How to Perform a Shear Test to ISO 4587

Adhesives - Determination of Tensile Lap Shear Strength of Rigid to Rigid Bonded Assemblies

Written by Meredith Bernstein

ISO 4587


ISO 4587 is a common testing standard used to measure the adhesive lap-shear bond strength of rigid-to-rigid assemblies. ISO 4587 is used for quality control in many industries, including aerospace, automotive, and consumer goods manufacturing. This guide is designed to introduce you to the basic elements of an ISO 4587 adhesive shear test, including an overview of the equipment, software, and samples needed. However, anyone planning to conduct ISO 4587 testing should not consider this guide an adequate substitute for reading the full standard.
What Does it Measure?

This standard is used to test the shear strength of cured bonds when adhesives are applied to materials such as metals, plastics, wood, or composites. This is a critical characteristic of any adhesive, as they can exhibit unique shear properties. Manufacturers use this test method to investigate the shear properties of bonded rigid assemblies where the force applied is parallel to the bonded area and the length of the specimen. Stress is applied to the specimens at a rate of 8.3 to 9.8 MPa per minute and the breaking load and shear strength are reported.

Materials Testing System

Testing to ISO 4587 requires a universal testing machine. System capacity will depend on the strength of the adhesive, however most tests to this standard will fall in the capacity range between 1 kN and 5 kN, appropriate for a frame such as Instron's 34SC or 68SC. If the adhesive requires a higher capacity system, Instron’s dual column table model frames are available up to 50 kN.

ISO 4587 test setup

ISO 4587 Test Setup

1. Instron 6800

2. Bluehill Universal Dashboard (2490-696)

3. 2580 Series Load Cell

4. 5 kN Pneumatic Side-Action Grips (2712-045)



Grips and Accessories

Pneumatic side action grips and advanced side action grips are optimal choices for testing to ISO 4587. Both types of grips are adjustable in order to offset the jaw faces and ensure that the lap joint remains centered in the grips. They both feature quick-change jaw faces that can be easily changed to accommodate different materials.

5 kN Model | 2712-045
1 kN Model | 2710-113
Helpful Tips
  •  ISO 4587 is performed on rigid specimens bonded via a lap joint, which causes the two ends of the specimen to be offset from the vertical load line of the test. It is critical that the gripping solution account for this overlap with offset jaw faces in order to ensure a true shear force application.
  • The standard requires reporting the breaking force or strength, however, it is important to remember that the shear strength is calculated by dividing the breaking force by the adhesive bond area.
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