Plastics will fail at stress levels well below their tensile or compressive strengths when subjected to cyclic loading. They will fail more severely when subjected to a combination of tensile and compressive loads. Plastic materials are highly non-linear and demonstrate different properties when subjected to varying temperatures, and it is important for designers to look at the characteristics and fatigue performance of these materials before using within designs.

When performing these low-force dynamic fatigue tests, we suggest using our ElectroPuls™ E1000 All-Electric Dynamic Test Instrument, in combination with a temperature chamber, to evaluate the performance of plastic materials at both low and high temperatures. Fatigue-rated mechanical wedge-action grips and pre-loaded push/pull rods are used to hold samples within a conditioned environment.

Additionally, WaveMatrix™2 Dynamic Testing Software can automate the fatigue test with different stress levels on each step and integrated control of the temperature chamber. Data is saved as an ASCII based data file for analysis with industry-standard programs, such as Microsoft® Excel.

WaveMatrix can be expanded with the optional Calculations Module that allows real-time calculation of different material properties including:

  • Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA): Dynamic Stiffness (K*) or Dynamic Modulus (E*)
  • Elastic Stiffness
  • Energy: Total Energy or Residual Cycle Energy