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ASTM D4541 2002 Edition, February 10, 2002
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Standard Test Method for Pull-Off Strength of Coatings Using Portable Adhesion Testers
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This test method covers a procedure for evaluating the pull-off strength (commonly referred to as adhesion) of a coating on rigid substrates such as metal, concrete or wood. The test determines either the greatest perpendicular force (in tension) that a surface area can bear before a plug of material is detached, or whether the surface remains intact at a prescribed force (pass/fail). Failure will occur along the weakest plane within the system comprised of the test fixture, adhesive, coating system, and substrate, and will be exposed by the fracture surface. This test method maximizes tensile stress as compared to the shear stress applied by other methods, such as scratch or knife adhesion, and results may not be comparable.

Pull-off strength measurements depend upon both material and instrumental parameters. Results obtained by each test method may give different results. Results should only be assessed for each test method and not be compared with other instruments. There are five instrument types, identified as Test Methods A-E. It is imperative to identify the test method used when reporting results.

This test method uses a class of apparatus known as portable pull-off adhesion testers.² They are capable of applying a concentric load and counter load to a single surface so that coatings can be tested even though only one side is accessible. Measurements are limited by the strength of adhesion bonds between the loading fixture and the specimen surface or the cohesive strengths of the adhesive, coating layers, and substrate.

This test can be destructive and spot repairs may be necessary.

The values stated in MPa (inch-pound) units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability to regulatory limitations prior to use.