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Tension Test
1. Objective:

Introduce the students to the topic of tensile testing of metals, polymers and composites using the Instron Computer Controlled Universal Testing Machine. These sets of tensile tests on materials of widely differing tensile properties (e.g., soft and hard steel, soft aluminum, brass, copper, plastics, rubber and etc.) show the use of the tensile testing machine in the various ranges of loads and extensions necessary to obtain valid mechanical properties on materials. Since tensile properties of materials are used as a primary method of material acceptance, quality control, and design limits, this laboratory emphasizes data collection, presentation in tabular and graphical form and report writing.

2. Equipment: Instron 3382 100kN Universal Test Machine Associated extensometer - A device used to measure absolute strain, the change in length of a line segment. Series IX Application Software for 3300 Series Load Frames Steels of varying carbon content PC data acquisition 3. Theory: A tension test is probably the most fundamental type of mechanical test you can perform on material. Tensile tests are simple, relatively inexpensive, and fully standardized. By pulling on something, you will very quickly determine how the material will react to forces being applied in tension. As the material is being pulled, you will find its strength along with how much it will elongate. You can learn a lot about a substance from tensile testing. As you continue to pull on the material until it breaks, you will obtain a good, complete tensile profile. A curve will

result showing how it reacted to the forces being applied. The point of failure is of much interest and is typically called its Ultimate Strength or UTS on the chart. 3.1 Hooke's Law For most tensile testing of materials, you will notice that in the initial portion of the test, the relationship between the applied force, or load, and the elongation the specimen exhibits is linear. In this linear region, the line obeys the relationship defined as Hooke's Law where the ratio of stress to strain is a constant, or . E is the slope of the line in this region where stress () is proportional to strain () and is called the Modulus of Elasticity or Young's Modulus 3.2 Strain You will also be able to find the amount of stretch or elongation the specimen undergoes during tensile testing This can be expressed as an absolute measurement in the change in length or as a relative measurement called strain. Strain itself can be expressed in two different ways, as engineering strain and true strain. Engineering strain is probably the easiest and the most common expression of strain used. It is the ratio of the change in length to the original length, . Whereas, the true strain is similar but based on , where Li is the

the instantaneous length of the specimen as the test progresses, instantaneous length and L0 the initial length. 3.3 Stress

Stress is the internal resistance, or counterforce, of a material to the distorting effects of an external force or load. These counter forces tend to return the atoms to their normal positions. The total resistance developed is equal to the external load. This resistance is known as stress. Although it is impossible to measure the intensity of this stress, the external load and the area to which it is applied can me measured. Stress () can be equated to the load per unit area or the force (F) applied per cross-sectional are (A) perpendicular to the force shown in the equation below F = A Where = stress (N/mm2); F = applied force (N); A = cross-sectional area (mm2);

Figure 1

3.4 Modulus of Elasticity

The modulus of elasticity is a measure of the stiffness of the material, but it only applies in the linear region of the curve. If a specimen is loaded within this linear region, the material will return to its exact same condition if the load is removed. At the point that the curve is no longer linear and deviates from the straight-line relationship, Hooke's Law no longer applies and some permanent deformation occurs in the specimen. This point is called the elastic, or proportional, limit. Figure 2 From this point on in the tensile test, the material reacts plastically to any further increase in load or stress. It will not return to its original, unstressed condition if the load were removed.
3.5 Yield Strength

A value called yield strength of a material is defined as the stress applied to the material at which plastic deformation starts to occur while the material is loaded.
3.5.1 Offset Method

For some materials (e.g., metals and plastics), the departure from the linear elastic region cannot be easily identified. Therefore, an offset method to determine the yield strength of the material tested is allowed. These methods are discussed in ASTM E8i (metals) and D638 (plastics). An offset is specified as a % of strain (for metals, usually 0.2% from E8). The (Figure 2) stress (R) that is determined from the intersection point when the line of the linear elastic region (with slope equal to Modulus of Elasticity) is drawn from the offset m becomes the Yield Strength by the offset method.
3.6 Ultimate Tensile Strength

One of the properties you can determine about a material is its ultimate tensile strength (UTS). This is the maximum load the specimen sustains during the test. The UTS may or may not equate to the strength at break. This all depends on what type of material you are testing. . .brittle, ductile, or a substance that even exhibits both properties. And sometimes a material may be ductile when tested in a lab, but, when placed in service and exposed to extreme cold temperatures, it may transition to brittle behavior.

4. Data:

Figure 3 is an example of what a test run on the Series IX software will look like. The test parameters should be defined as constant variables from the insert menu. Highlight the name and value of your parameters and select the option name. From name, click on create. Select the box left column if your paramaters are displayed as Table 1, meaning, the parameter value is to the right of the parameter name.
Figure 3 Test Parameters Lo (mm) 50.00 A (mm^2) 113.04 Do (mm) 12.00

Table 1

Table 2
Load Disp Strain Stress

10 20 30 40 50 70 90 100 112 120 132 140

0.10 0.002 0.088 0.19 0.31 0.40 0.49 0.58 0.67 0.79 0.90 1.20 1.36 1.49

Table 2 is an example of how your load (force) and displacement data should be organized. This table is merely a portion of the amount of data points you shall receive with your run. You WILL NOT turn in a table of your data points in your final report. You will turn in a graph (Figure 4) of your load and displacement points. The highlighted portion of table 2 is an example of how your Stress and Strain data point should be orginized. The following are sample calculations. 1- Strain 2- Stress L 0.1 F 10 = = = .002 = = = .088 Lo 50 A 113.04

Raw data

Data Analysis

You will turn in a graph of Stress vs. Strain (Figure 1 and Figure 2). In this graph you will display the Youngs Modulus and Yield Strength .

Figure 4

5. Procedure: Students will test specimens of each of the carbon steels supplied. The instructor will show all students how to select the proper computer program for running the machine for all types of specimens. Each group will run at least one specimen with supervision. The Instron records all data digitally so that the raw data can be supplied to all students for independent analysis. The instructor will explain how the data is stored, the nature and operation of the Instron software and how to load the data into a spreadsheet for further analysis. 1. Measure the diameter and gage length of each tensile specimen. This data should be recorded in tabular form. It should be noted that the round specimens correspond to standard ASTM specifications for tensile testing.

Figure 5 Typical tension specimen


After the Instron has been calibrated and zeroed, place the specimen into the appropriate grips. For example, flat specimens use the friction grips, round specimens usually use threaded grips.


Select the particular Instron computer program for these tests, making sure that the adequate numbers of data points will be taken for proper analysis. Attach the extensometer appropriate for the given specimen and gage length. The instructor should have calibrated the load cell and extensometer, and data on this calibration should be included in the report. The range of crosshead speeds of these tests is specified by ASTM and is determined in the computer program "test method" used to run the tests. This speed should be recorded and included in your report along with any other important parameters used in the program. As the test proceeds, the extensometer will reach its limit of travel and need to be removed. The "test method" will have to have been set to switch to stroke measurement at this point in order to continue recording data. Stroke measurement measures the entire displacement of the machine and is far less accurate than the clamp-on extensometer. Assuming that the only plastic deformation occurs on the specimen, the stroke measurement can be used to determine elongation by using a pseudo gage length determined after the test, approximately the length of the reduced section of the specimen. As an added part of these tests for one of the ductile metals used in this test series, a complete true-stress versus true-strain plot will be determined. A truestress, true-strain plot to fracture requires measurement of instantaneous diameter as a function of load after necking has occurred. This is done by hand using a blade micrometer. The micrometer is used to detect the first sign of necking and afterwards one student calls diameters and a second records the load at which this diameter was measured. This set of measurements is continued until fracture. The lab manager and instructor will show students how these measurements are to be taken. Once the specimen has fractured, the broken halves are placed together and the distance between the scribe lines measured. This measurement determines elongation at fracture, or ductility, ef. For example, if a one-inch gage length was used and the final measurement after fracture was 1.25", the value of ef is 0.25/1 x100% or 25%. In practice more than one set of scribe lines are used to ensure that one set survives the test and that a set can be selected that will include the necked area (if one exists). The instructor will show the class how scribe lines are placed without damaging the specimen. The instructor will give each member of the class the raw data collected by the Instron computer program in digital form. These data will be used in a spreadsheet for the analysis.







6. Results and Conclusions: The report should be prepared in the format given out in class; however, it should include the following:


Graphs of all tests constructed from the raw data (engineering stress vs. engineering strain). The Instron presents the data initially for the entire range of extension. It can be programmed to print out data for a limited range of extensions so that elastic modulus and offset yield strength can be determined. The student will still have to construct the offset yield line to verify the accuracy of the program. Tables for all materials and all tensile tests appropriately labeled (units and etc.). These include the Offset Yield Strength (at 0.2% strain), the Proportional Limit, the Youngs Modulus, the Ultimate Tensile Strength, the Stress and Strain at Fracture, the Uniform Strain, the Toughness, and the Resilience. Note the appearance of each of the specimens after fracture for inclusion in the report. This is done to demonstrate the differences in ductility between the materials used in this test series. A table should also be supplied for the results of calibrations. For the diametrical test data, construct the true stress vs. true strain plot and then make a log-log plot of the section of the curve that appears most linear in the range near maximum load. Once the linear section is selected fit a straight line to this section (using the spreadsheet function). The slope and intercept of this linear portion are denoted the "strain hardening exponent", n, and the "strength coefficient", K. Tabulate values of n and K for the material tested.



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