Does a Charpy or an Izod Impact Test Replicate any Real-Life Scenarios?

Q: Does a Charpy or an Izod impact test replicate any real-life scenarios by impacting the sample on a notched side (Izod) and an unnotched side (Charpy)?

A: The answer to this question is "No".

The Charpy and Izod impact tests are designed to evaluate the impact strength of materials under very well-defined conditions. They produce results that are comparative only and their impact configurations are not deliberately designed to replicate real-life scenarios.

The Charpy impact test is done in a three-point bend configuration, whereas the Izod impact test is done in a cantilever beam configuration. Therefore, the specimen is mounted differently in each set up.

Charpy Set Up

Izod Set Up

In the Izod impact test, the specimen is impacted on the notched side, whereas in a Charpy impact test the specimen is impacted on the unnotched side. However in both cases, the notch serves as the stress concentration zone and thus it is important to control the tip radius and notch depth to obtain reliable results.


Movement of a typical pendulum

Originally posted on June 10, 2014 , Updated On March 23, 2021