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Study of Combined loading

A report on an experiment performed for the course

AE341A (Structures)

Devi Mutyala

The objective of this experiment was to find out the yield point of the Al-6061 cylindrical
bar when subjected to combined torsional and uniaxial tensile loading, and to compare the
results obtained with those obtained for pure torsion and pure uniaxial loading.

Materials undergo deformation when subjected to stresses. When subjected to uniaxial
tensile stress, materials undergo elongation in the direction of the application of stress.
Depending on the relation between stress and strain, the behaviour of the material can be
classified into elastic or plastic. A material undergoing elastic deformation regains its
original size and shape when stress is removed. Elastic deformation in most metals obeys
Hookes Law, according to which there is a linear relationship between stress and strain.
Stress can be either stated as engineering stress or true stress.

Fig 1:- A typical Engineering Stress-Strain curve.

The above figure shows typical relation between engineering stress & engineering strain

The engineering stress and strain in a tensile test are defined relative to the original area
and length of the test specimen. It is defined as:-


F Tensile Force
A Area of Cross Section of the specimen before testing.
Engineering Strain is defined as:-


L Length at any instant during the test

Li Original Length of the specimen (distance between the gage points).
The elastic and the plastic regions can be easily seen from Figure 1. In the elastic region, the
material obeys Hookes Law:-

Here E is the modulus of Elasticity of the material.
As stress increases, some point in the linear relationship is finally reached at which the
material begins to yield. This yield point Y of the material can be identified in the figure by
the change in slope at the end of the linear region. Because the start of yielding is usually
difficult to see in a plot of test data (it does not usually occur as an abrupt change in
slope),Y is typically defined as the stress at which a strain offset of 0.2% from the straight
line has occurred. The yield point marks the transition to the plastic region and the start of
plastic deformation of the material. The relationship between stress and strain is no longer
guided by Hookes law.
To the right of the tensile strength on the stressstrain curve, the load begins to decline, and
the test specimen typically begins a process of localized elongation known as necking.
Instead of continuing to strain uniformly throughout its length, straining becomes

concentrated in one small section of the specimen. The area of that section narrows down
(necks) significantly until failure occurs. The stress calculated immediately before failure is
known as the fracture stress. The amount of strain that the material can endure before
failure is called ductility.
As necking starts, the plastic deformation gets localized only to a small area. Decrease in
area implies increase in localized stress It means is that the metal is becoming stronger as
strain increases. This is the property called strain hardening .Necking in a tensile test and
metal-forming operations that stretch the work part is related to strain hardening. As the
test specimen is elongated during the initial part of the test (before necking begins),
uniform straining occurs throughout the length because if any element in the specimen
becomes strained more than the surrounding metal, its strength increases because of work
hardening, thus making it more resistant to additional strain until the surrounding metal
has been strained an equal amount. Finally, the strain becomes so large that uniform
straining cannot be sustained. A weak point in the length develops (because of build-up of
dislocations at grain boundaries, impurities in the metal, or other factors), and necking is
initiated, leading to failure.
A cylindrical shaft subjected to pure torsion will experience shear stress only which
increases linearly with distance from the axis. The torque applied can be related to the rate
of twist, and these relations can be used to find out the Shear Modulus of Rigidity.

Fig. 2. Shear stress distribution in circular section with applied torque T

The relation between torque and rate of twist is given by:


where J is the polar moment of inertia of the circular shaft.


For this experiment,

Twist, = * L
Thus, the slope of T vs will be (G*J/L). From this we get: =

The expression for yield strength is different for different loading conditions. According to
the von Mises criterion, the second invariant of the deviatoric stress tensor is equal to the
octahedral yield strength. Three cases were tested in this experiment. The yield stress for
these cases is:-

1) Pure tension yield = x


2) Pure torsion - yield = (3*xy)^0.5


3) Combined loading - yield = (3*(xy)^2 + (x)^2)^0.5


Mohrs circle can be used to obtain the principal stresses for all cases.


The equipment used in this experiment were: Axial Torsion Test Machine.

Vernier Callipers.

Data acquisition devices and Computer Interface.

Al-6061 Specimen.

Procedure & Measurements

1. The dimensions of the specimen are measured using Vernier Callipers. The Axial
Torsion Test Machine is switched on and the test specimen is held between the grips.
2. The ramp rate for displacement and twist angle are set and the machine is turned
on. The ramp rate is kept low.
3. Combined loading test is conducted at a ramp rate at which the yielding due to
torque and tension roughly occurs at the same time.
5. Loading is continued until the specimen failure is observed.
6. The load vs. displacement data and the angle vs. torque data are recorded.
7. This recorded data is used to plot stress vs strain curve.
8. Failure analysis of the failed specimen is performed. Analysis of the material
behaviour is done from the stress-strain plot.
9. The same procedure is repeated for the remaining two cases.

Results & Discussion

Specimen information:- Gage Length 22.86 cm (9 in) , Diameter 12 mm for last two
pure tension and torsion studies, and 10 mm for combined loading study.

1) Pure Tension

Stress v/s Strain for Uniaxial loading


Stress (Pa)


y = 7E+09x - 1E+06
R = 0.9992



Offset data
Linear (Offset data)


for the elastic
us the2.50E-02
0.00E+00 5.00E-03
3.00E-02 modulus
3.50E-02 of elasticity of the
Thus, E = 700 MPa.


The thick green line represents the 0.2% offset line which intersects the curve at 119 MPa.
So, the yield strength for this case is 119 MPa.

2) Pure Torsion

Torque v/s Twist Angle Data






Torque (N-m)

Torque N-m


RVDT (deg)

There was a zero error (60 N-m) in the instrument.

In order to estimate G, the elastic region is considered

The slope of the best-fit line comes out to be 1.7041 N-m/degree. Also, the moment of
inertia for the shaft is 2.034 * 10^(-9) m^4. Using these values and substituting in the
formula mentioned in the theory, the Modulus of Rigidity comes out to be
G = 23.163 GPa
Also, the shear stress at which yielding takes place was calculated to be

xy = 93.589 MPa
From this, the yield stress can be calculated as (using equation b)

yield = (3*xy)^0.5 = 162.1 MPa.


1 = 93.589 MPa & 2 = -93.589 MPa

1) Combined Loading

The modulus of rigidity and the shear modulus are calculated in the same way as above.
The time at which yielding occurs due to tension is noted down and the moment and
deflection at corresponding time is noted down from the torsion data. Shear stress and axial
stress is calculated at this point. The values of the stress obtained are substituted in equation
(c) to get the yield strength of the material.

Modulus of Elasticity, E = 13.21 GPa
Shear Modulus, G = 22.375 GPa
Yield Strength, yield = 156.58 MPa.

Principal Stresses:-

1 = 154 MPa


2 = -4.36 MPa

The stiffness calculated from the data measured for combined loading is different

from the one calculated using the data for uniaxial tension. While the value is 70GPa
for tension, its 130GPa for combined loading. The difference between these values is
much higher than expected.

The shear modulus calculated from torsion test is very close to what was calculated from
the data obtained for combined loading. Its 22.375 GPa for the latter while its 23.163 GPa
for the former.
The yield point is different for all the three cases. The magnitudes for combined loading and
pure torsion are very close (156 & 161 MPa respectively), while the value is significantly
different for the uniaxial tension test.
The elastic region of the stress strain plot is linear in all cases. This implies that material
under consideration obeys Hookes law in this region, and is isotropic. This is also expected
because the material tested is made of Aluminium, a metal.
Serration is observed in the plastic deformation region. This happens because of dynamic
ageing of the material. The motion of dislocations is a discontinuous process. When
dislocation meets they are temporary arrested for a certain time. During this time solutes
(such as interstitial particles) diffuse around the dislocations further strengthening the
obstacles held on the dislocations. Eventually these dislocations will overcome these
obstacles with sufficient stress and will quickly move to the next obstacle where they are
stopped and the process can repeat again. Since the material used is an alloy of Aluminium,
the interstitial diffusion is much more profound, leading to serrations in the plastic
deformation region.
The material should yield according to the von Mises criterion. Since the material is
isotropic, and is ductile, the properties should change smoothly. Unlike the Tresca failure
criterion, which proposes that yield occurs abruptly, von Mises criterion which is based on
deformation energy, and involves averaging over all directions, is more applicable for this
material. Thus, the yielding should occur according to the von Mises criterion.
The yield point will change beyond a significant value of strain rate. If the strain rate is very
high, the deformation occurs in accordance with the laws of dynamic loading. The yield
stress in this case will be different from the one which is calculated for low strain rates.
The yield point may change when the experiment is conducted on a different day, if the
temperature is different.
The material did not fail at the center. There may be cracks present already in the material
or produced during the course of the experiment. Because of this, necking and fracture may
occur at a location away from the center.