Tear Resistance Testing

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Tear resistance testing is often used in the plastic film, paper and textile industries. Tear resistance is the measurement of a sample's ability to resist tearing. Tear strength is usually the maximum load divided by the thickness of the material. Typically used for testing of plastic film, plastic sheets and other rubber products; tear strength is calculated by force (in Newtons) divided by thickness (in millimeters, centimeters, inches, etc.): Tear strength = F/t

A tear is generally uneven and, and usually unplanned. An exception is a tear along a perforated line, such as those found on a roll of toilet paper or paper towels, which has been previously partially cut, so the effort of tearing will most likely produce a straight line.

The speed at which a tear resistance test is conducted can affect the test significantly. Tear transmission resistance is common for acceptance testing with materials such as paper and rubber. Tear resistance in textiles involves the load required to spread a single "rip-tongue" type of tear or the type of tear where the material is initially cut.

Materials vary in their vulnerability to tearing. Some materials may be quite resistant to tearing when they are in their full form, but when a small cut or tear is made, the material becomes compromised, and the effort needed to continue tearing along that line becomes less.

The Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry or TAPPI for short is the leading association for the worldwide pulp, paper, packaging, and converting industries. TAPPI Test Method Standards are testing procedures and related practices used in the measurement, evaluation, and description of pulp, paper, and related products, including raw materials used in their manufacture, use, or in scientific investigations of any such substances. An example would be TAPPI test method, T 414, which uses an Elmendorf-type tear tester to measure the force required to tear multiple plies of paper through a specified distance after the tear has been initiated. The measured results can be used to calculate the approximate tearing resistance of a single sheet.


• ASTM D2261 Standard Test Method for Tearing Strength of Fabrics by the Tongue (Single Rip) Procedure (Constant Rate of Extension Tensile Testing Machine)
• ASTM D1004 - 09 Standard Test Method for Tear Resistance (Graves Tear) of Plastic Film and Sheeting
• ASTM D624 Standard Test Method for Tear Strength of Conventional Vulcanized Rubber and Thermoplastic Elastomers