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Testing on plastic film

Plastic film has become an integral part of daily life. We use them it to package food, carry our groceries home from the store, and cover vegetables grown in greenhouses and fields. Film packaging is common in the medical industry and often saves lives. A wide variety of films are also used in construction. Moisture barriers ensure that our roofs do not leak and that water does not damage the walls of our homes. Sophisticated plastic films are used to cover sports arenas, opening up new possibilities for architects.

Various test methods are used for tests on plastic film to evaluate the material’s mechanical and fracture mechanics properties. In addition to the traditional tensile test on plastic films or sheets according to DIN EN ISO 527-3 or the determination of tear growth, peel and adhesion characteristics, the most important test methods and test standards for film testing are described in more detail below.

Test method & standards Film testing requirements Testing solutions Plastics brochure

Test methods and standards

Tensile properties of films and sheets
ISO 527-3, ASTM D882, ASTM D5323
to Tensile properties of films and sheets
Puncture resistance of films and sheets
EN 14477, ASTM F1306
to Puncture resistance of films and sheets
Coefficient of friction of plastic films
ISO 8295, ASTM D1894, JIS K 7125, DIN 53375 (withdrawn)
to Coefficient of friction of plastic films
Peel test: peel adhesion of adhesive tape
ASTM D3330
to Peel test: peel adhesion of adhesive tape
Tear growth, peel, and adhesion characteristics of films
ISO 4578, Finat FTM 9, EN 1939, AFERA 4001
to Tear growth, peel, and adhesion characteristics of films
Tensile impact resistance of films
ISO 8256, ASTM D1822
to Tensile impact resistance of films

Requirements for testing of films

Films today are high-tech products that have a wide variety of characteristics. Mass production uses cost-effective plastics, such as high- and low-density PE, PP, PVC, and PS. In cases where special characteristics such as toughness, permeability, or light resistance are required, high-quality polymers such as various polyesters, PTFE, or ETFE are used. Films such as EPDM and EVA are used to waterproof roofs. Multilayer films have various characteristics such as strength, impermeability in regard to gas and bacteria, and suitability for contact with food.

Thin sheeting with a thickness of up to 1 mm is a constituent material for many hollow bodies in packaging technology, which are formed by means of processes such as thermoforming or compression molding.

Due to the broad scope of film manufacture and its downstream processing, requirements of the applicable test method vary greatly. The objectives of the tests can be very different in nature.

In an incoming goods inspection, the first step involves testing raw material. This step determines the melt index—meaning the melt mass-flow rate—of plastic granulate.

In the second step, the plastic films are tested after the extrusion or blow molding process. In addition to testing film thickness, a variety of other mechanical characteristics are important. These include strength, strain, yield strength, and the tensile modulus in the longitudinal and transverse directions of the film. Toughness is also important, which is determined using impact tests. In the case of multilayer films, adhesion between the layers is crucial.

Yet the focus lies on other characteristics during and after processing, including adhesive strength, weldability, and strength of adhesives and joints. If sharp objects are packaged, the puncture resistance of the film is measured. Understanding the coefficient of friction is interesting for packing machines or in film printing. Changes in light and moisture is also important when evaluating thin sheeting and plastic films.

Testing films with ZwickRoell

ZwickRoell testing systems are specifically designed for these special requirements and cover a wide range of mechanical tests on plastic films:

Extrusion Plastometers / Melt Flow Index Testers
The right extrusion plastometer for every testing volume.
Use an extrusion plastometer (also called melt flow index tester) for characterizing flow properties of a plastic melted mass. ✓Detailed information ✓Applications
to Extrusion Plastometers / Melt Flow Index Testers
Universal testing machines
Universal testing machines up to 5,000 kN are used to determine material characteristics for static applications.
to Universal testing machines
Creep testing machines
The Kappa creep testing machine is ideal for long-term creep tests, advanced creep tests, relaxation tests, and tensile, compression, and flexure loading for all types of materials.
to Creep testing machines
Pendulum impact testers for tests on plastics
Up to 50 joules
to Pendulum impact testers for tests on plastics

If you are looking for the optimal solution for each of your requirements, please contact our industry experts.

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