This article provides a summary of the concepts discussed in the articles under the section “Introduction to Testing and Certification” in ASM Handbook, Volume 21: Composites. The section covers the basics of what to test, how to test, and how many to test to obtain specific properties of common advanced composite materials.
Composites are complex engineered materials that often behave differently than common isotropic materials. Before testing a composite material, or before ordering or supervising such testing, the responsible party should review certain considerations. This article provides an overview of such considerations, namely, differences between testing of composites and testing of isotropic materials, role of certification agencies and the importance of their involvement, building-block approach to composites testing, determining the purpose of testing, normalizing results, and statistical data reduction.