Stress Relaxation

Stress relaxation of a compound occurs when a constant stress creates physical and chemical changes, thus reducing the force that the compound exerts over a specified period of time.

The first observed effects generally include the relaxation of polymer chains and fillers.  Because the changes that occur are generally chemical reactions, the effects tend to be long term and irreversible.

Accelerated aging can also be added to a stress relaxation test using a forced air oven and a wide variety of fluids that the material would normally come in contact with in service to better simulate real life conditions.  

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Common Test Protocols

ASTM D6147

Determination of force decay in compression

ISO 3384

Determination of stress relaxation in compression