This test method is used in gauging the ability of polymers to retain their mechanical (in this case surface) properties at high temperatures. This kind of test is becoming increasingly important as plastics continue to replace more traditional materials in all manner of applications. The test itself is performed by slowly raising the temperature of the specimen while applying a point load. Once the point load has penetrated 1mm into the material, the test is ended and the temperature recorded.
Unfortunately the test does not provide results for use in design calculations, however it is very useful as a quality control or development tool – the result is a measure of the temperature at which thermoplastics begin to rapidly soften. One of the useful aspects of this test is that as long as the specimen covers a minimum footprint, it can be of any size or shape. This means that tests run according to this standard can be run using much less material than with other standards.
Similar to ISO 306 are ASTM D1525, and the Heat Deflections Temperature (HDT) test methods, ISO 75 and ASTM D648. ASTM D1525 is very similar to this standard, but accounts for the initial creep of the sample. Additionally, the HDT tests are operationally similar to the ‘Vicat’ test but using a different head and specimen size.
If your laboratory has a need for thermo-mechanical testing, why not take a look at our HDT-Vicat solutions? We can supply machines in 3 or 6 stations, with oil or oil-free heat transfer medium and/or automation optional. Our machines are easy to use and can be easily adapted depending on your testing needs. Additionally, specimen preparation systems are available for preparing your specimens for test.
Before commencing with ISO 306 testing, please confer with the standard, in order to familiarise yourself with the test method and apparatus.