The Elmendorf Tearing test has been performed in the textile industry for more than half century to measure the average internal resistance of textiles to the propagation of a deliberately initiated tear. It enables rapid determination of the dynamic resistance of materials designed to be subjected to strong shearing loads (e.g. suitcases, industrial fabrics) or liable to be damaged by sharp or heavy objects (e.g. seat belts, outerwear, protective clothing). Subsequently, the test was naturally adopted for all materials in the form of cloth, knitted fabrics, nylons, industrial fabrics, and non-woven’s.
The test is carried out on a fabric specimen allowing a 63 mm tear in each principal direction. Before the measurement is performed, the sample is notched to a distance of 20 mm which allows a 43mm tear on the material. The energy of a pendulum of suitable weight is used to completely tear the specimen. The difference in the angle from the vertical of the center of gravity of the pendulum between the downswing and the upswing is a measure of the energy absorbed in tearing the sample. This angular movement is measured with a digital encoder and is immediately converted to the mean tearing force for a single sheet by the microprocessor incorporated in the apparatus.