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MEC 291 : Mechanics and materials lab

EXPERIMENT 1
TENSILE TEST

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Objective
i.
ii.
iii.

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To obtain a general understanding of how different materials and cross sections


behave under uniaxial tensile loading.
To determine the stress-strain relationship and compare mechanical/material
properties of various materials and cross section.
To obtain the mechanical properties: the modulus of elasticity, the yield stress, the
ultimate stress, the fracture stress and the ductility ratio.

Introduction

The tensile test is the most commonly performed and is the simplest among of all the
mechanical tests. In this experiment, a specimen is subjected to a gradually increasing uniaxial
load until failure occurs. The typical testing procedure is to deform or stretch the material at a
constant speed. A circular and rectangular cross section will be use as tested specimen which is
made of steel and copper or aluminum. The load-deformation data is recorded during the
experiment so this data can be plotted once the procedure is complete. The student will learn
how to properly conduct a tensile test and obtain the relevant material properties from the
results. Further, the student will discover how different materials as well as different cross
section behave under similar loading conditions.

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Background

Mechanical testing play an important role in evaluating fundamental properties of engineering


materials (i.e: modulus of elasticity, Poisson`s ratio, ultimate strength, yield strength, fracture
strength, resilience, toughness, % reduction in area, and % elongation) as well as in developing
new materials and in controlling the quality of materials for use in design and construction.
Most of these engineering values are found by graphing the stress and strain values from testing.
A number of experimental techniques are developed for mechanical testing of engineering
materials subjected to tension, compression, bending and torsion loading.
Ductile materials will neck down through the plastic range before rupture (Figure 1a). Brittle
materials do not neck down significantly (Figure 1b). Instead they fail sharply and abruptly at
the maximum load because brittle materials do not exhibit much plasticity.

a) Failure of ductile material

b) Failure of brittle material

Figure 1: Typical of failure of materials


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MEC 291 : Mechanics and materials lab

When a specimen is loaded so that the resultant force passes through the centroid of the
specimen cross section, the loading is called as axial and can be either tensile or compressive.
The test measures force and change of length of the specimen which are used to calculate
nominal stress and nominal strain. The term nominal (or engineering) is used to indicate that
the stress is based on the original test specimen cross section area and the strain is based on the
original gage length as shown in Figure 4. Stress is a measure of the intensity of an internal
force. Stress is defined as the force P per unit area A:
Stress, =

P
(SI unit; N/m2)
A

Strain is a measure of the deformation that has occurred in a material. In the case where the
magnitude of deformation is the same over the entire length of a body, strain is defined as:
Strain, =
where:

L f Lo
Lo

(m/m-i.e. dimensionless)

L o = the initial length


L f = final length

A typical stress-strain diagram from a tensile test for structural steel is shown in Figure 2. The
particular properties are designated on the Figure 2 and are described as below:
1. Young`s Modulus (Modulus of elasticity), E
Young`s Modulus is the ratio of stress to strain for the initial straight line portion of the stressstrain curve (slope of the straight line). Determined by:

p
p

where:

p = proportional limit stress

p = proportional limit strain

2. Proportional limit
Proportional limit is the value of engineering stress (the load is divided by the initial crosssectional area) at the point where the straight-line portion of the stress-strain curves ends.
3. Yield point
Yield point is a point on the stress-strain curve, after which there is a significant increase in
strain with little or no increase in stress. The corresponding stress is called the Yield
strength/Stress of the material. For materials that do not possess well-defined yield point, offset
method is used to determine it.
4. Elastic limit
Elastic limit is the value of stress on the stress-strain curve after which the material deforms
plastically (maximum stress for which stress will be directly proportional to strain).
5. Ultimate strength
Ultimate strength is the highest value of apparent stress on the stress-strain curve. It is also
known as the tensile (or compressive) strength.
6. Fracture strength
Fracture strength is the value of stress at the point of final fracture on the stress-strain curve.

MEC 291 : Mechanics and materials lab

7. Percent elongation
Percent elongation is the measure of the deformation at the point of final fracture. Determined
by:

%elongation =

L f Lo
Lo

x100

8. Percent reduction of area


Percent reduction of area is the measure of the fracture ductility. Determined by:

% RA =
where;

Ao A f
Ao

x100

A f = the final cross-sectional area at the location of fracture


A 0 = the initial cross-sectional area

9. Ductility
Ductility is the characteristic of a material where the material can undergo large plastic
deformations before fracture, especially in tension. Ductility of materials is measured by
ductility ratio;

ductility, =
where;

u
y

u = the ultimate strain


y = the yield strain

Figure 2: A typical stress-strain diagram for a ductile material

MEC 291 : Mechanics and materials lab

4.0

Apparatus

Universal testing machine, vernier caliper, steel ruler, two or three test specimens (steel,
aluminum and brass)

Figure 3: Universal testing machine

LO

Lf

(a) Undeformed specimen

(b) Deformed specimen

Figure 4: A typical tensile test specimen

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Brief Procedure

1.

Measure the dimensions of the each test specimen before and after test and fill in the
table 1. Mark the gauge length on the test specimen.
Switch on the machine.
Mount the test specimen in the grips of the machine.
Apply and record load and the corresponding deformation
Repeat steps (1) to (4) for various type of the test specimen.

2.
3.
4.
5.
Note:

Important!! Step by step procedure to run the machine and experiments should be followed the
instructions as stated on the machine.

MEC 291 : Mechanics and materials lab

6.0

Result

1.
2.

6.

The experimental data should be filled or can be printed from the machine.
Complete the tables as provided in the worksheet by using the appropriate equations
and experimental data. Find the reference values for the tested material of the specimen.
Plot the graph of load versus deformation and stress versus strain with suitable scales
for each tested specimen. (Stress on Y axis and Strain on X axis). Mark and label the
elastic limit, upper yield point, lower yield point, yield stress, ultimate stress and
fracture stress on curve.
Plot 0.2% offset line on the graph so that 0.2% offset yield stress can be determined.
Calculate the slope of the graph on the elastic limit region which is Modulus of
Elasticity.
Sketch the final condition of the specimen and showing the location of failure.

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Discussion

1.

Compare and discuss the results in table 4 to reference values and comment on the
possible reasons for discrepancies obtained for a tested specimen.
Compare and discuss the similarities and differences in mechanical/material properties
for the materials tested.
Distinguish between yield point and yield strength on a stress-strain curve. Which gives
the more accurate indication of a material`s fitness for a particular tensile application?
Distinguish between the proportional limit and the elastic limit for each material. Which
is the more important indicator of a material`s mechanical behaviour?
What are the advantages of stress-strain diagram over a load-deformation diagram for
showing the results of a test?

3.

4.
5.

2.
3.
4.
5.

MEC 291 : Mechanics and materials lab

WORKSHEET FOR TENSILE TEST


Table 1: Dimension of the appropriate tested specimen
Material: Steel/copper/aluminum
Initial (unit: mm)
Material
AO
LO
dO
bO
(mm2)
Steel

hO

Type: rectangular/round
Final (unit: mm)
Af
Lf
df
bf
(mm2)

Copper
Aluminum
d = diameter; b = width; h = height(thickness); L = length; A = area

Table 2: Determine the following observation for the tested specimen


No

Force (N)

Elongation (mm)

10

Stress (Pa)

Strain

hf

MEC 291 : Mechanics and materials lab

Table 3: Determine the following observation load for the tested specimen
Material

Load at Elastic
Limit (N)

Load at Upper
Yield Point (N)

Load at Lower
Yield Point (N)

Ultimate
Load (N)

Breaking Load
(N)

Steel
Copper
Aluminum

Table 4: Determine the following properties for the tested specimen


Material

Proportional
Limit Stress
(Pa)

Nominal
Fracture Stress
(Pa)

Actual
Fracture Stress
(Pa)

%
Reduction
in Area

Strain

%
Elongati
on

Ductility

Steel
Copper
Aluminum

Table 5: Determine the % error of the tested specimen


Material

Steel

Properties

Modulus of Elasticity
(Pa)

0.2% offset Yield


Stress (Pa)

Yield Stress
(Pa)

Experimental
Reference
% Difference

Copper

Experimental
Reference
% Difference

Aluminum

Experimental
Reference
% Difference

Note:
Yield stress = Yield load@Upper yield load / initial cross-sectional area
Ultimate stress = Ultimate load / initial cross-sectional area
Nominal fracture stress = Breaking load / initial cross-sectional area
Actual fracture stress = Breaking load / final cross-sectional area

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Ultimate Stress
(Pa)