peel Adhesion of Pressure-Sensitive Tape
  • ASTM D903 Peel or Stripping Strength of Adhesive Bonds
  • ASTM D6862 90 Degree Peel Resistance of Adhesives
  • ASTM D1781 Climbing Drum Peel for Adhesives
  • ASTM D3167 Floating Roller Peel Resistance of Adhesives

Common ISO Test Methods for Peel Tests

  • ISO 8510-1 Adhesives Peel test for a flexible-bonded-to-rigid test specimen 90 degree peel
  • ISO 8510-2 Adhesives Peel test for a flexible-bonded-to-rigid test specimen 180 degree peel
  • ISO 11339 Adhesives T-peel test for flexible-to-flexible bonded assemblies
  • ISO 24333 Rubber adhesion to a rigid substrate 90 degree peel

Other Industry Specific Peel Test Methods

  • Society of Automotive Engineers SAE J1530 Peel Adhesion Test for Pressure-Sensitive Tapes
  • Electronic Industries Alliance EIA 347-A Peel Strength of Supported Pressure-Sensitive Tapes (Electronics, packaging)
  • Institute of Packaging and Materials Handling IPMH Peel of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives
  • Forest Products Laboratory FPL Peel Adhesion of Veneer Wood products
  • American Welding Society AWS D10.10: Brazing Qualification (peel tests for assessment)
  • FINAT (FTM 1-18) peel adhesion of label materials.
  • Pressure Sensitive Tape Council PSTC Test Methods (PSTC-1 to PSTC-136) peel adhesion on tapes.

Peel Testing Standards by Standards Organization:

If you have a specific standard that you will be using, please refer to this table to find and learn more about the products we recommend for that particular standard.

What if I Don’t Have a Specific Test Standard or Don’t Know Exactly What I Need?

We can guide you through the process of configuring a machine, whether the purpose is to help you create a budget or to buy a machine.

Important Considerations When Selecting a Standard Peel Test

Many standards dictate specific procedures for each test type. By understanding the different types of peel tests and their applications, you can identify one that applies to the bond strength in your specific situation.

  • Is the material bond to be flexible, rigid, or a combination?
  • What kind of stress will your bond experience in the real-world?
  • Are you interested in initial peel strength or long-term durability?

We can help you answer these questions and find a test standard that works best for your application. Contact us to talk to an application expert.

What Equipment Is Required for a Peel Test?

The specific equipment needed to perform a peel test depends on your application. However, the most common equipment used for a peel test is a universal test machine that is configured for your specific application. Universal test machines (UTMs) are extremely versatile and can perform various tests on a variety of different samples by simply switching out different grips and fixtures.

All of our peel test machines are universal test machines because they offer more functionality. UTMs are multi-application machines that can perform a wide range of mechanical tests beyond peel testing. They can perform peel strength, compression, flexural testing, and more, depending on the accessories its outfitted with. Having a UTM eliminates the need for separate machines for different tests, saving space, overall cost, and resources.

Our universal test machines offer superior control over load, strain, and displacement and come with sophisticated software for data acquisition and analysis, allowing for more in-depth evaluation of material behavior. With our Newton Universal software, advanced data acquisition provides a clearer understanding of the peel process and bond performance.

Complete Peel Test Machines can include the following:

Our universal peel testers provide a versatile, powerful, and future-proof solution for peel testing, especially for companies with diverse or evolving testing requirements.

Get a Complete Test System for Your Test Application

Completing your material test system is easy. Simply start by choosing a test machine, choose your accessories, and select your controller software. We are your one-stop shop for all your application testing needs.

Let us help you choose the right machine for your specific application.

Peel Test Machines

Universal Test Machines Configured for Peel Test Applications

Peel test machines are universal test machines specially configured to determine the adhesive peel strength or the strength of the adhesive bond between two materials. Each peel tester is configured to your test requirements by our application engineers with the correct controller, grips, and accessories.

Peel Testers

Peel testers are also commonly referred to as, adhesion testers, bond strength testers, and tensile strength testers. These terms can be used interchangeably.

Newton Test Controller

From simplified test setups to an intuitive controller software interface and pre-configured methods for industry standards - this innovative technology ensures that your test application are conducted seamlessly and with precision.

Accurate & Repeatable Test Results

  • Simple test setup, operation, and reporting
  • Flexible and scalable software packages - Get what you need now with room to grow!
  • Prebuilt test methods for many of the most common application-specific testing standards
Software Reports
Newton Software

High-performance and easy-to-use controller with logical workflow design

With an intuitive interface, Newton makes it easy for users to navigate through various options and settings, ultimately enhancing the overall user experience. By streamlining complex procedures into user-friendly steps, this software serves both experienced test engineers and beginners alike to conduct tests with confidence and accuracy.

Due to the massive selection of products that we offer, it can be difficult to narrow down what you need. Let us help you select and configure based on your testing application.

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Interpreting Peel Test Data

The test report allows you to compare the strength and performance of your adhesive bonds.

  • Peel Strength is the average peel force per unit width of the bond line (N/mm or lbf/in). This normalized measurement allows comparison between bonds of different widths.
  • Peel Peak Force is the initial peak force needed to start the peel.
  • Peel Force is the force required to separate the bonded materials. It's usually measured in Newtons (N) or pounds-force (lbf).
  • Average Peel Force: The average force required to sustain peeling over a specified distance. This provides a more comprehensive view of the adhesive's performance compared to just looking at the peak force.

Peel Test Accessories

Choose from 100's of peel test accessories to complete your peel test machine. We have the full range of peel fixtures that you may need. All of our peel accessories will fit any brand of test machine through the use of an adapter.

Our peel grips are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials to meet your specific needs. They are designed for materials like tape, thin film, composites, rubber, and more.

Performing multiple tests? Make sure you have a peel fixture for every specific setup and test sample. Sample cutters and weighted rollers can make sample preparation much faster.

Talk to one of our Engineers to help you navigate the vast selection of testing accessories to find the perfect fit for your testing application.

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Peel Testing Challenges You Should Be Aware Of

Specimen Preparation

Peel test results are highly sensitive to sample preparation and so bonding, surface treatment, adhesive thickness, and curing conditions are important. Thin and brittle substrates can be especially challenging.

Test Setup and Implementation

Test sample alignment can lead to inaccurate results and inconsistent failure modes. Variations in peel angle and test speed can influence peel force measurements. Also, maintaining controlled testing conditions is essential for consistent results.

Equipment Limitations

Dedicated peel testers might have limitations regarding force range or the maximum specimen size. Universal testing machines generally offer more flexibility. Also testing bonds with non-standard shapes or geometries can introduce the need for special specimen fixturing.

If you need help in any of these areas, contact us. We can help you find a solution for your application.

Peel Testing Applications

Peel test applications cover a wide range of industry requirements including:

  • Packaging:
    • Seal strength of flexible packaging (food, ASTM F88 medical, etc.)
    • Opening force for easy-open/resealable packages
    • Tamper-evident seals
    • Label and tape adhesion
  • Automotive:
    • Bonding strength of interior components (trim, upholstery, dashboards)
    • Adhesion of paints, coatings, and weatherstripping
    • Durability of laminated safety glass
  • Medical Devices:
    • Adhesive strength of wound dressings, bandages, and transdermal patches
    • Bonding of components in medical devices (catheters, implants, etc.)
    • Biocompatibility of adhesives and materials
  • Electronics:
    • Adhesion of flexible circuits and laminates
    • Strength of wire bonds and component attachment
    • Tape and label adhesion to electronic devices
  • Construction:
    • Adhesion of sealants, coatings, and waterproofing membranes
    • Performance of roofing materials
    • Bonding of flooring and laminates
  • Aerospace
    • Strength of adhesive bonds in aircraft structures
    • Durability of coatings and composite materials
    • Performance of seals and gaskets under extreme conditions
  • Textiles:
    • Seam strength and tear resistance of fabrics
    • Adhesion of coatings and laminates to textiles
    • Performance of hook-and-loop fasteners (like Velcro)
  • Consumer Products:
    • Adhesion of labels, stickers, and decorative elements
    • Packaging integrity for a wide range of goods
    • Strength of tapes and adhesives used in household products