Most plastic bags used at supermarkets, conveniences stores, and other locations, and residential garbage bags, are made of polyethylene or polyethylene mixed with calcium carbonate, partly due to environmental concerns in recent years.
To improve their usability, they are made with materials optimized for certain performance or strength characteristics, such as low-density polyethylene to provide tear resistance and flexibility, or have a dual-layer construction to offer both stiffness and flexibility.
In this example, a compact table-top universal tester was used to evaluate the tensile strength of (1) polyethylene films and (2) polyethylene films containing calcium carbonate.

Two types of samples were tested, (1) polyethylene films used for supermarket and convenience store bags, and (2) polyethylene films containing calcium carbonate, used for garbage bags.

The tests show that the polyethylene containing calcium carbonate has a slighter higher tensile strength than typical material, but elongated only 1/2 or 1/3 as much. These results indicate that the regular material offers superior flexibility.

Summary of Test Results (Mean Values)

Test Force – Stroke Graph

Compact Table-Top Universal Tester

The EZTest Table-Top Universal Tester is ideal for testing the strength, elongation, and other mechanical characteristics of polymer materials, including films. A wide assortment of available accessories (grips suited to the sample being tested, thermostatic chambers, etc.) are available, making the system ideal for a wide variety of applications.