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The History of Instrumented Impact Testing



M. P. Manahan, Thomas A. Siewert


Pendulum impact testing is widely known to have a history that extends back to the turn of the last century. To many researchers today, instrumentation of the impact test to acquire a load-time history, and thereby provide important data in addition to absorbed energy, is usually considered to be a relatively recent development. However, our literature review has shown that starting from the earliest test machine development work, researchers have been interested in designing equipment capable of measuring both the energy expended in fracturing the specimen, as well as the force-deflection and energy-deflection curves. This paper recounts the early history of instrumented impact testing, and shows that it also extends back over 100 years. In fact, the earliest known paper on instrumented impact testing predates the first pendulum test machine publication by one year.
J. Amer. Soc. Test. Mater. (ASTM)


force-deflection curve, impact testing, instrumented impact testing, load-time curve, pendulum impact testing


Manahan, M. and Siewert, T. (2005), The History of Instrumented Impact Testing, J. Amer. Soc. Test. Mater. (ASTM), [online], (Accessed July 16, 2024)


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Created December 14, 2005, Updated October 12, 2021