Low Energy Plastics Impact Tester – IT 503 and IT 504

Tinius Olsen’s Model IT503 plastics impact tester, along with the Model IT504, continue to set the industry standard for ease of operation, versatility, and display of information with high resolution.

These machines are designed to establish the impact resistance using either a Charpy or Izod configuration, without altering the whole pendulum. The user attaches the suitable striking tup on the pendulum and the specimen clamp or anvils in the base of the unit to test plastics in accordance with ISO 179 (Charpy impact), ISO 180 (Izod impact), ASTM D256 (Izod impact), ASTM D6110 (Charpy impact), ASTM D4508 (Chip impact), ASTM D4812 (Unnotched Cantilever Beam impact), ASTM D950 (Adhesive Bond impact) and other similar standards.

The aerodynamically-designed compound pendulum offers highest rigidity in the direction of the impact and practically eliminates any windage losses. Pendulum capacity is easily altered by incorporating on any one of seven optional weight sets.

The energy absorbed in breaking the specimen can be configured in metric, SI, or English units. It is established by an optical encoder mounted on the shaft of the machine and is based on the latched height of the hammer (proportionate to the zero potential energy point), the maximum post-impact height of the hammer, and the frictional losses of the machine. Energies of less than 0.03% of the pendulum capacity can be resolved and this is immensely superior to dial type displays and other present-day displays.

The IT503 is provided as standard with a ‘low blow’ feature, which offers a convenient and reliable means of releasing the pendulum from a lower than normal height, therefore allowing testing at lower energy levels and impact velocities. Moreover, the Model IT503 is supplied with all essential interlocked safety shielding to protect the operator and bystanders from the broken samples.

For easier and more flexible impact testing on plastics, the machines can be linked to a PC operating Tinius Olsen’s Horizon software for data capture and analysis.

The standard capacity range when using the compound pendulum is from 2J to 2.82J; this can be raised to a maximum of 25J, using different weight sets to go up to capacities of 5J, 50 in.lb, 100 in.lb, 7.5J, 15J, 200 in.lb, and 25J. Beyond of this range, the compound pendulum has to be replaced by separate pendulums. The capacities of optional pendulums range from 0.5J and 1J to 50J.

The main difference between the IT503 and the IT504 is that the Model IT504 does not come with the interlocking safety shielding.

Horizon Software

  • Integrated SPC programs for X-bar, R and frequency distribution chart/histograms
  • User-selected reporting and exporting formats
  • Recall mode allows viewing of formerly saved results and performs database maintenance
  • Test mode allows configuring, running and saving of tests and results


Pendulum capacity J 2.82
ft.lb 2.08
in.lb 25
Pendulum capacity with low blow J 2.75 to 2
ft.lb 2.03 to 1.475
in.lb 24.38 to 17.73
Pendulum capacity with added weights J up to 25
ft.lb up to 18.44
in.lb up to 221.63
Drop height m 0.61
ft 2
Impact velocity m/s 3.46
ft/s 11.35
Dimensions* (WxDxH) (For Model IT503) mm 660 x 380 x 840
in 26 x 15 x 33
Weight kg 110
lb 240

*Width of machines includes total swing clearance
Specifications are subject to change without notice

Key Features

  • Aerodynamic compound pendulum
  • Automatic or manual toss correction
  • Selectable impact resistance/strength calculations in ft.lbf/in, J/m, in.lbf/in, kgf.m/m, ft.lbf/in2, in.lbf/in2, kJ/m2, or kgf.m/m2
  • Selectable energy units of J, in.lbf, kgf.m, ft.lbf, and kgf.cm
  • Auto-calibration for bearing windage and friction
  • Break type input options of complete, partial, hinge, non-break and necking
  • Real-time display of energy is available for validating the display accuracy against traceable measurements of pendulum height and weight
  • Automatic or manual update of specimen number
  • On the Model IT503, interlocked safety doors guarantee that the pendulum will not be released with the doors open

Optional Features

  • Separate 0.5J, 1J and 50J hammers
  • Low temperature chambers

Model 899 Specimen Notcher

The Tinius Olsen Model 899 Impact Specimen Notcher for Plastics is built to machine a notch in a plastic specimen in accordance with ISO 179, ISO 180 (type A notch specimen), ASTM 6110, and ASTM D256.

Before performing tests, the specimens must be notched so as to produce a stress riser and to predict the point of fracture. The Tinius Olsen Model 899 Impact Specimen Notcher for Plastics can accurately machine up to 28 3.2 mm (1/8”) thick specimens at a single time.

The Model 899 Specimen notcher has an air cooling system that directs air flow at the cutting area to diminish the risk of thermal degradation of the specimens. A clear safety cover over the cutting area safeguards the operator, while doubling as an attachment for a vacuum system (not supplied) to clear away chips from the cutting area.

After samples are loaded, the operator starts the automatic notching cycle by just pressing a button. Both cutter speed and feed rate are modifiable to work with a range of materials.

After the notching process is finished, the notch depth can be substantiated by using the Model 799 Notch Depth Verification Device. Optional cutting tools are available to form ISO type B and C notches.

Tinius Olsen's Low Energy Plastics Impact Tester – IT 503 and IT 504

Model IT504 – In this configuration, the machine has been equipped with cold box (top cover removed). Liquid nitrogen is the typical medium used to cool the specimen.
Model IT504 – the compound pendulum has been replaced with a 50J pendulum.
Model IT503 – the model complies with CE requirements and cannot operate if the interlocked doors are open.
Selection of add-on weights for compound pendulum, strikers and supports.
Charpy configuration, with the horizontal specimen on supports in front of the anvils.
Izod configuration shown, with one end of the specimen clamped in position.

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