Flexural Strength Testing

Material Sample Flexing Under Load During Bending Test
Importance of Flexural Strength Testing
Applied Technical Services performs flexural strength testing to verify the amount of force a polymeric material can support before it gives out. Manufacturers choose design materials based on several performance characteristics, many of which contribute to the final assembly’s overall durability. They understand that verifying the material’s expected strength can mean the difference between a successful product and one that can suffer an unexpected, premature failure. While unacceptable in all cases, such a situation proves specifically dangerous in the case of a load-bearing structural element designed to withstand perpendicular stresses.

Companies send material samples to third-party testing facilities like ATS to verify or compare data from flexural testing when subject to a load. Flexural testing is conducted to verify how much a material can bend before it fails, and how much load will cause it to fail. We quantify these properties on reinforced or unreinforced plastics, electrical insulating materials and composites using flexural strength testing.

How the Method Works
Alternatively referred to as bend testing, three- or four-point bend testing (depending on the test specifications), and transverse beam testing, the steps to perform this method are straight-forward. Our technicians begin by affixing the appropriate fixture to our Bench Top Tinius Olsen. They align the sample so that it rests on top of two mandrels, its load equally distributed. Testing begins in earnest when the Tinius Olsen applies force to the material from above, using either a 3-Point or a 4-Point loading nose, as relevant to the testing scope. We use a dynamics load — charting its load-deflection curve as it endures ever-greater forces — until it either passes by surviving to a predetermined amount of deflection/force or undergoes a material failure. By assessing the material’s performance, characterizing any failures, and noting the load that caused it, our scientists can derive the sample’s flexural strength and flexural modulus.
Regularly Used Standards, Common Materials, and Testing Applications
Our polymer testing division performs this method according to several internationally recognized standards, including ASTM D790 and ISO 178. The Marietta lab, where these specialists conduct all flexural strength testing, maintains ISO 17025 accreditation through the A2LA to execute this method according to each of the above methods. We can meet requirements beyond these standards, however, so we encourage clients to reach out about our capabilities if they have custom specifications or do not see their desired standard listed here.
Clients regularly send samples of the following materials for ATS to analyze their flexural strength:
  • Thermoplastics
  • Synthetic Fibers
  • Natural Polymers
  • High-Modulus Composites
Companies may request flexural strength testing for any variety of reasons. Manufacturers often request this method to validate their materials for use in an array of products, from aircraft components to chair seats. Industry standards or regulations may also prompt them to verify flexural properties. Finally, quality assurance considerations may require a failure analysis comparing a material’s actual flexural strength against the proof load suggested by its design engineer. ATS has performed this method for clients from an array of industries, including the following:
  • Defense / Military
  • Aerospace / Aviation
  • Manufacturing
  • Automotive
  • Insurance / Legal
  • Consumer Products
  • Healthcare / Medical
About Applied Technical Services
Applied Technical Services offers a comprehensive suite of testing, inspection, and consulting engineering capabilities. We have consistently sought to grow and improve the scope and quality of our services over the 50+ years we have been in business. Our company has grown exponentially since our founding in 1967, which we attribute to the extraordinary efforts of our dedicated staff. Far from the three engineers that initially operated ATS from our founder’s basement, we now employ over 1,000 scientists, chemists, technicians, inspectors, Professional Engineers, investigators, calibrators, and trainers — each an expert in their field — to serve clients operating around the globe.
On Our Commitment to Quality
Our polymer testing division performs all flexural strength analyses under our ISO 9001-registered quality management system. ATS has maintained an uninterrupted certified status since first achieving this recognition in 1998. Gaining and keeping registration for our quality assurance program requires frequent audits by ISO-approved auditors; these experts consistently affirm that our business processes comply with the internationally recognized standard on effective quality management practices. Closely abiding by the principles outlined therein has given ATS a base from which we continually improve the scope and quality of our services. We emphasize delivering quality services to this degree because we believe that our customers deserve no less than our best and that providing it to them gives them a reason to call on us again.
We uphold the following policies to ensure our clients enjoy the most positive customer experience possible:
  • Our lab personnel return reports that are clear, accurate, and detailed within a quick turnaround time, allowing clients to make informed, timely decisions
  • ATS customer service representatives are the first point of contact to clients reaching out for clarification on either the status or results of their testing; these client relationship specialists facilitate contact with the most relevant staff member
  • Testing experts remain accessible to clients with questions, responsive to their needs, and engaged while helping find the answers to their problems
If your company needs a proven flexural strength testing provider, contact ATS today for a free quote — We take a closer look!

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