Testing for the snapping characteristics of a product requires a test method to bend the sample, until a break occurs. These tests are commonly used for hard or brittle foods. Some softer products are also tested with this method, where a degree of flexibility is desired - or intended to be minimised. Usually the product is stressed until it breaks and the peak or maximum force is measured. The amount of deformation the sample will absorb before it fails may also be of interest.
The most common set up for this type of test is referred to as a “3 point bend”. The product is supported by 2 “fulcrums” on either side, and a third, center fulcrum comes down to apply the bending force. The distance between the two side fulcrums is adjustable to accommodate different sized samples. Other procedures are applicable to specific products, for example spaghetti snapping, where the product is manipulated to bend to failure in another manner.
FTC offers several variations of the 3 point bend apparatus to alloy testing very fragile to very hard products, as well as speciality fixtures to secure samples and measure fracture characteristics.