Designation: D 2990 – 01

Standard Test Methods for
Tensile, Compressive, and Flexural Creep and Creep-
Rupture of Plastics 1
This standard is issued under the fixed designation D 2990; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of
original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision. A number in parentheses indicates the year of last reapproval. A
superscript epsilon (e) indicates an editorial change since the last revision or reapproval.

This standard has been approved for use by agencies of the Department of Defense.

1. Scope * D 790 Test Methods for Flexural Properties of Unreinforced
1.1 These test methods cover the determination of tensile and Reinforced Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materi-
and compressive creep and creep-rupture of plastics under als2
specified environmental conditions (see 3.1.3). D 1822 Test Method for Tensile-Impact Energy to Break
1.2 While these test methods outline the use of three-point Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materials2
loading for measurement of creep in flexure, four-point loading D 2236 Test Method for Dynamic Mechanical Properties of
(which is used less frequently) can also be used with the Plastics by Means of a Torsional Pendulum4
equipment and principles as outlined in Test Methods D 790. D 4000 Classification System for Specifying Plastic Mate-
1.3 For measurements of creep-rupture, tension is the pre- rials5
ferred stress mode because for some ductile plastics rupture D 4968 Guide for Annual Review of Test Methods and
does not occur in flexure or compression. Specifications for Plastics6
1.4 Test data obtained by these test methods are relevant and 3. Terminology
appropriate for use in engineering design.
1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the 3.1 Definitions of Terms Specific to This Standard:
standard. The values in parentheses are for information only. 3.1.1 creep modulus—the ratio of initial applied stress to
1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the creep strain.
safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the 3.1.2 creep strain—the total strain, at any given time,
responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appro- produced by the applied stress during a creep test.
priate safety and health practices and determine the applica- Discussion—The term creep, as used in this test
bility of regulatory limitations prior to use. A specific warning method, reflects current plastics engineering usage. In scientific
statement is given in 6.8.2. practice, creep is often defined to be the nonelastic portion of
strain. However, this definition is not applicable to existing
NOTE 1—This standard and ISO 899 are similar in content, but are not engineering formulas. Plastics have a wide spectrum of retar-
dation times, and elastic portions of strain cannot be separated
2. Referenced Documents in practice from nonelastic. Therefore, wherever “strain” is
mentioned in these test methods, it refers to the sum of elastic
2.1 ASTM Standards:
strain plus the additional strain with time.
D 543 Practices for Evaluating the Resistance of Plastics to
3.1.3 deformation—a change in shape, size or position of a
Chemical Reagents2
test specimen as a result of compression, deflection, or exten-
D 618 Practice for Conditioning Plastics for Testing2
D 621 Test Methods for Deformation of Plastics Under
3.1.4 compression—in a compressive creep test, the de-
crease in length produced in the gage length of a test specimen.
D 638 Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics2
3.1.5 deflection—in a flexural creep test, the change in
D 695 Test Method for Compressive Properties of Rigid
mid-span position of a test specimen.
3.1.6 extension—in a tensile creep test, the increase in
length produced in the gage length of a test specimen.
These test methods are under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee D20 on 3.1.7 slenderness ratio—the ratio of the length of a column
Plastics and are the direct responsibility of Subcommittee D20.10 on Mechanical of uniform cross section to its least radius of gyration; for
Current edition approved August 10, 2001. Published October 2001. Originally
published as D 2990 – 71. Last previous edition D 2990 – 95. These test methods
and Practice D 2991 replace Practices D 674, which has been discontinued. Discontinued, see 1984 Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 08.02.
2 5
Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 08.01. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 08.02.
3 6
Discontinued; see 1994 Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 08.01. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 08.03.

*A Summary of Changes section appears at the end of this standard.
Copyright © ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, United States.


D 2990 – 01
specimens of uniform rectangular cross section, the radius of for conducting testing. If there are no material specifications,
gyration is 0.289 times the smaller cross-sectional dimension; then the default conditions apply.
for specimens of uniform circular cross section, the radius of
gyration is 0.250 times the diameter. 6. Apparatus
3.1.8 stress—for tensile or compressive creep, the ratio of 6.1 Tensile Creep:
the applied load to the initial cross-sectional area; for flexural 6.1.1 Grips—The grips and gripping technique shall be
creep, maximum fiber stress is as calculated in accordance with designed to minimize eccentric loading of the specimen.
Test Methods D 790. Swivel or universal joints shall be used beyond each end of the
4. Summary of Test Methods 6.1.2 It is recommended that grips permit the final centering
4.1 These test methods consist of measuring the extension of the specimen prior to applying the load. Grips that permit a
or compression as a function of time and time-to-rupture, or displacement of the specimen within the grips during load
failure of a specimen subject to constant tensile or compressive application are not suitable.
load under specified environmental conditions. 6.2 Compressive Creep:
6.2.1 Anvils—Parallel anvils shall be used to apply the load
5. Significance and Use to the unconfined-type specimen (see 8.2). One of the anvils of
5.1 Data from creep and creep-rupture tests are necessary to the machine shall preferably be self-aligning and shall, in order
predict the creep modulus and strength of materials under that the load may be applied evenly over the face of the
long-term loads and to predict dimensional changes that may specimen, be arranged so that the specimen is accurately
occur as a result of such loads. centered and the resultant of the load is through its center.
5.2 Data from these test methods can be used: (1) to Suitable arrangements are shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 of Test
compare materials, (2) in the design of fabricated parts, (3) to Methods D 621.
characterize plastics for long-term performance under constant 6.2.2 Guide Tube—A guide tube and fixtures shall be used
load, and ( 4) under certain conditions, for specification when testing slender specimens (see 8.3) to prevent buckling.
purposes. A suitable arrangement is shown in Fig. 1. The guide tube is a
5.3 Before proceeding with this test method, reference 3.2-mm (0.125-in.) Schedule 40 stainless steel pipe nipple
should be made to the specification of the material being tested. approximately 150 mm (6 in.) long reamed to 6.860 6
Any specimen preparation, conditioning, dimensions, and/or 0.025-mm (0.270 6 0.001-in.) inside diameter.
testing parameters covered in the material specification shall 6.3 Flexural Creep:
take precedence over those mentioned in this test method, 6.3.1 Test Rack—A rigid test rack shall be used to provide
except in cases where to do so would conflict with the purpose support of the specimen at both ends with a span equal to 16

FIG. 1 A Compressive Creep Apparatus Including Details When Used in an Environmental Chamber


3 A suitable arrangement is shown in Fig.2 The deflection of the specimen at mid-span shall be allow reproductively rapid and smooth loading as specified in measured using a dial gage (with loading springs removed. the radius of the load does not change as the lever arm moves during the test. 2. physical (heating of to provide flexural loading at mid-span. In order to prevent specimen. tion factors are dependent on the geometry of the specimen and 6.2 mm separation. support shall be 3. length under load shall be measured by means of any device 6. 2 Flexural Creep Test Apparatus 3 . In order to test.3 The accuracy of the deformation measuring device transferred to other specimens undergoing testing.4. etc.1 The extension or compression of specimen gage span. provision must be made to ensure with its measuring foot resting on stirrup) or a cathetometer. and they must be measured with respect signed that the load applied and maintained on the specimen is to these variables. These correc- 6.). etc.125 in). caused by a specimen failure. strain within the gage length may be calculated. If extension measurements are made by grip separa- made in a manner to avoid nonuniform loading caused by tion. 6. Preferably the extension excessive indentation or failure due to stress concentration shall be measured directly on the specimen.5. rather than by grip under the stirrup. Sufficient space must be 6. Anvil displacement may be used to measure com- (0. lever systems must be designed so that the avoid excessive indentation of the specimen. its drawing behavior. The loading mechanism must 6. In creep-rupture tests. that shock loading. 11.). and Deflection Measurement: allowed below the specimen for dead-weight loading at mid. Connection between stirrup and weight shall be pression. For example.3.3. D 2990 – 01 ( + 4. within 6 1 % of the desired load.5. − 2) times the thickness of the specimen. Compression.2 Stirrup—A stirrup shall be used which fits over the that will not influence the specimen behavior by mechanical test specimen from which the desired load may be suspended (undesirable deformation.5.5 Extension. suitable correction factors must be determined.).125 in. is not 6.5. or chemical effects. so that misalignment or rack not being level.3. 6.1 Loading systems that provide a mechanical advantage 6. shall be within 6 1 % of the deformation to be measured.4 Deformation measuring devices shall be calibrated require careful design to maintain constant load throughout the against a precision micrometer screw or other suitable standard FIG. notches.4 Loading System—The loading system must be so de.2 mm (0. the radius of the stirrup shall be 3.

and to guard against explosion hazards 8. forms.7 mm (0.1 When the test environment is air. equipment. Multiple-station test direction..) in diameter. Washington. 6.7 Temperature Control and Measurement: enced in a material specification.) and the diagonals 6. or both. shall be maintained within 6 available in Test Method D 543.2 The composition of the test environment shall be (5.2 Specimens for unconfined compressive creep tests may regularly against temperature standards and shall indicate the be suitably prepared in the manner described in Test Method temperature of the specimen gage area.1.7 mm (0.18 mm (2. to used in calculating loads. except that the length should be increased so that the slenderness ratio lies between 11 and 15.” by Joseph a failed test specimen shall be provided by a suitable net or Rosin. Caution is necessary when using 7..3 Temperature measurements shall be made at frequent specimen shall be in the form of a right cylinder or prism.). a set of equipment must be of sufficient rigidity so that no significant deflection occurs in the test equipment during creep or creep- 7 rupture testing.) humidity. used.1 are met. or continuously recorded to ensure an accurate Preferred specimen cross sections are 12.7 Other grades may be tached to or seated on the specimen so that no slippage occurs. Van Nostrand Co. 8.50 in.7 by 6.1 The temperature of the test space.5 by 0.50 determination of the average test temperature and compliance by 0.7.0 by 0. the specific reagent to be used shall be as stipulated in the specification. are consistent with 6.) or 12. American Chemical Society Specifications.4 Standard Reagents—A list of standard reagents is also the gage length of the specimen.860 6 0. The temperature measuring devices shall be checked 8. 7. The standard test 6.7.125 in. New York. During time-to-rupture or failure..7 by 12. the elapsed time of each creep measurement. D 2990 – 01 under conditions as nearly identical as possible with those 7.8 Environmental Control and Measurement: 8.5 by 0. NY. where such specifications are available.3 Specified Reagents—Should this test method be refer- 6. Inc. stable for long time intervals and accurate to within 6 1 %. the 6.6 Time Measurement—The accuracy of the time measur. addition to these.1916 0.8. it is intended that drifting with time and is dependent on temperature and all reagents shall conform to the specifications of the Commit- humidity. Test Specimens NOTE 2—The thermal contraction and expansion associated with small 8. and mounting shall be so designated that the 8. the test.) or 127 by 12.5. For suggestions on the testing of reagents not listed by prevent jarring of other test specimens by the falling load from the American Chemical Society. Pharmacopeia. especially close to 7. Tabs may be trimmed to measurements over the gage length of the specimen throughout fit grips.” Am. 6. In creep rate. 6.2 Purity of Water—Unless otherwise indicated. Warning: Safety dimensions are not critical as long as actual dimensions are precautions should be taken to avoid personal contact. using the guide tube specified in 6. DC.270 6 0. and the “United States cushion. references 6. The specimen shall be 51 mm (2. see “Reagent Chemicals and Standards. Preferred specimen sizes are 63.0 in.7 100°F). test specimens shall be plane and parallel.5 by 12.25 in. as long as the gripping requirements in 6. or unless the creep behavior of the 0. tee on Analytical Reagents of the American Chemical Society.001 in.2 Care must be taken to ensure accurate temperature may be used for creep-rupture testing.5 by 0.3 Test specimens for the compressive creep measure- 6.1. D 695.4 mm 6.6 Specimens prepared from sheet shall be cut in the same specimen is isolated from vibration. Surfaces of the with 6.4 Test specimens for flexural creep measurements shall be (The control of relative humidity is known to be difficult at rectangular bars conforming to the requirements of Section 5 of temperatures much outside the range of 10 to 40°C (50 to Test Methods D 790.) by 3.50 in. The controlling and measuring instruments shall be long with the ends machined perpendicular to the sides. to water shall be understood to mean distilled water or water of ing device shall be 6 1 % of the time-to-rupture or failure or equal purity. 2°C by a suitable automatic device and shall be stated in reporting the results.7. shall be slender shall be controlled to within 6 5 % during the test unless bars of square cross section with sides measuring 4. If the material is suspected to be anisotropic.2.001 in. provided it is first ascertained that the reagent is of Electrical resistance gages are suitable only if the material sufficiently high purity to permit its use without lessening the tested will permit perfect adhesion to the specimen and if they accuracy of the determination. Chemi- cal Soc. D. the relative humidity ments. intervals. Reagents encountered in the test. The location of the apparatus. When the testing objective is to obtain design data.1 Test specimens for tensile creep measurements shall be temperature changes during the test may produce changes in the apparent either Type I or Type II as specified in Test Method D 638.850 6 otherwise specified. the test the application.5.025 mm (0. 7.” 4 .025 material under testing has been shown to be unaffected by mm (0. means to “Reagent Chemicals.7. eliminate toxic vapors. Close tolerances of specimen and span maintained constant throughout the test.2. 8.8. especially near transition temperatures. specimens specified in Test Method D 1822 6.1 Purity of Reagents—Reagent grade chemicals shall be deformation measuring devices whose calibration is subject to used in all tests.5 Deformation measuring devices shall be firmly at.). Unless otherwise indicated.5 Test specimens may be made by injection or compres- in accordance with any possible hazardous nature of the sion molding or by machining from sheets or other fabricated particular environment being used.9 Vibration Control—Creep tests are quite sensitive to method of sample fabrication shall be the same as that used in shock and vibration.1.

response and transitions of a material for the purpose of selecting test temperatures is Test Method D 2236.1 Condition the test specimens at 23 6 2°C (73.1 To characterize a material.1. than 1 % in 1000 h) and plotting a 1000-h isochronous stress-strain curve from which the stress to produce 1 % strain NOTE 4—A useful method for measuring the elevated-temperature may be determined by interpolation. NY. the nearest 0. measure and report the time at the 8. select a minimum of three stress levels for each prior to testing in accordance with Procedure A of Methods temperature of interest. successive creep modulus versus time for different stresses 9.3. For materials that yield. draw. in suitable increments that reflect the h. Selection of Test Conditions Stress levels below 7 MPa (1000 psi) to the nearest 0.7 MPa 10.3 Creep: Therefore.) and 0.1 at shall be considered the time-to-failure and shall be measured each temperature. in the design of parts that will bear constant loads six made to test unloaded control specimens alongside the test months or longer. a minimum of two specimens onset of tertiary creep (onset of yielding.1 At each test temperature. 30. test times longer than 3000 h are usually specimen so that compensation may be made for changes other necessary. 10. the minimum 10.1.1 To obtain design data or to characterize a material.2 To obtain design data. 10.3. and 155°C. 1000.3. as for data sheets temperatures to cover the useful temperature range.2 The specimen shall be preconditioned in the test envi. it may be necessary to test more than two specimens at each 10. or drawing) shall be tested at each of the stress levels specified in 10.8 In the case of materials whose dimensions are known to rupture. 5 . 120. 1962. 90.2. for to post-curing at elevated temperatures). usually at and the like. the shrinkage of some thermosetting plastics due temperature.2. NOTE 5—Isochronous stress-strain curves are cartesian plots of the applied stress used in the creep test versus the creep strain at a specific 10. E.3.005 mm (0.).1.5 MPa (500 psi). with number of test specimens at each stress shall be two if four or negligible yielding. 100. 8. significantly prior to rupture. and in aggressive tested at each test temperature. environments. Stress levels above 7 MPa (1000 psi) to the nearest 3.2.002 in. 70. with one half to a full decade of variation in time-to-rupture being typical. select at least five stresses (and preferably more) for ronment for at least 48 h prior to being tested. Conditioning is.3.1 For materials that show linear viscoelasticity. D 618 for those tests where conditioning is required. or flowing) measure and report more levels of stress are used or three if fewer than four levels the time-to-rupture.1 Test Temperatures—Selection of temperatures for (100 psi). it is usually necessary to run creep tests at application. at five or more points along the gage length or 10. stress.” which indi- change significantly due to the specified environment alone cates a limit of a material’s load-bearing capability at the test (for example. often called a “creep-rupture envelope.. flowing. D 2990 – 01 specimens shall be cut for testing from each of the two 10. 10. the list of standard temperatures in Practice D 618. creep and creep-rupture testing depends on the intended use of 10. a curve of stress-at-rupture versus time-to- 8. 10.1.3 To obtain the stress for 1 % strain at 1000 h (see plot (Fig. NOTE 3—The scatter of creep-rupture data is considerable.1. select stress levels as follows: 10. respectively. and reported.2.1.2 For materials that fail catastrophically (that is. Do this by selecting several loads to produce strains in the variation of the creep of the material with temperature and approximate range of 1 % (both somewhat greater and less transitions of the material.10 In creep-rupture testing.3 Select stress levels in approximately even incre- content shall be brought to moisture equilibrium appropriate to ments up to the 1000-h creep-rupture stress: the test conditions prior to testing.01 in. and 3000 h. Since only one point of an isochronous plot is environment shall be the same as those of the intended end-use obtained from each creep test. Mechanical Properties of Polymers. Reinhold Publishing Corp. in this case 1000 h. These temperatures were selected from 8 Nielsen. 300. make creep-rupture tests at 8.3.2 Creep-Rupture: principal directions of the sheet. 10. A minimum of three control specimens shall be aging of the material may be occurring.025 mm (0. L. the test temperatures and time. 3). or flow are used.9 In creep testing at a single temperature. at least three stress levels (and preferably more) to obtain an isochronous 10.6°F) and 50 6 5 % relative humidity for not less than 40 h principle8).4 6 that superimpose upon each other (Boltzman superposition 3. particularly at elevated temperatures where heat than creep. New York. both of which can greatly affect creep-rupture. draw. that 9. For materials that yield.2) or for other simple material comparisons such as data sheets. or flow. whose creep properties are suspected to be affected by moisture 10.. stress level to obtain satisfactory results. provision shall be example. 50.3.1 The objective of these tests is to produce at each span prior to testing. test temperature. For the prediction of long-term performance.1. 10.4 Do not use stress levels that produce failure in less the test results and shall be made as follows: than 1000 h in creep testing. select the test temperatures from the following: 23. drawing.2 For simple material comparisons. 10.2 For materials that are significantly affected by 9. select two or more test 10.1.7 The width and the thickness of the specimens shall be a minimum of seven stress levels selected so as to produce measured at room temperature with a suitable micrometer to rupture at approximately the following times: 1. determine the stress to produce 1 % strain in 1000 elevated temperatures. Those materials each temperature of interest. creep strain may have to be measured with a recorder.

depending on the intended use of the 11. either of the following frequently than scheduled above. 11. measurements shall be considered negative (−). expansion 6 . and d = depth.1 For flexural measurements. mm (in. MPa (psi).1 For flexural measurements.2. manner. Replenish volatile agents periodically.1 If the environmental agent is volatile.2. Contraction of the control remove the load rapidly and smoothly. 20.1 If the test environment would be disturbed during the where: attachment of the deformation measuring device. measure deforma. or flexural creep rack. N (lbf). Make the initial or reference S 5 3PL/2bd 2 measurement for extension or deflection.3 When a material shows a significant dimensional are suspected or encountered. P = load. 100. 5. relative humidity. 50.5 during the load application. 200. film. readings should be taken more change due to the environment alone.1 Correct each measurement of deformation under load in accordance with the same schedule as that for deformation by the algebraic addition to it of the average deformation of the test specimen. d = depth.2 For tensile or compressive measurements. multiply strain by 100 to obtain percent strain. 11.). expansion shall be considered negative (−). 11. and 30 min. tion at least monthly.).6 Measure temperature. strain by dividing the extension or compression at the times 11. calculate the maximum 11. approaches may be used. 3 Cartesian Isochronous Stress Strain Curves at Various Times Upon completion of the test interval without rupture.). mount a properly conditioned and measured square inch) by dividing the load by the average initial control specimen alongside the test specimen in the same cross-sectional area of the reduced section.1 If discontinuities in the creep strain versus time plot 12. preferably in 1 to 5 s. fiber stress for each specimen in megapascals (or pounds-force men (and control specimen) or. L = span. Start the timing at the onset of loading. Calculate Contraction of the control specimens used for compressive recovery strain as described in 12. time and at the same temperature. if these are optical devices. 11. stresses for each specimen in megapascals (or pounds-force per If necessary. per square inch) as follows: install ready for measurements. 6. 12. mm (in. 12. in accordance with the following approximate time schedule: D = maximum deflection at mid-span. specimen. mm (in. or other device may be wrapped or sealed around the gage length or span of the r 5 6D d/L 2 specimen. mm (in. mount the S = stress. 2. apply it to the entire 12.5. measurements of the recovery can be initiated on positive ( + ). Procedure 12.1 Mount a properly conditioned and measured specimen 12. calculate the maximum strain in the outer fiber at the mid-span as follows: NOTE 6—For liquid environmental agents a cotton swab. specimens used for tensile measurements shall be considered NOTE 7—If desired. D 2990 – 01 FIG. cover the specified in 11. device prior to mounting the specimen.). load.2.1 For tensile or compressive measurements.1. calculate gage length of the specimen immediately after loading.5 Measure the extension of compression of the specimen r = maximum strain.4 If an environmental agent is used. and the liquid agent applied to saturate the swab. and 1000 h. mm (in.3 Apply the full load rapidly and smoothly to the L = span. compressive creep fixture. where: 11. mm (in. mm/mm (in.). 700. 1.). calculate the in the grips. For creep tests longer than 1000 h. 500. and time exceed 5 s. Calculation 11. In no case shall the loading b = width. and other results: environmental variables and deformation of control specimen 12. measured on three nonloaded control specimens at the same 11. 12.).2 Attach the deformation measuring devices to the speci. the same schedule as used in 11.5 by the initial gage length of the conditioned specimen to retard evaporation without affecting the applied specimen. 1. Multiply strain by 100 to obtain percent strain./in.

4 Test method number and revision date. expansion tions. however. downward shall be considered negative (−). code number.1. Upward deflection of the control specimens used concentration and composition of the environment other than for flexural measurements shall be considered positive ( + ).1 Where deformation measurements of loaded speci- mens have been corrected from unloaded control specimens. as well as positive ( + ). in percent.5. 13. under load.1 Isochronous stress-strain curves may be plotted at stress-strain curves) shall be labeled corrected or uncorrected. downward negative (−). 4).3 When a material shows a significant dimensional at different stresses by plotting stress versus strain calculated change due to the environment alone.5 Preconditioning used and description of test condi- (−). Calculate cor. calculate a statistical least versus log time. versus plot at each test temperature the 1000-h isochronous stress. D 2990 – 01 positive ( + ).1..1 Description of the material tested. squares regression equation of log stress versus log time-to- rupture or failure. For long-term loading and in general. 3) and interpolate for the stress at 1 % log average strain change (in percent) of the control specimen strain. loads used. then the 13. manufac- called uncorrected strain.6.1 shall be pertinent information on composition. Upward deflection of the control specimens used specialized design situations involving relatively short-time for flexural measurements shall be considered positive ( + ). plot log strain in percent 12. Calculate the strain change due to the turer.1. 13. then plot log uncorrected strain. 13.3.2. FIG. from several (at least three. and preferably more) creep curves 13. and ments shall be considered positive ( + ).3 Dimensions of the test specimen. 13. to obtain percent strain change due to the environment. Multiply corrected strain by 100 to obtain percent corrected strain.1 by using the molding. The isochronous stress-strain curve at 1000 h is obtained versus log time. Contraction of the control specimens used for tensile measure. from the creep data (such as creep modulus or isochronous 12. log time in hours under load. type of environment in accordance with 12.2. but because of the intended square inch) at 1000 h (see Fig. type loading. air. Multiply by 100 13. including the relative humidity. etc. loads and materials that show pronounced creep at such times.5 At each test temperature. preparation. date of manufacture. because of the intended use of the results.2 Dates of the creep test. 4 Logarithmic Creep Modulus Versus Time Curves at Various Stress Levels 7 . change due to the environment.2 Where significant changes in deformation due to the stress-to-rupture or failure in megapascals (or pounds-force per environment alone have occurred.1.2 If. etc. and on the same graph plot the strain curve (see Fig. and on the same graph also plot the log average dimensional change (in percent) due to the environment alone 12. creep modulus rected strain using the deformation corrected for dimensional curves are more useful. it is 13.6 To calculate the stress to produce 1 % strain at 1000 h. under load.2 or 12.2 or 12. temperatures.4 Calculate creep modulus in megapascals (or pounds. From the regression equation calculate the 13. average deformation in the control specimen.1 Report the following information: desired not to correct the deformation under load for significant dimensional change due to the environment alone. versus log time in hours under load with stress as a parameter force per square inch) by dividing the initial stress by the strain (see Fig.2. 5). at the times specified in 11. trade name. 6). 13.2. use of the results it is desired not to correct the deformation 12. Contraction of the control specimens used for compressive measurements shall be considered negative (−). NOTE 8—For purposes of comparing materials. annealing. the plot of creep modulus versus time not only realistically ranks materials but also plot log corrected strain (in percent) versus log time (in hours) provides modulus values for use in many design equations (see Fig. expansive negative 13. any properties calculated from deformation measurements at 1000 h. including all strain calculated in accordance with 12. times other than 1000 h for purposes of analysis or for depending on which approach is used.2 For each test temperature.2. Report 12.1.

5 Logarithmic Time-to-Failure (Stress Rupture) Curve FIG. Keywords NOTE 9—Precision data in the previous edition of these test methods 15. For this reason.10. and between-laboratory these test methods have not been successful. 100 Barr Harbor Drive. plastics 8 .2 There are no recognized standards for measuring bias should contact the Chairman. data were based on only two to four laboratories. D 2990 – 01 FIG. 6 Logarithmic Creep Strain Versus Time Curves at Various Stress Levels 14.1 Attempts to develop a precision and bias statement for provided only two to six total degrees of freedom. 15.24). D20.1 creep. West Consho- hocken. creep-rupture. Anyone wishing to participate in the development of precision and bias data 14. ASTM. Precision and Bias have been judged to be invalid because they were based on round robins which yielded insufficient data. The available within-laboratory data 14. data on precision and bias cannot be given. PA 19428–2959. Subcommittee D20.10 (Section in regard to these test methods.

2. primary. The three curves shown in Fig. 23°C Creep coordinates.3. X2. ee.2—Since the specimen elongates and decreases in cross- sectional area.2.1 The creep test measures the dimensional changes that occur during time under a constant static load. and can be material will behave when subjected to stress or deformation used in engineering design.3 The strain. and NOTE X2. and X2. such factors may be separately defined for the sake of stress analysis.4 Due to the long times involved. occurs instantaneously upon application of the load.2. an and strength should be obtained under conditions (stress. Strain versus Time 9 . followed by or less arbitrary with respect to the time-dependent material behavior. the following occurs: NOTE 1—The segregation of creep data into instantaneous. tension. Although this strain is not really creep it is very important since it constitutes a considerable fraction of the allowable total strain in designing. Stage FIG. creep. NOTE X2. Therefore.1 The creep rate decreases rapidly with time. NOTE X2. and rate-of-loading. or compression) at constant temperature and the deformation is measured as a function of time.4 are an example. Some materials do not have a X2. in a constant-load Fig. flexure.1 Since the properties of viscoelastic materials are for an extended period of time.2.3 A rapid increase and fracture (tertiary creep. time. the creep curve must start at the origin of the time/strain FIG. creep curves are secondary stage. values of modulus dependent on time-. (such as.1 Creep Curve III). X2. especially of the creep modulus. Fig. A constant load is applied to a specimen in selected loading configurations. INTRODUCTION X1. while tertiary creep usually occurs at high stresses and usually plotted on logarithmic scales where the data is gener- for ductile materials. it should be included in all calculations. while the creep rupture test measures the time to break under a constant load. Therefore.3—In some terminologies the instantaneous strain (eo) is lowered. X2. in which case we have four stages of creep. ally linear.1—This is an idealized curve. instantaneous test result cannot be expected to show how a and so forth) that simulate the end-use application. and e o are not obtainable using these X2. ep.1) NOTE X2. creep test the onset of Stage III shows up earlier than in a constant-stress X2. X2. Therefore. shown as eo. Any such definitions can be more Stage II). Creep is the progressive deformation of a material at constant load (stress).5 As the stress levels increase the creep modulus will be test (see dotted line in Fig. some of this strain is not totally recoverable.2 Tensile-Creep Curve of PTFE at 650 psi. temperature-. X2. then NOTE 2—The parameters. test methods (see Note 5). X2.4—In cases where this instantaneous strain is subtracted from the total strain. X2. X2. X2.2 It reaches a steady-state value (secondary creep. the axial stress increases. CREEP CURVE X2. D 2990 – 01 APPENDIXES (Nonmandatory Information) X1. (primary secondary stages is dependent upon the time scale of the plot. Stage I). often called the first stage. Even though the applied stress is below the yield stress.2 Following an initial rapid elongation (e o) upon application of the load (eo may be considered to consist of the elastic (ee) and the plastic (ep)). However. X2.

3 Creep strength is defined as the stress at a given temperature that produces a steady creep rate of a fixed amount in percent per hour.) X3.4 Creep Modulus versus Time on Logarithmic Coordinates X3. for jet-engine material) is the stress needed to produce a creep rate of 0. a safe stress can be determined below which it is safe to operate. FIG. Strain is plotted as a 10 . This test is useful in establishing a safe envelope inside which a creep test can be conducted. CREEP STRENGTH AND CREEP RUPTURE X3.1 In reporting strength data we often speak of creep strength and rupture strength (creep rupture).1 illustrates the importance of the creep rate.3. D 2990 – 01 S Applied Stress NOTE 1— Modulus 5 Total Creep Strain FIG. X3. Based on this data. X3.1 Creep Rate rupture envelope is shown in Fig. given the time requirements of the end-use application. The basic information obtained from the stress-rupture test is the time-to-failure at a given stress.5 The stress-rupture test is basically similar to a creep test with the exception that it is continued until the material FIG.4 Rupture strength is defined as the stress at a given temperature to produce rupture in a fixed amount of time in hours. creep rates are higher and the material fails in a shorter time (usually terminated in 1000 h). X3. X3. Since higher loads are used.4. X3. X3. The construction of the creep FIG.) X3.2 Creep Strength X3. X2. X3.3 Creep Modulus versus Time D FIG.2 The minimum creep rate (slope dE /dt ) is one of the important parameters.0001 % E/h or 1 % E/10 000 h. (See Fig.2. X2. (See Fig. A condition (for example. X3.3 Rupture Strength fails. Fig.

X3. X3. X3.5 Creep Rupture Stress versus Time for Various Plastics 11 . the following should be taken into consider- ation when making measurements: X3. then the creep experiment should be accompa- nied by a control experiment at no stress to study the effects. crystallinity changes.3 If a specimen is expected to undergo dimensional changes (humidity effects. and compensate for the creep data. FIG. smoothly. These values of secant modulus can be used when modulus is required for design purposes. in which case the onset of tertiary creep might be more applicable). post curing.7. X3.7. X3. X3.7.5. (See Fig.) NOTE 1—Like creep-rupture curves.4) (within this envelope creep curves can be used to predict long-term behavior).1 The extension-measuring device (if attached) should be of adequate resolution.2 The stress should be applied rapidly. and so forth). creep-modulus data can be ob- tained by dividing the stress by the measured strain. D 2990 – 01 X3.4 Creep Rupture Envelope function of time at different stress levels by connecting the rupture points (before establishing the rupture point remember that for ductile materials there is no abrupt failure. and reproducibly. FIG. The rupture envelope can be created (see Fig.6 Plotted creep-rupture stresses versus time-to-rupture data can be used directly for design in some cases. and should not distort the specimen in any way. X3.7 Finally.

in constant stress-strain-time coordinates.3. X4. The total and Fig. s.1—As the stresses are increased. Fig. Also. 10. 1.3.1 Constant Stress-Strain-Time Coordinates FIG. X4.2). X4. X4. 100 h). (below the yield stress) is applied for an corresponds to a particular stress at time t.5 illustrate this process.3. This is defined as the difference between the total strain at the possible to construct isochronous stress-strain curves by draw.2 Isochronous Data 12 . isochronous data at time t and interpolated for other stresses in X4. when creep tests are conducted. as shown in reached.4 The applied stress is then plotted against the addi- tional strain it produces in time t. In this case the additional strain should be recorded. end of the creep period and the residual strain that exists at the beginning ing lines at fixed times (0. an additional creep is available since the strains at time t should correspond to those of the isochronous experiment. are the isochronous stress-strain plots.1.1 Creep curves can be presented in a comprehensive X4. a stress s1 (s1 > s0) is applied for another period t.3.3. Fig. NOTE X4. arbitrary time period t (at least ten times the loading period) X4. X4. full-strain recovery after the X4. X4.3. X4. The resulting curves of that period.4. D 2990 – 01 X4. X4. FIG. DATA PRESENTATION X4.3 The Isochronous Experiment: stress-strain plot and it is used in determining the strain that X4. strain is measured. Fig. to ensure proper specimen-extensometer machine interaction.6 A quick isochronous test (at stress s lower than the actual creep stress) is recommended before a long-term creep test begins. one can start with the isochronous curves and create the creep curves.2 The stress is then removed for a period of 4t and then correspondence to the isochronous data.2 From a set of creep curves at various stresses it is 4t period may not be complete. For each stress the strain is measured (see Fig.3.1 A stress. X4.3 This procedure is repeated until a stress sn is way.5 Creep curves can be adjusted to correspond to the and the strain at time t is measured. Alternatively. This curve is the isochronous X4.

(3) for a stress of 2175 lb/in. The spacing of 100 s is determined by the isochronous stress-strain experiment. X4. FIG.3 Numerically Interpolated Creep Data 13 . D 2990 – 01 NOTE 1—Propylene-ethylene copolymer at 20°C.2 Other experimental creep data are indicated (•).

4 Constant Time Cross Sections from Fig.3 (Isochronous Sections) FIG.3 (Isometric Sections) 14 . D 2990 – 01 FIG. X4. X4. X4.5 Constant Strain Cross Sections from Fig. X4.

Landel. Vols 1 and 2.1. and the values of material to different loading histories.. is shown in Fig. Lawrence E. and 28.25 temperature constants.1) (b) Eq X5. this principle states the follow. Creep or relaxation curves made at different temperatures are super- posed by horizontal shifts along a logarithmic time scale NOTE 1—W-L-F time temperature superposition applied to stress relax- ation data obtained at several temperatures to obtain a master curve shown by the continuous line..1 illustrates this principle. Wiley. X5.” 3rd ed. X5.4) s0 = applied stress (initial).3) tional to the applied stress. Methods for calculating L (t) have been described by Ferry.2 The Time-Temperature (W-L-F) Superposition Prin. The total strain is given as follows: NOTE X5.90 ~T 2 T0! log aT 5 89.1 The Boltzmann principle describes the response of a temperatures over a specific time period. Mechanical Properties of Polymers and Composites.2) papers discussing master curves for creep and stress relaxation of various polymers.2 The deformation of a specimen is directly propor.1.1.. ciple describes the equivalence of time and temperature.1 Superposition Principles—Two principles are most (W-L-F method. and Ferry9) to often used in the theory of viscoelasticity. J = creep compliance (time-dependent reciprocal of (c) A W-L-F horizontal factor of modulus). 1974. (X5. 43°C above Tg. developed by Williams. FIG. The material obeys the temperature T0 = −30°C. The master curve. principle. Inc. NY. temperature is chosen as reference (usually Tg). X5. D 2990 – 01 X5. The reference Fig. is shown with circles on a line.1. Below Tg a different temperature correction where: should be used. slope of a compliance curve. PREDICTION OF LONG-TERM PROPERTIES X5.1 The response of a material to a given load is superimpose.5 1 T 2 T (X5. where: (e) Polymers also have a number of retardation times distributed over K = 10−5. when all deformations are com. X5.1 Boltzmann Principle FIG. 17.1. The curves are ing: then shifted one by one along the log time scale until they X5. 10 “Viscoelastic Properties of Polymers.2 Relaxation Master Curve 15 . 0 is used for the compliance curve shown in Fig. 9 Nielsen.44~T 2 Tg! log aT 5 51.6 1 T 2 T (X5.3. A relaxation master curve is already in the material. power law (Nutting Eq): (d) Nielsen. E pared at equivalent times.2. on page 86 of his book. J~t 2 t n!~sn 2 sn21! temperature (°kelvin).. X5. X5. Marcel Dekker. made by shifting the data along the horizontal axis by amounts shown in the insert for a T. Then the curve at some of linear viscoelastic behavior. and many decades of time.3 holds for most amorphous polymers and it is valid between Tg and 100°C above Tg. give a total creep that is the superposition of the original curve shifted by 400 s on top of the extension of the original curve. Curves above Tg are shifted to the right.. the Boltzmann give a single curve covering a large range of times (master superposition principle and the time-temperature superposition curve). New York.1.1—The numerical values change depending on the reference E~t! 5 J~t!s 0 1 J~t 2 t1!~s 1 2 s0! 1 . X5. 1980.9 Doubling the load at 400 s.1. NY.2. and independent of the response of the material to any load which those below Tg are shifted to the left. Treating creep in terms compliance or relaxation are plotted. This distribution L (t) can be estimated from the n = 0.10 gives a list of references to E~t! 5 Kst n (X5. Horizontal shift is given as follows: X5.1 Construction of a Master Curve: (a) Experimental curves are first obtained at a series of X5.

3.” Testing of and rupture were predicted for thermoplastic and thermoset Polymers.1.1.5) K 5 $@TT0 #/~T0 2 T!#%~23. and are thus and undergoing chemical changes due to elevated temperatures viewed as chemical reactions.” SPE Series. is used in its various parametric forms to predict mechanical X5.1) models and extrapolating data for use in engineering design. creep 11 “Prediction Techniques for Mechanical and Chemical Behavior. p. Goldfein.1. materials.3.6 and the three different orders. the equation this method: assumes the form of the mechanical-chemical equation of state: dlnK/dt 5 E/RT2 (X5. Interscience Publishers. or 16 .3 Compliance Curve X5. either in stable structural form.2) Thorkildsen.3. and K = 1/(at/2) (second order). X5. Vol 4. 1964. CURVE-FITTING FORMULAS X6. L. “Engineering Design for Plastics. or while under stress the separation and breaking apart of molecules. 1968. Some of these techniques are summarized in the following Creep functions are often written as a separable function of equations: stress and time: X6.3 Using Eq X5.5 and or chemical attack.78 2 log K (X5. X5.6) where: In this form reaction rate K can be expressed in terms of time K = reaction rate constant.1 In the paper by S. t by using kinetic relationships.2 The processes of creep and rupture are defined as properties. By integrating Eq X5. p. X6.1. D 2990 – 01 FIG.2 Norton: 12 C 5 Bsn (X6.3 Equation of State: E = activation energy.1 Curve-fitting techniques12 are used in representing E 5 f~s!3 f~t! (X6. defined as the following: K = x/t (zero order). Chapter 5. 121. and X5. Three orders were considered T = absolute temperature. R. 297. Creep and rupture can be predicted using incorporating all constants in the parameter K.11 the equation of state R = gas constant. K = ln2 /( t/2) (first order)..

Eq X6. For secondary creep E n C 5 t and C 5 B s (X6. X6. 1964. Chapter 5. X6.4) becomes E 5 Bts n or log E 5 log t 1 log B 1 n log s (X6. K and n are constants of stress and temperature. A linear dependence on stress. E = sf( t). X6. which cannot be number of spring/dashpot components are usually needed to predicted by the power law. A large B and n = constants of material and temperature. X6.3 takes into account the downward trend at low stresses that some materials exhibit. and procedures for deriving them. Ee = Elastic = s/E Ep = Primary = Dsm(1 − Pe −pt) (see Note 3). as shown in Figs.3) X6. X6.4. X6.1 Eq X6.” SPE Series.1.3.3 Four Element Model C 5 C0 sin hs (X6. X7.2. are given in the “Engineering Design for Plastics. reasonably describe creep or relaxation behavior over decades of time.1 and Eq X6. 2 in these test methods.1 and X6.6) 0 X6. where: C = strain rate. p.5 A creep curve can be divided into three parts.3 Hyperbolic Sine Creep Law (Nadai): s FIG.7) X6.3). respectively.2 are the power law and log-log law.2 Creep Curve (Three Parts) X7. and Es Secondary = Btsn NOTE 2— Constants P and p.1 Hyberbolic Sine Creep Law FIG.1 A function of this form called the time-power law generally will follow Fig. and and relaxation for several materials (see Fig. 277. D 2990 – 01 log C 5 log B 1 n log s (X6.6 The four-element model is used to describe both creep s = applied stress. X6. FIG.4 Findley: e 5 Kt n (X6.5) In the case of steady-state creep. is well suited to many small deformation NOTE 1— problems with solids. X6. HOW TO USE THE CREEP CHART TO DESIGN WITH PLASTICS UNDER STATIC LOAD See Fig. 17 .

1 Example Problems 18 . D 2990 – 01 FIG. X7.

1 Example Problems (continued) X8.1.5 Repeating X8.7 Perform failure analysis. Based on the data.1 Obtaining the necessary data for use in design X8. X8. apply superposition theories. T.1.3 at high temperatures. X8. D 2990 – 01 FIG.1.2 and X8. X8.3 Creep tests at stress levels chosen from the isochro- nous data.1.1. and duration to cover the service life of the material.1 Measurement of complex modulus as a function of X8. and X8.1. SUMMARY X8. X7.2 Determination of an isochronous stress-strain curve.4 A control experiment to determine dimensional includes: change. 19 . X8.

1. and the risk of infringement of such rights.7 and 3. 610-832-9555 (fax). at the address shown (e-mail). This section may also include descriptions of the changes or reasons for the changes. Your comments will receive careful consideration at a meeting of the responsible technical committee.4 of Form and Style for 5. PO Box Users of this standard are expressly advised that determination of the validity of any such patent rights.3 has been modified in accordance with Guide D 4968. West Conshohocken. United States. or service@astm.1. D2990 – 01: method designation and revision year be reported. which you may attend. or both. Committee D20 has highlighted those changes that may impact the use of this test method.1 has been changed to require that the test ASTM International takes no position respecting the validity of any patent rights asserted in connection with any item mentioned in this standard. 20 . (1) An ISO equivalency statement has been added. If you feel that your comments have not received a fair hearing you should make your views known to the ASTM Committee on Standards. ASTM Standards. This standard is copyrighted by ASTM International.8 have been (2) The reference to use of material specifications in Section reworded to comply with Section E 4. PA 19428-2959.astm. (4) The definitions in Sections 3. 100 Barr Harbor Drive. For the convenience of the user. Your comments are invited either for revision of this standard or for additional standards and should be addressed to ASTM International Headquarters. Individual reprints (single or multiple copies) of this standard may be obtained by contacting ASTM at the above address or at 610-832-9585 (phone). either reapproved or withdrawn. D 2990 – 01 SUMMARY OF CHANGES This section identifies the location of selected changes to this test method. This standard is subject to revision at any time by the responsible technical committee and must be reviewed every five years and if not revised. (3) Section 13. or through the ASTM website (www. are entirely their own responsibility.