Elastic modulus in bending (i.e., flexural modulus), stress-strain behavior, and failure limits in bending all can be obtained using the simple sample geometry of a 3-point bend test. ASTM D790 or ISO 178 covers flexural properties for plastics; ASTM E855 is used for properties of flat metallic spring materials; ASTM C1684 or C1161 covers 3-point bend testing of ceramics.
In a 3-point bend test, the convex side of the sheet or plate is placed in tension, and the outer fibers are subjected to maximum stress and strain. Failure will occur when the strain or elongation exceeds the material’s limits.
Fracture toughness can be determined using a three-point flexural test. In this case, a pre-notched sample is used and the procedures of ASTM E-1290 or ISO12135 can be followed. Fatigue properties can be obtained using ASTM D7774. For medical applications, ASTM F2606 is used for 3-point bend testing of balloon-expandable vascular stents and stent systems.
Bruker’s UMT can be equipped with an easy-to-use 3-point bend module for assessing various properties of laminate and sheet materials. Tests can be run under load-displacement-control modes.
Figure 1. 3-point-bend test setup on UMT.