Puncture Resistance Testing

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Puncture resistance is the relative ability of a material to inhibit the progression of a tear once it has been pierced by a cut or a nick. This type of biaxial stress is seen by packaging films when packing hard protrusions such as dry foods and frozen vegetables. Testing methods determine the resistance of film to the penetration of a probe at a single constant test speed. Performed under standard conditions, the test imparts a biaxial stress that is similar to the type of stress encountered in many product end user applications. The puncture resistance will depend on the nature of puncture attempt, with the two most important features being point sharpness and force.

An example of a material that is used extensively is Stretch wrap film. It is an extremely important packaging material used in applications from heavy duty pallet strapping to sealing food items in containers to keep them fresh. Puncture resistance is a important parameter puncture strength with regards to preventing accidental puncture damage thereby helping to maintain product freshness.

Another example is the optic fiber industry. One of the most persistent failure modes for optical fiber is glass damage through the protective polymer coating during fiber processing and handling. Fiber with today’s standard coating dimensions can be handled without damaging the coating; however, it is necessary to regularly clean and maintain pulleys and rollers that contact the fiber. With the advent of photonic devices fibers are handled significantly more than in cabling and coating damage resulting in fiber breaks can be a significant cost of manufacturing. Puncture resistance tests has been developed to quantify the ability of fiber coatings to protect the underlying glass surface.

ASTM (The American Society for Testing and Materials) has recently developed a new international standard, the ASTM F2878. This is a ‘Test Method for Protective Clothing Material Resistance to Hypodermic Needle Puncture’.
A typical test is standardized in EN 14477 and is also known as the ‘Parker Ball-Point Test’. Puncture resistance is of relevance if foils/films are used as packaging material for such things as foodstuffs or sharp-edged items.
Puncture testing can also be made using a similar ASTM F1306 method. This is a method for determining the force, energy, and elongation to perforation of flexible barrier films and laminates.
Puncture testing of textiles more commonly employs a ball bearing or rod as the puncture probe as described in ASTM D3787 and ASTM D4833 respectively.

ASTM D5635 / D5635M - 11 Standard Test Method for Dynamic Puncture Resistance of Roofing Membrane Specimens
ASTM D4833 - 07 Standard Test Method for Index Puncture Resistance of Geomembranes and Related Products
ASTM F1306 - 90(2008)e1 Standard Test Method for Slow Rate Penetration Resistance of Flexible Barrier Films and Laminates
ASTM F2878 - 10 Standard Test Method for Protective Clothing Material Resistance to Hypodermic Needle Puncture
ASTM F2132 - 01(2008)e1 Standard Specification for Puncture Resistance of Materials Used in Containers for Discarded Medical Needles and Other Sharps