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Test Tools for Composites

V-notched beam (Iosipescu) - shear test device

  • Applications: Measuring shear properties of fiber-reinforced composites to ASTM D5379

    The application area is designed for the following laminate forms:

    • Unidirectional laminates with fiber direction 0° or 90°
    • Unidirectional laminates with same layer count in 0° and 90° fiber direction
    • Fabric laminate with a weft direction of 0° or 90°
    • Short fiber-filled plastics in which the fiber direction is randomly distributed
  • Function description:

    The shear test device is guided in the axial direction. It is placed on a compression platen or the crosshead of the testing system.

    A specimen notched on both sides is inserted in the shear test device. A zone of torque-free shear load emerges between the notches when a compression load is applied. The fibers must lie parallel or transverse in relation to the load direction. The shear strain is measured via two strain gauges that are applied at a 45° angle to the shear plane.

    The measurement yields shear behavior, 0.2% shear stress, maximum shear stress, and the secant shear modulus.

  • Advantages:
    • Easy specimen gripping
    • Temperature range of -70 to 300 °C
    • Bolt for exact centering of the specimen in relation to the shear plane

V-notched rail shear fixture

  • Applications: Measuring shear properties of fiber-reinforced composites to ASTM D7078
  • Function description:

    The specimen is provided with a V-notch for concentrating the shear plane. It is inserted laterally into the shear test device via friction locking.

    The shear strain is measured via two strain gauges that are applied at a 45° angle to the shear plane.

  • Advantages:
    • In contrast to the Iosipescu method (V-notched beam shear fixture) to ASTM D5379 a larger specimen, clamped at the sides, is used with this device. This enables the application of higher shear forces.
    • Easy attachment to testing system via threaded connection
    • Temperature range from -70 to +300 °C
    • Exact centering of the specimen using supplied spacers
    • Alignment of jaws to each other via adjustable front and rear clamping jaws
    • Rust-proof design for use in temperature chambers

Mixed mode flexure test kit

  • Applications: Measurement of energy release rate under mixed Mode I and Mode II loading as per ASTM D6671
  • Specimen material: Unidirectional fiber-reinforced composite laminates
  • Function description:

    The flexure test kit is used to measure the energy release rate of unidirectional fiber-reinforced composite laminates

    Crack opening (Mode I) is generated by applying tensile force via hinges. In-plane shear (Mode II) is generated by flexural loading.

    The crack opening to shear ratio is adjusted by moving the lever arm force application point. It ranges from 100% Mode II loading to a significant Mode 1 superimposition.

  • Advantages:
    • Variable adjustment of the Mode I portion of the loading
    • Avoidance of friction through ball bearing supports

Fixture for G1C test on long-fiber-reinforced composites

  • Applications:

    The GIC specimen-holders and loading blocks are used for measuring the energy release rates GIC of long-fiber-reinforced composites in a DCB (Double Cantilever Beam) test arrangement. They are standardized according to the following standards: ISO 15024, prEN 6033, ASTM D5528, AITM 1-0005, AITM 1-0053, BSS 7273

  • Function description:

    During test preparation the loading blocks are glued to the specimen. They are then hooked in the specimen holders via the Ø 8 mm connection hole.

    Tensile force is applied via the loading blocks, which generates a crack opening.

  • Advantages:
    • Easy change of the specimen.
    • Without the video recording option, the fixture can be used in a wide temperature range from - 80°C to +250°C.
  • Video recording option:

    • Visual crack tracking through video recording option.
    • Traceable measurement results through subsequent, precise evaluation of the test sequence in the video.
    • The video camera is moved on movable carriages throughout the entire test along the crack propagation.

Compression test kit (shear loading), IITRI version

  • Applications: The compression test kit is used for testing fiber composites to ASTM D3410.
  • Function description: The compression test kit is based on the wedge clamping principle. The kit consists of the following components: upper holder, specimen grip bodies, 3 sets of wedge jaws, setting gauge with centering spigot.

    A centering aid allows for exact alignment of the specimen with the wedge jaws. The clamped specimen plus wedge jaws are inserted into the lower specimen grip body. The upper specimen grip body is inserted into the upper holder. The parts of the device are moved together and engage with each other. Centering bolts ensure alignment of the upper grip to the lower grip.

  • Advantages:
    • Centering aid for alignment of the specimen
    • For compression forces up to 220 kN
    • Wide temperature range of -70 to 300 °C
    • No machining of the test specimen face necessary

Compression test kits (end loading)

  • Applications: Tests based on ASTM D695, developed in various standards and to ASTM D3846 on slotted single-lap specimen: measurement of in-plane shear
  • Function description: The compression test kit is used for testing fiber composites.

    The specimen is loaded longitudinally between two compression platens. Two buckling supports with longitudinal rails are used when measuring compressive strength. They prevent premature material failure due to bending. Two buckling supports with notch are used to accommodate the strain gauges for measurement of the compression modulus. A mount with fixed stops ensures exact axial alignment of the specimen.

  • Advantages:
    • Tool-free insertion of the specimen
    • Exact centering in relation to the compression axis of the testing machine
    • Tool-independent exchange of compression platens in case of wear

Fixture for determination of interlaminar shear strength

  • Applications: Determination of interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) to ASTM D2344 M, EN 2563, ISO 14130, EN 2377
  • Function description: The device is a 3-point flexure test kit for determining interlaminar shear strength (ILSS). ILSS tests are a typical quality control method. They are suitable for comparing materials.

    In view of the small span it is particularly important for the die to be aligned exactly with the upper anvils. This is ensured by means of the die arm. The arm can be fixed for installation of the specimen. In addition, a temperature sensor can be attached to the die arm in close proximity to the specimen for tests in temperature chambers.

    At 10 mm, the anvil/thickness ratio is very short. As a consequence, high shear forces and relatively low bending moments arise in the specimen. The method provides only apparent shear properties, as stress peaks occur close to the upper anvil.

  • Advantages:
    • Precise centering of upper anvil in relation to the die
    • Easy adjustment of the upper anvils
    • Clamping option for temperature sensor near the specimen
    • Forces up to 20 kN possible
    • Quick change upper anvils and dies
    • With the optionally attainable lead screw adjuster, the upper anvils can be quickly and precisely adjusted for changing laminate thicknesses

Fixture for notch compression tests (OHC/FHC)

  • Applications: Notch compression tests Open Hole Compression (OHC) and Filled Hole Compression (FHC) standardized according to: ASTM D6484, ASTM D6742, Boeing BSS 7260-Type 1, SACMA SRM 3R-94, Northrop NAI -1504C
  • Function description: The fixture is used for performing standardized notch compression tests (Open Hole Compression OHC, Filled Hole Compression FHC) on fiber composites. In the process the standardized specimen is inserted and guided into the fixture on both sides. Force can be applied either via specimen grip or a compression platen.
  • Advantages:
    • Force application via specimen grips or compression platen as required.
    • Molybdenum-coated clamping-surfaces for increased force transmission.

Hydraulic composites compression fixture (HCCF)

  • Applications:
    • Test to ISO 14126, prEN2850, Airbus AITM 1-0008, ASTM D3410, ASTM D6641, JIS K 7076, RAE TR 88012 CRAG methods 400 and 401, QVA-Z10-46-38, ASTM C1358, Airbus document X88SP1105735: “Plain compression test according to AITM 1.0008 A1 and A2 with ZwickRoell HCCF” 
    • 'Plain', 'open hole and 'filled hole' compression tests with force application via clamping (shear loading) or with combined force application with end support and simultaneous clamping (combined loading)
  • Function description: The hydraulic compression fixture for composites (HCCF = Hydraulic Composites Compression Fixture) is used for determining the compression properties of long-fiber-reinforced composites. Strain is measured using strain gages on both sides as standard (grid length > 3 mm).

    The compression fixture has a connection hole at the top. The bottom is mounted on a compression platen. In the case of specimens for which the distance between the tabs and the grip-to-grip separation are at least 2 mm greater than the initial gauge-length, a clip-on extensometer measuring on both sides can be used (with a clamping fixture) on a customer-specific basis.

  • Advantages: 

    • Can be used for tests in an extended temperature range from -60°C to +150°C.
    • Open design form (C-shaped) allows convenient specimen changing and simplifies use of extension measurement systems.
    • Design ensures extremely accurate specimen alignment.
    • Parallel-closing hydraulic clamping principle ensures slip-stick-free, flexure-free force application with largely constant deformation rate.
    • Precision guide-columns for extremely precise alignment of specimen grips with each other.
    • Low-friction ball-guides prevent distortion of test results.
    • The magnetic support of the movable jaws facilitates changing of specimens and cleaning of the clamping surfaces

Floating roller peel test device to DIN ISO 4578, DIN EN 1464, Airbus QVA-Z10-46-03

  • Applications: Measuring peel resistance in the floating roller peel test to DIN ISO 4578, DIN EN 1464, Airbus QVA-Z10-46-03, and EN 2243-2. For evaluation of adhesives that are used for high-strength bonding between rigid and flexible components.

Bearing-strength test fixture

  • Applications: The bearing-strength test fixture is used for tests on fiber-reinforced composites and is standardized in accordance with the following:
    • Airbus AITM 1-0009: Determination of bearing strength by bolt bearing configuration
    • ASTM D 5961 Method A: Bearing Response of Polymer Matrix Composite Laminates
    • ISO12815: Determination of plain-pin bearing strength
    • ASTM D 7248 Method A: Bearing/Bypass Interaction Response of Polymer Matrix Composite Laminates Using 2-Fastener Specimens
  • Function description:
    • Design to AITM
      The upper end of the bearing-strength test fixture is mounted in the associated specimen grips.
      The upper end of the specimen is mounted in the bearing-strength test fixture and the lower end is clamped in parallel-clamping grips.

      Designs to ASTM
      The upper end of the bearing-strength test fixture is clamped by specimen grips.
      The upper end of the specimen is mounted in the bearing-strength test fixture and the lower end is clamped in parallel-clamping grips.
      Alternatively, the fixture above can be mounted in accordance with ASTM D5961 Method A.

  • Advantages: 

    • Easy specimen change.
    • The fixtures can be used over a wide temperature-range from -55 to +250 °C.
    • Fast switching from AITM to ASTM, since the self-aligning tension grip can also be used with the ASTM fixture.

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Interesting applications

V-notched shear test
are used to characterize in-plane shear properties.
to V-notched shear test
Compression after impact CAI
This test is used to characterize damage that can occur to airplanes or vehicles if hit by rocks or birds, or if damaged in an accident.
to Compression after impact CAI
Interlaminar shear strength ILSS
ASTM D2344, ISO 14130, EN 2377, EN 2563
describes the shear strength between laminate planes of composites and is determined using the short beam shear test.
to Interlaminar shear strength ILSS


Name Type Size Download
  • Product information: V-notched beam (Iosipescu) - shear test device PDF 676 KB
  • Product information: V-notched rail shear fixture PDF 204 KB
  • Product information: Mixed mode flexure test kit PDF 1 MB
  • Product information: Fixture for GIC tests on long-fiber-reinforced composites PDF 2 MB
  • Product information: Compression test kit (shear loading), IITRI version PDF 289 KB
  • Product information: CAI compression test kit (compression after impact) PDF 643 KB
  • Product information: Compression test kits (end loading) PDF 287 KB
  • Product information: Fixture for determination of interlaminar shear strength PDF 547 KB
  • Product information: 3- and 4-point flexure test kits PDF 271 KB
  • Product information: Fixture for notch compression tests (OHC/FHC) PDF 295 KB
  • Product information: Hydraulic composites compression fixture (HCCF) PDF 89 KB
  • Product information: Floating roller peel test device for high-strength adhesive joints PDF 131 KB
  • Product information: Bearing-strength test fixture PDF 3 MB