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Fabric bursting strength test

Bursting strength

Bursting strength is the value of pressure required to rupture the fabric. Or it can be measured by the perpendicular force to the fabric until it ruptures.

In this method, Testing force is applied radially on the fabric. The force is normally applied using either a ball or a hydraulically expanded diaphragm. 

The fabric is clamped in place around the device that applies the force by a circular ring. 

The material is stressed in all directions at the same time regardless of the fabric construction. Ball burst testing is used as an alternative to tensile testing for materials that are not easily prepared for tensile testing or have poor reproducibility when tensile testing. These fabrics include knits, lace, non-woven, and felts. 

Some fabrics are parallel stressed in all directions during quick services, like parachute fabrics, filters, sacks, and nets. 

The fabric is more tended to fail by bursting in service more than it breaks by a straight tensile fracture. Another example is the type of stress that is present at the elbows and knees of clothing. Results obtained from tensile and burst testing are not directly comparable. 

Bursting strength is expressed in pounds. Bursting strength is mainly used for Knitted fabric, Felt, nonwoven, Lace, and netting fabric. This is due to the structures, yarn is not arranged in a particular direction. (Nonwoven does not contain yarn, but it is also tested for this strength.)

When a fabric fails during a bursting strength test, it does so across the direction which has the lowest breaking extension. When a burst test is undertaken, all directions in the fabric undergo the same extension, so the fabric direction with the lowest extension at break is the one that will fail first. This is not necessarily the direction with the lowest strength.

Hydraulic Bursting Strength Tester

DSPAT hydraulic bursting strength tester
hydraulic bursting strength tester

The hydraulic bursting strength tester is measured fabric bursting strength with the help of the hydraulic pressure applications on fabric.

This test method used a diaphragm inflated by hydraulic pressure to apply the perpendicular force to the fabric. 

For this test, standard-sized sales are prepared. The specimen is then fixed in the instrument under the diaphragm.

The diaphragm is basically made of rubber and mounted with the instrument. 

The clamping device of the instrument provides distributed pressure that is sufficient to prevent the specimen from slippage during the test. 

During a test hydraulic fluid is introduced behind the rubber diaphragm at a known rate and the burst pressure (M) at rupture is measured using a pressure gauge. 

The upper clamp and sample are then removed and the tare pressure (T) to distend the diaphragm is recorded. 

The tare pressure (T) is subtracted from the burst pressure at rupture (M) to give the actual burst pressure (B) of the test piece, B = M T. 

The burst pressure is represented in the kilopascals unit. 

From this method, bursting distension can be measured in millimetres, immediately before rupture, from the height change of the centre of the upper surface above the starting plane. 

DSPAT hydraulic bursting test principle
hydraulic bursting test principle

Ball burst method

The ball burst method measures fabric burst strength with the help of a CRE principle.

The CRE machine applied the perpendicular force on the specimen.

The attachment for the CRE machine comprises two parts. One is a lower fixed clamping device of fixed aperture diameter and an upper moving ball that impacts the fabric surface. 

The clamping device has an upper and a lower clamp with concentric grooves and crowns that intermesh with the test piece to provide grip. 

Test specimens can be cut into square or circular pieces but must be of sufficient size to protrude outside the annular rings around the complete circumference of the lower clamp. 

The face of the rings should be perpendicular to the direction of the application of the force. The centre portion pushes against a polished steel ball at a constant rate until it ruptures. 

At the end of the test or after serval test completion, the mean value of all tested values is calculated which represents the final burst strength value of the fabric.

This value may vary from the hydraulic bursting strength tester value because both instruments work on completely different principles for measuring the same strength of the fabric.

DSPAT The ball burst method
The ball burst instrument
Questions -
  1. What is bursting strength?
  2. Why fabric bursting strength is measured?
  3. How does a hydraulics bursting strength tester work?
  4. How ball burst method works?


Booth, J. E. :. (n.d.). Principles of textile testing an introduction to physical methods of testing textile fibres, yarns, and fabrics. London: National Trade Press Ltd,1961. from

Cenote, M. (2015). Google Books. In The SAGE Guide to Key Issues in Mass Media Ethics and Law (pp. 847–858). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Ferreiro López-Riobóo, J. I. (2015). Long-term (2001–2012) study of a proficiency testing scheme for textiles. Accreditation and Quality Assurance20(4), 239–245.

Babu, S. (n.d.). Fabric tensile strength test. from

Fabric Strength. (2020, September 12). Texpedi: A Reliable Source of Learning Textiles; //

Mobarak Hossain, M. (2016). A review of different factors of woven fabrics’ strength prediction. Science Research4(3), 88.

(N.d.-b). from

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