High Strain Rate Compression Testing

Polymers are frequently required to endure impact events with strain rates exceeding 100/s.  There is frequently little information available on the rate-dependent mechanical behavior of a material, especially at intermediate to high strain rates from 5/s to 10,000/s.

Veryst Engineering has developed a comprehensive suite of services for testing, modeling, and validating the high strain rate behavior of polymers.  Veryst’s high strain rate testing and modeling capabilities are suitable for all classes of polymers:

  • Thermoplastics (PEEK, PC, ABS, etc.)
  • Thermosets
  • Elastomers/rubbers
  • Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE, TPV, TPU, etc.)
  • Foams (open or closed-cell)
  • Adhesives
  • Biomaterials


Veryst has developed custom test machines for testing the compressive response of polymers, including our drop tower and thin film test machine.  The drop tower is capable of testing all polymers in compression up to 2500/s.  Veryst has used the drop tower to test hundreds of materials, including thermoplastics and thermosets, elastomers, natural rubbers, foams, and adhesives.  Veryst has also used the Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (SHPB) to test materials at high strain rates in compression.

Veryst developed the thin film test machine to measure the rate dependent behavior of soft materials at rates over 10,000/s.  We use precise displacement sensors and load cells to measure materials as thin as 100 µm.  The image below shows the thin film test machine ready for a compression test. 

Thin film and adhesive test machine
Thin film test machine for testing soft materials above 10,000/s in compression and shear


Veryst can test the tensile and compressive behavior of a wide variety of polymeric materials over strain rates ranging from 10-3 – 104/s combining traditional test techniques with advanced, high strain rate techniques. 

Veryst calibrates rate-dependent material models using the MCalibration® software for models native to commercial finite element codes, such as Abaqus, ANSYS, and LS-DYNA.  Veryst also calibrates advanced rate-dependent viscoplastic flow models offered in the PolyUMod® library.  Both PolyUMod and MCalibration were originally developed by Veryst and are now available through PolymerFEM.com.

High strain rate compression testing data
Experimental data for an unfilled PEEK material across seven decades of strain rate


Veryst Engineering’s custom-built drop tower, shown in this last image, is capable of testing polymers in compression at strain rates up to -2500/s.


For a customized quotation, please write to us at testing@veryst.com.


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