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International Standards

ISO 179

Introducing ISO 179 - Industrial Physics

ISO international standards ISO 179-1 (non-instrumented impact strength test) and ISO 179-2 (instrumented impact strength test) cover Charpy impact testing. They enable you to determine the impact and notched impact strength of plastics. 

Charpy and Izod are both impact testing methods that demonstrate how much energy a material is able to absorb. They both involve a hammer striking on a material from a particular height. By measuring the material’s energy absorption, you can determine its strength, toughness and sensitivity to impact.  


So what’s the difference between these two types of impact strength tests? When you’re Izod impact testing you place the test material in a vertical position; in the Charpy impact testing method, your test material is placed horizontally. Another variation? The notch in the Izod test faces the striker, in the Charpy test, it's positioned away. 

In contrast to the Izod impact test, the Charpy impact test has a broader range of applications and is better suited to test materials displaying interlaminar shear fractures or surface effects. 

ISO 179-1 and ISO 179-2

You can use the ISO 179 method to: compare different molding materials; guide the creation of material cards; carry out checks and quality assurance tests on your raw materials; test finished parts based on machined specimens; measure how aging will affect your plastics; and undertake fracture mechanics testing. 

ISO 179-1 specifies a method for determining the Charpy impact strength of plastics under defined conditions. Through this ISO standard a number of different types of specimen and test configurations are defined. Different test parameters are specified according to the type of material, the type of test specimen and the type of notch. 

Part one of ISO 179 can be used to investigate the brittleness or toughness of specimens. It’s an impact strength test that can also be used to compare data from similar types of material. 

ISO 179-2 specifies a method for determining Charpy impact properties of plastics from force-deflection diagrams.  

What types of plastic are suitable for ISO 179?

ISO 179 methods are suitable for use with the following range of materials: 

  • Rigid thermoplastic molding and extrusion materials (including filled and reinforced compounds in addition to unfilled types) and rigid thermoplastics sheets 
  • Rigid thermosetting molding materials (including filled and reinforced compounds) and rigid thermosetting sheets (including laminates) 
  • Fiber-reinforced thermosetting and thermoplastic composites incorporating unidirectional or multidirectional reinforcements (such as mats, woven fabrics, woven rovings, chopped strands, combination and hybrid reinforcements, rovings and milled fibers) or incorporating sheets made from pre-impregnated materials (prepregs) including filled compounds 
  • Thermotropic liquid-crystal polymers 

ISO 179 testing equipment

So, how can Industrial Physics improve your ISO 179 testing? 

Ray-Ran advanced pendulum impact system 

The Ray-Ran advanced pendulum impact testing system is a pendulum impact tester. It uses microprocessor technology to determine the energy required to break or rupture plastic or ceramic specimens, composites and nonferrous metals. 


It’s just the job for Izod, Charpy or tension impact testing. It is great for pipe testing and puncture impact testing. Plus you can use it for small diameter pipe testing and component impact and puncture tests.  

Ray-Ran auto cycle test sample notching cutter 

Our auto-cycle notching cutter produces precise stress-concentrated profiles in Izod and Charpy specimen bars.  


The profiles conform to the ISO 179, ISO 180 & ASTM D256 international standards​ and the vice will accommodate up to 16 test specimens (4mm thick). It’s a fast and efficient device,  accurately cutting within just 20 seconds. ​ 

Your global test and inspection partner for ISO 179