Thin film initiation of cracks for fracture toughness measurements in epoxy resins

Ian M. McAninch, John J. La Scala, Giuseppe R. Palmese, E. Jason Robinette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The first step in accurately measuring the fracture toughness of a polymeric material is to generate a sharp crack in the sample. Often this is accomplished by tapping a razor blade into the sample, allowing a natural crack to grow; however, it can be difficult to control the crack propagation. Alternate methods for initial crack generation are investigated, including scoring the sample with a razor blade and inserting thin films or foils into the samples during cure. Fluoropolymer films and aluminum and stainless steel foils of various thicknesses are examined in a number of epoxy-amine resins with a range of toughness and glass transition values. None of the alternative methods replicate the results of starting with a natural crack. Furthermore, it is difficult to form satisfactory test samples using fluoropolymer films. For relative toughness comparisons, either the scoring method or thin, ≤25.4 μm, foils can be used to initiate cracks with similar results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number44364
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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