Izod Impact Testing (Notched Izod) ASTM D256, ISO 180 is a common test to understand notch sensitivity in plastics.

Notched Izod Impact is a single point test that measures a materials resistance to impact from a swinging pendulum. Izod impact is defined as the kinetic energy needed to initiate fracture and continue the fracture until the specimen is broken. Izod specimens are notched to prevent deformation of the specimen upon impact. This test can be used as a quick and easy quality control check to determine if a material meets specific impact properties or to compare materials for general toughness.

Test Procedure:
The specimen is clamped into the pendulum impact test fixture with the notched side facing the striking edge of the pendulum. The pendulum is released and allowed to strike through the specimen. If breakage does not occur, a heavier hammer is used until failure occurs. Since many materials (especially thermoplastics) exhibit lower impact strength at reduced temperatures, it is sometimes appropriate to test materials at temperatures that simulate the intended end use environment.

Reduced Temperature Test procedure:
The specimens are conditioned at the specified temperature in a freezer until they reach equilibrium. The specimens are quickly removed, one at a time, from the freezer and impacted. Neither ASTM n or ISO specify a conditioning time or elapsed time from freezer to impact - typical values from other specifications are 6 hours of conditioning and 5 seconds from freezer to impact.

Specimen size:
The standard specimen for ASTM is 64 x 12.7 x 3.2 mm (2½ x ½ x 1/8 inch). The most common specimen thickness is 3.2 mm (0.125 inch), but the preferred thickness is 6.4 mm (0.25 inch) because it is not as likely to bend or crush. The depth under the notch of the specimen is 10.2 mm (0.4 inches).

The standard specimen for ISO is a Type 1A multipurpose specimen with the end tabs cut off. The resulting test sample measures 80 x 10 x 4 mm. The depth under the notch of the specimen is 8mm.

ASTM impact energy is expressed in J/m or ft-lb/in. Impact strength is calculated by dividing impact energy in J (or ft-lb) by the thickness of the specimen. The test result is typically the average of 5 specimens.

ISO impact strength is expressed in kJ/m2. Impact strength is calculated by dividing impact energy in J by the area under the notch. The test result is typically the average of 10 specimens.

The higher the resulting numbers the tougher the material. 


**Please note that this test description is intentionally generic in nature and aimed at providing a descriptive summary to enhance test understanding. Standards can be obtained from appropriate standard authorities.

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