Studying a polymer as it reacts to the application of a sinusoidal force provides insights into flow characteristics, modulus, and elasticity. These material properties can help engineers and scientists: Different clamping geometries are available to enable samples to be tested in different deformation modes (i.e. bending, tension, compression, torsion and shear).

DMA testingis typically used for rubber, plastic and composite materials but can also be applied to thin films, pastes, adhesives, powdered materials and liquids. Tests can be conducted using samples prepared in our in-house processing laboratories, or with moulded test pieces or samples excised from actual products.

The usual outputs of DMA are Elastic or Storage (E') and Loss (E'') moduli as a function of frequency and temperature. The ratio between storage and loss modulus produces a response curve known as tan delta (also called damping), which is a measure of the energy dissipation of a material. For cross-linked polymers, the glass transition temperature, Tg, is much more easily measured using DMA in preference to DSC. The DMA can also be used as a research tool to look at filler dispersion, stress relaxation and creep behaviour.

Common Standards

  • BS ISO 4664-1 Rubber, vulcanized or thermoplastic. Determination of dynamic properties.
  • BS ISO 6721-11 Plastics. Determination of dynamic mechanical properties. Glass transition temperature
  • ASTM D4065 Standard Practice for Plastics: Dynamic Mechanical Properties: Determination and Report of Procedures
  • ASTM D5023-15 Standard Test Method for Plastics: Dynamic Mechanical Properties: In Flexure (Three-Point Bending)
  • ASTM F5024-15 Standard Test Method for Plastics: Dynamic Mechanical Properties: In Compression
  • ASTM D7028 Standard Test Method for Glass Transition Temperature (DMA Tg) of Polymer Matrix Composites by Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)
  • ASTM E1640 Standard Test Method for Assignment of the Glass Transition Temperature By Dynamic Mechanical Analysis

About our Labs

Our UK and USA polymer testing labs are equipped with a DMA instrument. Our experts regularly conduct the following analyses:
  • Testing of vulcanized rubber specimens mixed in the laboratory or excised from actual products
  • Frequency sweeps, temperature sweeps, or strain sweeps
  • Storage modulus, loss modulus, complex modulus, tangent delta.
  • Assessment of the operating temperature range.
  • Measurement of glass transition temperature
Other thermal analysis techniques:
Smithers has other thermal analysis techniques available for the analysis of polymeric materials:

Amanda Cool is a project engineer focusing on dynamic mechanical analysis testing in the Smithers physical testing lab in Akron, Ohio.

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