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Plastic Specimen Preparation

  • Plastics
  • Specimen production

Good testing starts with a good specimen.

Standard thermoplastics and thermoset molding specimen are produced by injection or compression molding. Material characteristics are significantly influenced by production parameters such as pressure, temperature, and flow speed. Specimen are taken from slabs and components through mechanical processing such as per ISO 2818. 

For specimen preparation on plastics, ZwickRoell offers the following devices:

  • Manual notching plane
  • Cutting press
  • Automatic notch cutting machine
  • Strip cutter for plastic film
  • Automatic Specimen Preparation System

Manual notching plane

The notch cutting plane is designed solely for cutting notches in plastic specimens in compliance with the following standards:

  • ASTM D 256
  • ASTM D 6110
  • EN ISO 179
  • EN ISO 180
  • EN ISO 8256
  • BS 7413:2002

This tabletop instrument features one-handed manual operation. Additional positioning of the notching blade is not necessary since the blade is fed and the plane is moved simultaneously via the handwheel on the side. This ensures ergonomic operation of the notch cutting plane.

With each revolution of the crank, the notch cutting plane makes a stroke of the blade in alternation with a lateral movement of the specimen magazine. A safety clutch prevents stalling at the stop.

The removable specimen magazine makes it possible to notch four specimens simultaneously to ISO 179, ISO 180, and ASTM D256 and up to five specimens to ASTM D6110. In addition, more magazines can be pre-filled; no extra tools or fixtures are required for this. The durable notch-cutter used has three cutting edges and can quickly be changed. Once the remaining width required by the standard is achieved, the blade is no longer fed and the specimens can be removed.


  • convenient operation
  • low operating-force
  • interchangeable specimen magazines
  • stops automatically on attaining remaining width
  • easy to clean
  • linking of advance and plane motion ensures reproducibility, even with different operators
  • single and double notching

Video: Manual notching plane

The manual notching plane is used to notch plastic specimens according to Charpy or Izod.

Technical data

Item No.0770971
StandardsISO 179, ISO 180, ISO 8256, ASTM D256, ASTM D6110 and BS 7413:2002
Weight, approx.12.4kg
Scope of deliveryManual notch cutting plane, 1 x blade (notch shape A, radius 0.25 mm)
  1. Requires: 1 x specimen magazine

Cutting press

Cutting press

Function description


ZwickRoell cutting presses are used to produce specimens from rubber, elastomers and flexible foams with hardness up to 85 Shore A (as per ISO 868), as well as from plastic films and paper.

The specimen shapes involved are basically as follows:

  • rectangular specimens
  • dumbbell specimens
  • round specimens
  • special specimens

The exponential force curve at end of stroke makes bent-lever cutting-presses the ideal tool for operations only requiring full power at the end of the stroke.

Exceeding the stated Shore hardness will significantly reduce the service life of the cutter blade; in extreme cases damage may result.

Function description

A cutting press consists of a blade, a holder and an ejector. The blade is made of special steel and is supplied in one piece. This ensures optimum dimensional accuracy and stability plus a long service life.

The mechanical ejector is incorporated into the blade and can be adjusted to the target specimen thickness. On completion of the cutting operation the finished specimens are ejected. This minimizes the risk of injury to the operator and damage to the blade.

If the blades lose their sharpness they can be re-sharpened at ZwickRoell's factory.


  • Standard-compliant specimen production
  • Manual or pneumatic operation, depending of type of press
  • Flexible—can be used for various materials with hardness up to 85 Shore A
  • Ease of operation
  • Integrated ejector system for extremely safe operation
  • Long tool service-life

Available cutting press models

Manual cutting press with eccentric lever

  • The ZwickRoell 7101 manual cutting press is operated via an eccentric lever
  • and is designed to hold up to four cutting devices simultaneously.
  • It is also suitable for producing rectangular specimens up to 160 x 30 mm, together with 75 x 75 mm square specimens (option).

Manual cutting press with bent lever

  • The ZCP 020 manual cutting press employs the bent lever principle. Attractive detail solutions enable accurate, convenient, energy-saving operation. The bent lever length was selected to achieve up to 30 % higher cutting force in the starting range than with conventional presses.
  • This cutting press features particularly operator-friendly design and can be placed on any workbench or laboratory table or mounted at optimum height on a suitably sturdy wall.
  • In addition, particular emphasis has been placed on simple, quick, and exact height adjustment of the compression die to accommodate the varying heights of different cutting blades.

Pneumatic cutting press

  • The ZwickRoell 7108 pneumatic cutting press enables higher cutting forces.
  • The standard specification includes two-handed operation, with a safety interlock and retainers for the cutting blades.

Technical data

TypeEccentric cutting press 7101ZCP 0207108
Item No.0714463898191081233
Compression force152035kN
Distance between table and die, max.-105 to 15593
Support-table dimensions120 x 200250 x 250350 x 215mm
Compressed air connection--6
Height450540 to 755652mm
Weight, approx.505575kg
  1. at 1 mm die stroke

Automatic notch cutting machine

Automatic notch cutting machine

Function description


The ZwickRoell ZNO 2010 notch-cutting machine is used for notching plastics specimens to ASTM D256, ASTM D6110, EN ISO 179, EN ISO 180 and EN ISO 8256 (Charpy and Izod tests).

Studies have shown that the dimensioning of the notch and the accuracy of its positioning have an effect on the measured energy. Close attention should therefore be paid to the accuracy of the notching.

Sturdy construction combined with safe, simple and reliable operation make the ZwickRoell notch-cutting machine the ideal tool for producing notched specimens from all types of plastic.

Function description

A milling cutter is used to produce a V-shaped notch on one side of the specimen. Key aspects are the radius and remaining specimen width in the notch base.

The specimen are clamped together in a bundle, then notched in one operation.

A measuring device is optionally available for checking notch depth.

The entire notching operation is carried out in accordance with the relevant CE regulations.

Various cutters are available for different materials and notch radii, and are easy to change.


  • Stepless adjustment of cutting speed and feed rate
  • Operator-friendly display for rapid setting of new parameters
  • Manual notch-depth setting via fine-pitch screw-adjuster
  • Plexiglass safety hood
  • Quick-action gripping device allows specimens to be clamped quickly and easily
  • Single-tooth polycrystalline diamond milling cutter for optimum notch production
  • Connection for external compressed air supply for specimen cooling
  • Optional: Digital measuring instrument for checking notch depth

Technical data

TypeZNO 2010
Item No.035841
Feed speed70 to 500mm/min
Feed length80mm
Rotational speed200 to 1000r.p.m
Compressed air connection (cooling), max.8bar
Power specifications230 / 50/60 / 2.5V/Hz/kVA
Dimensions (H x W x D)430 x 640 x 440mm
Weight, approx.45kg

Strip cutter for plastic film

Strip cutter for plastic film

Function description


The ZwickRoell film strip cutter cuts up to 10 parallel specimen strips from approximately DIN A 4 size films in one operation. The strips are used for standard-compliant tensile strength tests on films.

Function description

The ZwickRoell plastic-film strip cutter is simple and convenient to operate.

The adjustable double-cutting blade holder enables operation both towards and away from the operator.

The film for cutting is drawn (wrinkle-free) over the curved clamping surface and fixed in the clamping slots at the front and rear of the device by means of gummed strip. The cutting operation is performed by simply moving the handle on the pivoted frame in the desired direction.

Depending on the initial width of the film, a maximum of 10 strips are cut in one pass.

The blade is mounted in the pivoted frame in such a way as to ensure safe operation of the strip cutter, with no risk of injury.

Technical data

TypeStrip cutter for plastic filmStrip cutter for plastic filmStrip cutter for plastic film
Item No.377850022316377851
Device dimensions
Height with swiveling blade rail340340340mm
Strip length, approx.230230230mm
Strip width1012.715mm
Type of cutdouble-sideddouble-sideddouble-sided
Film thickness (material-related)0.002 to 0.90.002 to 0.90.002 to 0.9mm
FinishRAL 7035 grayRAL 7035 grayRAL 7035 gray
Ambient temperature+ 16 to + 35 + 16 to + 35+ 16 to + 35°C
Humidity20% to 60% (non-condensing)20% to 60% (non-condensing)20% to 60% (non-condensing)
Approx. weight292929kg

Automatic specimen preparation system

A 10kN materials testing machine with motorized X-Y table is used with the automatic specimen-blanking machine. The operator is protected by a safety device around the blanking tool and the moving crosshead. Specimen sheets are placed on the motor-driven X-Y table and secured with quick-acting clamps. The system is started and specimens are punched out of the sheets in different positions according to the test program or blanking program. The blanking tool itself is fitted with an automatic cup extractor.

The specimen shape depends on the blanking tool installed. Various blanking tools can be used, entirely according to your requirements. The blanking tool is changed manually.

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Name Type Size Download
  • Industry brochure: Plastics & Rubber PDF 9 MB
  • Product information: Strip cutter for plastic film PDF 218 KB
  • Product information: Automatic notch cutting machine PDF 2 MB
  • Product information: Manual notching plane PDF 254 KB
  • Product information: Cutting press PDF 936 KB