How to test carbon fiber impact strength

Nowadays, the use of carbon fiber and its new applications seem to appear every day. Five times stronger than steel and three times lighter, these properties make this material extremely interesting for a range of industries, especially the automotive and aerospace industries where lighter-weight vehicles have better fuel efficiency. However, despite its increasing popularity, it presents some challenges and drawbacks.

Manufacturing carbon fiber is still expensive, largely due to the costly materials required and the low yields manufacturing techniques. Also, when pushed beyond its strength capabilities or exposed to high impact, carbon fiber exhibits significant internal damage and delamination with little indication on the impact surface that such damage has occurred.

While Industry professionals are committed to sharpen more effective manufacturing methods, materials researchers and increasingly looking into improving the characteristics and the damage response.

As impact strength is one of the most crucial properties to accurately predict damages, using reliable Drop Tower impact testing machines is therefore essential.

To achieve this important goal, a leading Chinese research and design institute, Nanjing Fiberglass turned to Instron Impact Drop Tower test equipment.

Nanjing Fiberglass Research Design Institute, part of the Chinese Sinomatch, is a comprehensive organization for research, development, design, and production of glass fibre products. Constantly playing a major role in China's development, Nanjing Fiberglass has made important contributions to the technological progress of the new materials industry.

composite specimen

Impact testing solutions supports materials research and development.

Nanjing Fiberglass Research Design Institute has been using top brand testers since 1991, when they first introduced an Instron universal testing machine.

With the booming development of carbon fiber, Institute’s researchers have begun to transition from the traditional fiberglass to carbon fiber. With the transition to carbon fiber market, accurate predictions to define the material’s damage resistance after an impact event have become of primary importance.

The Instron 9450 Impact Drop Tower system has met Nanjing Fiberglass expectations in terms of usability and reliability.

“The traditional fiberglass does not have the requirement of drop impact tests, but with our transition to carbon fiber, compression after impact (CAI) test has become essential to define the damage resistance of the material after an impact event and provide relevant tests results - compliant to ASTM D7136 Standard- to our domestic and international customers.” commented Mr. Qi Xu of Nanjing Fiberglass.

How the latest Drop Tower technology improves impact testing.

The new Instron 9450 drop tower machine came to Nanjing Fiberglass with the new software Bluehill Impact. “The software is very humanized, simple and intuitive.” Mr. Qi Xu describes the new software with dashboard as a great feature which enhances the ease of use.

The additional high energy system provides impact velocities up to 22 m/s for wide materials’ evaluation performances and, the combined the use of the impact drop tower with the thermostatic chamber allows deep characterization of the material’s damage mechanism.

Instron 9450 drop tower at Nanjing Fiberglass Research Design Institute

Choose reliability when selecting Impact drop tower testing equipment.

Nanjing Fiberglass Research Design Institute is continuously extending researching and testing: from materials to components and finished products. The Institute’s positive experience with Instron systems makes Instron an attractive partner.

Instron has a comprehensive range of Impact drop tower systems, including the automatic solution for puncture impact tests.

Instron has a track record of reliability and excellence in impact measurements. It is this track record and excellent customer support that makes Instron a preferred supplier.

To find out more about how Instron’s Drop Tower testing systems can enhance reliability and repeatability, download our e-guide.

Originally posted By Francesca Pinto On Oct 25, 2021 , Updated On January 16, 2023