Small Punch Test for Metallic Materials

A new ASTM International standard will allow laboratories and research institutions to estimate mechanical properties of metallic materials through a minimally destructive process known as small punch testing. ASTM’s nuclear technology and applications committee (E10) developed the new standard, which will soon be published as E3205.

“Small punch testing uses extremely small specimens to estimate basic mechanical properties, such as tensile strength and transition temperature, of metallic materials using a very limited quantity of sample materials,” says ASTM International member Enrico Lucon, material scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology. “As such, it is an almost nondestructive mechanical characterization technique.”

According to Lucon, the test method described in the new standard covers procedures for conducting small punch deformation tests for metallic materials without using a significant amount of sample material or the need for post-test repair on components or structures. It is applicable to a wide range of materials and industries.

Lucon also notes that, while this test has been in use for almost 40 years, E3205 marks the first time the test has been officially standardized by an international standards organization.  

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