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NIST Mini-Kolsky Bar: Historical Review



Richard L. Rhorer, Steven P. Mates, Jae H. Kim


The Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM) has sponsored a series of technical paper sessions titled "Novel Testing Techniques" at their annual meetings. These sessions were organized by the Dynamic Material Properties Technical Division of SEM and started in 2008. One of the novel techniques that we first learned about by attending SEM was the use of a small-size Kolsky bar system especially designed for the testing of polymer-single fibers. The Mini-Kolsky Bar was added to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Kolsky Bar Lab based, in part, on the work presented at SEM conferences. A number of informal discussions at the annual SEM conferences added to the understanding and design details as we constructed our first small tension Kolsky bar. Subsequent developments of the NIST Mini-Kolsky bar, including improved gripping techniques were presented and discussed at SEM conferences. This paper reviews some of the work presented in the SEM's Novel Testing Techniques sessions and discusses the history of additional follow-on work.
Conference Dates
June 6-8, 2016
Conference Location
Orlando, FL, US
Conference Title
Society for Experimental Mechanics Annual Conference 2016


dynamic fiber testing, experimental mechanics history, Hopkinson bar, Kolsky bar, Kolsky bar history.


Rhorer, R. , Mates, S. and Kim, J. (2016), NIST Mini-Kolsky Bar: Historical Review, Society for Experimental Mechanics Annual Conference 2016, Orlando, FL, US, [online], (Accessed June 21, 2024)


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Created October 16, 2016, Updated April 19, 2022