ASTM D695 Compression Testing Rigid Plastics

An Introduction to ASTM D695-15 

ASTM D695 

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Written by Daniel Caesar

ASTM D695 is a test method used to determine the compressive properties of un-reinforced and reinforced plastics. It is used alongside its tensile test standard equivalent, ASTM D638. Together, ASTM D695 and ASTM D638 assess the fundamental material properties of polymers that are found in every industry and even every household around the globe. In order to fully understand the test setup, procedure, and results requirements, it is important to review the full standard.

What Does this Standard Measure?

ASTM D695 obtains the properties of a material's compressive strengthcompressive yield point, and modulus. The standard specimen for strength determination is a right cylinder or prism whose length is twice its principal width or diameter. If the specimen is too thin, an anti-buckling support jig should be used to prevent the specimen from buckling.

Materials Testing System

Depending on the maximum expected forces, ASTM D695 can be performed on either a single column or dual column universal testing machine such as those available in Instron's 3400 and 6800 Series.

ASTM D695 System Setup
ASTM D695 Test Setup
3400 Series Universal Testing System
Bluehill Universal Software
2530 Series Load Cell
2501 Series Compression Platens


Platens and Accessories

Depending on your application, the following accessories are commonly used for ASTM D695 testing:

Beyond the typical ASTM E4 verification to ensure accurate force data, D695 also requires an ASTM E83 Class B-2 extensometer to measure compressive strain. A popular strain solution is Instron's linear displacement transducer. A more advanced strain solution includes a non-contacting extensometer, such as Instron's Advanced Video Extensometer 2 (AVE 2). The AVE2 is ideal for labs with limited test systems needing to perform a wide variety of tests.

ASTM D695 plastic compression
ASTM D695 Accessories
Self-Aligning Spherical Seat
Anti-Buckling Support Jig
2601-04x Series LVDT


Helpful Tips and Tricks
  • Compression platens with integral spherical seats are ideal for ensuring platen to platen parallelism, which is a requirement of the standard.
  • If the specimen is too thin, an anti-buckling support jig should be used to prevent the specimen from buckling.
  • If reporting the modulus calculation, make sure the extensometer and load cell are both verified in the range that the calculation is being made. Labs sometimes unknowingly report calculations outside of the verified range of their devices.
  • ASTM D695 is included in the Plastics test method suite available in Bluehill Universal
  • If direct strain measurement and conformance to ASTM E83 Class B-2 is not required, compliance correction should be used to remove the system’s compliance from the crosshead displacement data. Please review the compliance correction whitepaper for more details.
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