Tensile testing of composites to ASTM D3039 determines the ultimate tensile strength, ultimate tensile strain, tensile chord modulus of elasticity and Poisson’s ratio of Polymer Matrix Composites (PMCs). The use of PMCs has become popular over a wide range of industries due to the material’s lightweight and more durable nature.

Tensile testing of composites

Composites are directional and differ from materials like metals and plastics, so measuring the directional properties is a crucial step in understanding material performance. Traditionally, tensile tests were designed for other materials and couldn’t accurately measure the strength of PMCs, so the ASTM D3039 specification was born.

Exposing PMCs to temperature and humidity is an important step in understanding how the materials will perform in their intended environment. After being exposed to environmental factors, the material is brought to equilibrium and then tested to the ASTM D3039 standard. The test introduces a specified load to the sample in a uniform manner and evaluates the material’s reaction. ASTM D3039 is critical to understanding the durability of your PMC and developing an overall safer product.


Applications of PMC tensile testing 

The ASTM D3039 specification is the most popular tensile testing standard for continuous high modulus, reinforced polymer matrix composites. These composites are made of polymeric materials that contain reinforcing fibers (carbon or aramid) and matrix materials, such as epoxies, bismaleimides (BMIs), polyamides, and thermoplastics such as PEEK.


Composite fiber overwrap applications

Another use for ASTM D3039 is as a quality control tool for composite fiber overwrap applications or fiber-reinforced composite materials. Composite fiber overwraps are applied and cured as additional reinforcement for concrete columns in earthquake zones. ASTM D3039 tests the tensile strength of the application to provide evidence that the column has been reinforced to the standards of the manufacturer.


Why choose Element?

Element tests to all applications of ASTM D3039 and offers a variety of composite testing services. Our experts have extensive knowledge in polymer testing and are active members of numerous composite committees including ASTM D30, CMH-17 and the Committee on Composite Materials.

Bring us your toughest material testing challenges at any project stage, and we will make your success our priority.

For more information about tensile testing of composites to ASTM D3039 and our PMC testing capabilities, contact us today.

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