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Analyzing the mechanical properties of ductile and brittle

materials using tensile test

Muayad Alhilal

UNC Charlotte, Department of Mechanical Engineering, ME3152; Mechanics and
Materials Laboratory

Preformed on : February 1, 2018
Reported on : February 10, 2018
Table of Contents
OBJECTIVE ....................................................................................................................................3
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION.........................................................................................................3
REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................... 14


The purpose of this lab is to understand how different materials behave under applying load until
the fracture. In addition, the properties of the materials are obtained from the stress-strain curve
using a tensile test.

Results and Discussion

The extension in gage length was measured using two methods for all the samples that were tested.
The first method was to measure the extension from the two crossheads while the specimen was
pulled in tension. The second method was in marking two points in the gage of the specimen. Then,
the extensometer was used to determine the initial length between these points and the extension
while the specimen was pulled. The results for both ways was obtained and compared for a brass

Figure 1 Engineering stress-strain curve with extensometer vs. without extensometer for a brass PTF sample

The curves for the same sample show that there is a difference between using the extensometer
and not using it. While the stress values are not affected whether the extensometer is used or not,
the strain values were affected. The reason is that the two ways have different approach to get to
the strain. The extension in crosshead method gives the length between the two crossheads while
the extensometer gives the length between the two dots on the specimen which is more accurate
since there is no way to insert the specimen in the middle of the two crossheads perfectly.

The mechanical properties were determined for both curves to observe the difference between the
experimental values and the literature values.

Table 1 mechanical properties of the brass obtained from the engineering stress-strain curves shown in Figure 1
Usage of Extensometer Young's Modulus (GPa) Yield Strength (MPa) Ductility (%)
Experimental Values w/o 9.2 125 23
w/ 58 320 16
Literature Values - 97 124-310 53

The table indicates that the values obtained from the usage of extensometer were the closest to the
literature. However, while the yield strength is in an acceptable range from the literature value,
Young’s modulus and the ductility were not. It seems that there is an error in calculating the
young’s modulus since the linear line was not constantly linear. One other possible reason is that
the specimen was not inserted so that the dots facing the extensometer perfectly. It’s important that
the extensometer could read the length between the two dots so that the final results are more
accurate. In addition, human error is involving in measuring the diameter of the specimen even
though that the measurement was taken three times for each specimen.

Four samples were pulled to failure which are 1018 steel, 360 brass, aluminum 2011-T3, and a
cast iron.

Figure 2 engineering stress-strain curve for 1018 steel sample (PTF)

The graph shows that the 1018 steel has a high yield and tensile strengths. The yield strength was
measured using the 0.2% offset method. A parallel line from the start point with the same slope of
the elastic region and an offset of 0.002 in strain was drawn. Next, the yield strength is the point
where the line and the curve intersected point. Figure 3 shows the method which was used for all
samples. Moreover, the curve indicates that the steel has a high elongation before the fracture.
Moreover, the area under the curve is relatively high which means the material has a high
toughness. These characteristics are for a ductile material. Figure 4 shows the mode of the fracture
for the 1018 steel sample.

Figure 3 0.02% offset method to measure the yield strength for a steel sample

Figure 4 steel sample that was pulled to failure

Figure 5 engineering stress-strain curve for C360 brass (PTF)

For the brass sample, the graph shows that the material has ductile characteristics by having high
elongation before the fracture and a high area under the curve which is the same as the toughness.
Moreover, it was observed that the material has some necking before the fracture. Figure 6 shows
the failure mode for the brass sample.

Figure 6 brass sample that was pulled to failure

Figure 7 engineering stress-strain curve for 2011-T3 Aluminum (PTF)

For the aluminum sample, the graph shows that the aluminum has the same characteristics of steel
and brass, but it has different values for the mechanical properties. Figure 8 show the fracture
mode for the aluminum sample.

Figure 8 aluminum sample that was pulled to failure

It was observed that the aluminum 2011-T3 had necking before the fracture, which matches the
characteristics of the stress-strain curve. As a result, the aluminum 2011-T3 is considered as ductile

Figure 9 engineering stress-strain curve for cast iron (PTF)

Lastly, the cast iron stress-strain curve shows different characteristics than the other samples. The
elongation before the fracture is small relative to the other materials. Moreover, the curve shows
that the fracture happens just after the tensile strength. Because of that, there is no necking after
the tensile strength was reached. Instead, the fracture happens suddenly without any signs. Figure
10 shows that fracture mode for the cast iron sample.

Figure 10 cast iron sample that was pulled to failure

Table 2 Mechanical properties obtained from stress-strain curves for all samples 1
Young's modulus Yield Strength Tensile Strength Ductility Resilience
(GPa) (MPa) (MPa) (%) (kJ/m3)
Cast Experiment 107 280 325 0.75 366.4
Iron Literature 66-97 152 152 15 120-175
1018 Experiment 198 610 665 12 940
Steel Literature 200 370 440 15 342.25
2011 Al Experiment 70 275 335 15 540
Literature 70.3 296 379 12 620
360 Experiment 57 320 405 11 900
Brass Literature 97 124-310 338-469 53 500

Table 2 indicates that the highest material in yielding strength was the 1018 steel with a 610 yield
strength. The material also has the highest modulus of resilience. On the other hand, the cast iron
has the lowest yield and tensile strengths. As a result, it has low ductility comparing with other
materials since it is the only brittle material. The brittle materials tend to have low yield and tensile
strengths. Since there is no necking observed when the material was pulled to failure, the material
had a low ductility. Unlike the brittle materials, the 1018 steel, 2011-T3 aluminum, and 360 brass
tend to have a high yield and tensile strengths. In addition, the necking of the materials indicates
that these material have a high amount of elongation before the fracture. This is a unique behavior
of the ductile materials.

Not all the experimental values were close to the literature values. There are many ways in
manufacturers in which they produce the row materials. Such as the working methods and
temperatures. These factors play a role in altering the mechanical properties. As a result, the full
information of the sample from the producer should be known before comparing with the
experimental values. Another possible reason is the rate of pulling. It is not known if the pull rate
has an effect on the stress-strain curve. A future tests in this matter should be conducted.

The young’s modulus was calculated using the following equation which is valid only in the elastic
𝐸= (1)

𝐸 is young’s modulus in Pascal
σ is stress in Pascal and
Ε is strain in unit length per unit length

The modulus of resilience is a significant value that represents the energy absorbed by the material
from the starting point until the yield strength and it represents the area under the curve from the
zero till the yield strength. It was calculated using the following equation:

𝜎𝑦 2
𝑈𝑟 = (2)

𝑈𝑟 is the Resilience in joule per unit volume and
𝜎𝑦 is yield strength in Pascal 3

The ductility represents the percent elongation before the fracture of the material. A high
elongation percent indicates a large amount of necking before the fracture.

A comparison between engineering and true stress-strain curves was conducted. Figure 11 shows
both the engineering and true stress-strain curves for the 1018 steel sample. It shows that the two
curves are identical between zero and the yield strength. The true curve starts to increase after the
yielding point. The reason is that the true stress counts the change in the cross sectional area while
the specimen is pulled. The sectional-area will decrease which will increase the stress. However,
the engineering stress does not count for this change. The section-area is considered constant till
the failure.

𝜎𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑒 = (3)

F is the force applied in Newton and
A is Cross-section area considering the change in area unit
𝜎𝑒𝑛𝑔 = (4)

𝐴0 is initial cross section area in area unit

Figure 11 true and engineering stress-strain curve for 1018 steel sample (PTF)

It is possible to convert engineering stress and strain to true stress and strain by the following

𝜎𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑒 = 𝜎𝑒𝑛𝑔 ( 1 + 𝜀𝑒𝑛𝑔 ) (5)

𝜀𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑒 = ln ( 1 + 𝜀𝑒𝑛𝑔 ) (6)

Equation (7) is used to relate the true stress to the true strain which is valid from yield strength
point to tensile strength.

𝜎𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑒 = 𝑘 𝜀𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑒 𝑛 (7)

k is the strength coefficient in Pascal and
n is the strain hardening coefficient

Figure 12 Ln True stress-strain curve for the steel sample

The n and k values were calculated for the steel sample using a line fit on the curve from the
yielding point to the tensile strength point.

Table 3 n and k values for the steel sample
n K (MPa)
Experimental 0.1211 1140
Literature 0.15 850

Figure 12 shows the stress-strain curve for a brass simple during pulling the sample to 0.02 then
the sample was pulled to failure.

Figure 12 engineering stress-strain curves for a brass sample

The figure above shows that the stress-strain curves for a brass sample were different in the
yielding point. In the second cycle, the yield strength has decreased. This is caused by the
dislocation within the crystal structure. This process is used to in increase the strength of the
material by changing its mechanical properties.

Figure 13 engineering stress-strain curves for a steel sample

Unlike the brass sample, the steel sample shows different characteristics than the brass. In the
second cycle, the material had a lower yield strength. Not all the material will behave the same for
this process since different material have different crystal structure and microscopic properties.

Figure 14 speckle test for an aluminum sample (PTF)

The figure above shows a FEA analyzes for the aluminum sample. The stress seems to be uniform.
It indicates that the stress is concentrated in the middle of the specimen where the necking and
reducing of the sectional area begin after the elastic portion is reached. The high concentrated
stress will cause the material to fracture.


1- "Online Materials Information Resource - MatWeb." Online Materials Information
Resource - MatWeb. Accessed February 10, 2018.
2- "Material Properties Database." Material Properties Database.
Accessed February 10, 2018.
3- "How to Calculate Modulus of Resilience." Sciencing. Accessed February 10, 2018.