ISO 178

ISO 178

ISO 178 is a three-point bend test where a force is applied on the midpoint of a sample, which is supported at either end.

    ISO 178 Testing Standard

    ISO 178 is a three-point bend testing procedure used to test the flexural property of semi-rigid and rigid plastic on a universal testing system. 

    The test sample is placed on two parallel anvils and bent using a compression die without breaking the piece. The applied force is measured via a load cell, and the deflection is measured either by a direct strain measurement device or the system’s crosshead displacement. The specimen’s thickness is a function of the span of the three-point bend fixture. 

    The ISO 178 test is stopped if the specimen breaks. If the specimen does not break, the test is continued and the stress at 3.5% (conventional deflection) is reported. 

    A variety of sample shapes can be used for this test but generally, a sample with dimensions – 10 mm* 4 mm* 80 mm is used. This method is usually used for determining the flexural modulus, flexural strength, and flexural strain/stress relationship under defined conditions.

    Image 01: Three-point bend test setup for plastics as per ASTM D790

    The method is suitable for:

    • Thermosetting molding material, including reinforced and filled compounds
    • Thermosetting sheets
    • Thermoplastic mold casting and extrusion material, including reinforced and filled compounds 
    • Rigid thermoplastic sheet

    Common Uses of ISO 178 testing

    • Determine flexural properties of rigid and semi-rigid plastic
    • Determine flexural properties of polymers

    Advantages of ISO 178 testing

    • Sample preparation is easy 
    • As compared to the tension test, gripping of sample is easy

    Limitation of ISO 178 testing

    • It is a destructive test
    • Displacement range and force applied are limited 
    • Different test environments require different specialized equipment accessories 

    Industrial Application of ISO 178 testing

    • Aerodynamics 
    • Plastic and polymer industry
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