Compression test


Compression test is done to determine materials properties in front of a negative axial load. This load pretends to compress the testing sample.

The objective of the test can be to determine materials properties or the behavior of a complete system.

Determination of materials properties: example – EN 196-1 standard. Mechanical strength on cements and mortars. The objective is to find absolute values of cement strength, independently of sample shape, dimension or preparation procedure. With this values a comparisson between cements can be done, independently on the lab where they have been obtained.

EN 196-1 describes the whole process for sample preparation, curing, proportion of constitutive elements, so that test results cannot be compromissed between different samples prepared in different places, moments and by different operators.

Samples are prepared from a controlled mixture of cement, with sand and water, following a detailed procedure. Mechanical properties obtained with EN 196-1 depend highly on sample preparation process, its curing and obviously on the compression test and therefore on the testing machine used.

Behavior of the element to be tested: the objective is to determine the working limits of the material, what means maximum strength. This value allows engineers to confirm that what was considered theoretically is surpassed by real values.

To allow maximum precision and repeatability, it is needed a testing machine which assures that measurements and control which be according with what’s requested in the standard.

It is also interesting to use a sofwtare for materials testing which allows automatic test program, calculations basing on test information and data management.

Depending on the type of material, world region and application, there are several standards for compresison tests:

  • EN 196-1 : Mechanical strength of cement and mortars
  • ASTM C109: Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Hydraulic Cement Mortars Using 2-in. or [50-mm] Cube Specimens
  • ASTM C349: Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Hydraulic-Cement Mortars Using Portions of Prisms Broken in Flexure
  • ISO 679: Cement strength determination
  • EN 12390-3: Compression strength of concrete
  • EN 12390-4: Testing machine specifications for concrete strength determination
  • ISO 4012: Compression strength of concrete
  • ASTM C39: Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens
  • ASTM E9 : Standard Test Methods of Compression Testing of Metallic Materials at Room Temperature
  • ASTM D-695: Standard Test Method for Compressive Properties of Rigid Plastics

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