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What is the ASTM D 3574 Test Method & Why is it Important? [Measurement of 7 Critical Properties]

ASTM D 3574 is a standard test method developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The test method is the most reliable way to determine the integrity of the physical properties of flexible cellular materials, such as foam and sponge rubber. Those materials are widely used in applications such as cushioning, insulation, and packaging.

The ASTM D 3574 test method offers procedures for measuring these 7 critical properties of flexible cellular materials:

  • Density: The ASTM D 3574 test determines the material’s mass per unit volume. That number is helpful forMagnifying Glass understanding the material's weight-to-volume ratio, which is an essential feature of materials used in applications where lightweight or high-density materials are required.
  • Compression Deflection (CD). This test indicates how much force or pressure is required to compress the material to a specified thickness under a given set of conditions. CD test results reflect a material's ability to absorb and distribute applied loads. CD is a critical parameter for materials used in cushioning applications.
  • Tensile Strength & Elongation. This test measures the maximum force a material can withstand before breaking under tension. It also evaluates the elongation or stretchability of a material before it breaks. Those properties are vital for applications in which the material needs to resist stretching or elongation.
  • Tear Strength. This test assesses the material’s resistance to tear propagation when subjected to various degrees of force or stress. Tear strength is important for applications in which a material may be subject to tearing forces during installation or use.
  • Resilience. This term refers to the material's ability to return to its original shape after being subjected to compression. Resilience is an essential property for materials used in cushioning and shock absorption applications.
  • Load-Deflection Properties. This test determines the relationship between applied load and deflection for the material. Put another way, it helps with gaining an understanding of how the material behaves under different loading conditions.ASTM Logo
  • Compression Set. This test measures the material's ability to recover its original shape after being compressed for a specified amount of time at a specific temperature. It is critical for materials used for applications in which prolonged compression may occur.

Besides providing specific procedures for conducting the 7 tests described, the ASTM D 3574 test method offers instructions for performing the relevant calculations required to accurately determine the various physical properties of flexible cellular materials.

The test also ensures consistency and comparability of results across different laboratories and manufacturers and is immensely helpful with material selection and quality control.

Click below to find out how the ASTM D 3574 test method is relevant to your application…