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Mechanical Properties:

In the course of operation or use, all the articles and structures are
subjected to the action of external forces, which create stresses that
inevitably cause deformation. To keep these stresses, and,
consequently deformation within permissible limits it is necessary to
select suitable materials for the Components of various designs and to
apply the most effective heat treatment. i.e. a Comprehensive
knowledge of the chief character tics of the semi-finished metal
products & finished metal articles (such as strength, ductility,
toughness etc) are essential for the purpose.

For this reason the specification of metals, used in the manufacture of

various products and structure, are based on the results of mechanical
tests or we say that the mechanical tests conducted on the specially
prepared specimens (test pieces) of standard form and size on special
machines to obtained the strength, ductility and toughness
characteristics of the metal.

The conditions under which the mechanical test are conducted are of
three types

(1) Static: When the load is increased slowly and gradually and the
metal is loaded by tension, compression, and torsion or bending.

(2) Dynamic: when the load increases rapidly as in impact

(3) Repeated or Fatigue: (both static and impact type). i.e. when the
load repeatedly varies in the course of test either in value or both in
value and direction now let us consider the uniaxial tension test.

[For application where a force comes on and off the structure a

number of times, the material cannot withstand the ultimate stress of
a static tool. In such cases the ultimate strength depends on no. Of
times the force is applied as the material works at a particular stress
level. Experiments one conducted to compute the number of cycles
requires to break to specimen at a particular stress when fatigue or
fluctuating load is acting. Such tests are known as future tests ]

Uniaxial Tension Test: This test is of static type i.e. the load is
increased comparatively slowly from zero to a certain value.

Standard specimens are used for the tension test.

There are two types of standard specimen's which are generally used
for this purpose, which have been shown below:

Specimen I:

This specimen utilizes a circular X-section.

Specimen II:

This specimen utilizes a rectangular X-section.

lg = gauge length i.e. length of the specimen on which we want to

determine the mechanical properties. The uniaxial tension test is
carried out on tensile testing machine and the following steps are
performed to conduct this test.

(i) The ends of the specimen's are secured in the grips of the testing

(ii) There is a unit for applying a load to the specimen with a hydraulic
or mechanical drive.

(iii) There must be a some recording device by which you should be

able to measure the final output in the form of Load or stress. So the
testing machines are often equipped with the pendulum type lever,
pressure gauge and hydraulic capsule and the stress Vs strain diagram
is plotted which has the following shape.
A typical tensile test curve for the mild steel has been shown below

Nominal stress � Strain OR Conventional Stress � Strain


Stresses are usually computed on the basis of the original area of the
specimen; such stresses are often referred to as conventional or
nominal stresses.

True stress � Strain Diagram:

Since when a material is subjected to a uniaxial load, some contraction

or expansion always takes place. Thus, dividing the applied force by
the corresponding actual area of the specimen at the same instant
gives the so-called true stress.


(A) So it is evident form the graph that the strain is proportional to

strain or elongation is proportional to the load giving an st.line
relationship. This law of proportionality is valid up to a point A.

or we can say that point A is some ultimate point when the linear
nature of the graph ceases or there is a deviation from the linear
nature. This point is known as the limit of proportionality or the
proportionality limit.

(B) For a short period beyond the point A, the material may still be
elastic in the sense that the deformations are completely recovered
when the load is removed. The limiting point B is termed as Elastic

(C) And (D) - Beyond the elastic limit plastic deformation occurs and
strains are not totally recoverable. There will be thus permanent
deformation or permanent set when load is removed. These two points
are termed as upper and lower yield points respectively. The stress at
the yield point is called the yield strength.

A study a stress � strain diagrams shows that the yield point is so near
the proportional limit that for most purpose the two may be taken as
one. However, it is much easier to locate the former. For materials,
which do not posses a well define yield points, In order to find the yield
point or yield strength, an offset method is applied.

In this method a line is drawn parallel to the straight line portion of

initial stress diagram by off setting this by an amount equal to 0.2% of
the strain as shown as below and this happens especially for the low
carbon steel.

(E) A further increase in the load will cause marked deformation in the
whole volume of the metal. The maximum load, which the specimen
can with stand without failure, is called the load at the ultimate

The highest point �E' of the diagram corresponds to the ultimate

strength of a material.

Su = Stress which the specimen can with stand without failure & is
known as Ultimate Strength or Tensile Strength.

Su is equal to load at E divided by the original cross-sectional area of

the bar.
(F) Beyond point E, the bar begins to forms neck. The load falling from
the maximum until fracture occurs at F.

[Beyond point E, the cross-sectional area of the specimen begins to

reduce rapidly over a relatively small length of bar and the bar is said
to form a neck. This necking takes place whilst the load reduces, and
fracture of the bar finally occurs at point F]

Note: Owing to large reduction in area produced by the necking

process the actual stress at fracture is often greater than the above
value. Since the designers are interested in maximum loads, which can
be carried by the complete cross section, hence the stress at fracture
is seldom of any practical value.

Percentage Elongation: ' d ':

The ductility of a material in tension can be characterized by its

elongation and by the reduction in area at the cross section where
fracture occurs.

It is the ratio of the extension in length of the specimen after fracture

to its initial gauge length, expressed in percent.

lI = gauge length of specimen after fracture (or the distance between

the gage marks at fracture)

lg= gauge length before fracture(i.e. initial gauge length)

For 50 mm gage length, steel may here a % elongation d of the order

of 10% to 40%.

Elastic Action:
The elastic is an adjective meaning capable of recovering size and
shape after deformation. Elastic range is the range of stress below the
elastic limit.

Many engineering materials behave as indicated in Fig (a) however;

some behaves as shown in figures in (b) and (c) while in elastic range.
When a material behaves as in (c), the s vs. Î is not single valued since
the strain corresponding to any particular � s ' will depend upon
loading history.

Fig (d): It illustrates the idea of elastic and plastic strain. If a material is
stressed to level (1) and then released the strain will return to zero
beyond this plastic deformation remains.

If a material is stressed to level (2) and then released, the material will
recover the amount (Î2 - Î2p), where Î2p is the plastic strain remaining
after the load is removed. Similarly for level (3) the plastic strain will
be Î3p.

Ductile and Brittle Materials:

Based on this behavior, the materials may be classified as ductile or

brittle materials

Ductile Materials:
It we just examine the earlier tension curve one can notice that the
extension of the materials over the plastic range is considerably in
excess of that associated with elastic loading. The Capacity of
materials to allow these large deformations or large extensions without
failure is termed as ductility. The materials with high ductility are
termed as ductile materials.

Brittle Materials:

A brittle material is one which exhibits a relatively small extensions or

deformations to fracture, so that the partially plastic region of the
tensile test graph is much reduced.

This type of graph is shown by the cast iron or steels with high carbon
contents or concrete.


The Mechanical
properties depend
on the test conditions

(1) It has been established that lowering the temperature or increasing

the rate of deformation considerably increases the resistance to plastic
deformation. Thus, at low temperature (or higher rates of
deformation), metals and alloys, which are ductile at normal room
temperature, may fail with brittle fracture.

(2) Notches i.e. sharp charges in cross sections have a great effect on
the mechanical properties of the metals. A Notch will cause a non-�
uniform distribution of stresses. They will always contribute lowering
the ductility of the materials. A notch reduces the ultimate strength of
the high strength materials. Because of the non-� uniform distribution
of the stress or due to stress concentration.

(3) Grain Size: The grain size also affects the mechanical properties.

Hardness is the resistance of a metal to the penetration of another
harder body, which does not receive a permanent set.

Hardness Tests consists in measuring the resistance to plastic

deformation of layers of metals near the surface of the specimen i.e.
there are Ball indentation Tests.

Ball indentation Tests:

I This method consists in pressing a hardened steel ball under a

constant load P into a specially prepared flat surface on the test
specimen as indicated in the figures below:

After removing the load an indentation remains on the surface of the

test specimen. If area of the spherical surface in the indentation is
denoted as F sq. mm. Brielle Hardness number is defined as:

Bhn = P / F

F is expressed in terms of D and d

D = ball diameter

d = diametric of indentation and Brinell Hardness number

is given by

Then is there is also Vickers’s Hardness Number in which the ball is

of conical shape.
Static tension tests of the unnotched specimen's do not always reveal
the susceptibility of metal to brittle fracture. This important factor is
determined in impact tests. In impact tests we use the notched
This specimen is placed on its supports on anvil so that blow of the
striker is opposite to the notch the impact strength is defined as the
energy A, required to rupture the specimen,
Impact Strength = A / f
Where f = It is the cross � section area of the specimen in cm2 at
fracture & obviously at notch.
The impact strength is a complex characteristic which takes into
account both toughness and strength of a material. The main purpose
of notched � bar tests is to study the simultaneous effect of stress
concentration and high velocity load application
Impact test are of the severest type and facilitate brittle friction.
Impact strength values cannot be as yet is used for design calculations
but these tests as rule provided for in specifications for carbon & alloy
steels. Futher, it may be noted that in impact tests fracture may be
either brittle or ductile. In the case of brittle fracture, fracture occurs
by separation and is not accompanied by noticeable plastic
deformation as occurs in the case of ductile fracture.

Stress-strain Relationships
When a load is applied to a material, deformation will occur. The
relationships between load and deformation of materials are usually
determined by testing, in which the load and deformation are
expressed in terms of stress and strain. Stress is the internal force per
unit area experienced by the material while strain is the unit change in
deformation of the material. The stress-strain relationships can then be
used to establish the compressive or tensile yielding strength, the
modulus of elasticity and the ultimate strength.
Figure 1 presents a typical stress-strain curve for a structural mild steel
specimen subjected to tensile test under normal conditions. The
specimen elongation is plotted along the horizontal axis and the
ordinates of the curve 0ABCD indicate the corresponding stresses. This
diagram will be used to explain some of the following nomenclature.
Figure 1 Typical stress-strain curve for mild steel.

Proportional Limit

In the region 0A, in Figure 1, the stress and the strain are proportional and the stress at A
is the proportional limit. If upon removal of the stress (load), the strain in the specimen
returns to zero as the stress goes to zero, the material is said to remain perfectly elastic.

Modulus of Elastic

The constant of proportionality in the straight-line region 0A is called the modulus of

elastic or Young’s modulus. Geometrically, it is equal to the slope of the stress-strain
relationship in the region 0A.

Yield Strength

Upon loading beyond the proportional limit, the elongation increases more rapidly and
the diagram becomes curved. At point B, a sudden elongation of the specimen takes place
without significant increase in the applied load and the material has yielded. The value of
stress at point B is called yield stress or yield strength. The deformation of the material
prior to reaching the yield point creates only elastic strains, which are fully recovered if
the applied load is removed. However, once the stress in the material exceeds the yield
stress, permanent (plastic) deformation begins to occur. The strains associated with this
permanent deformation are called plastic strains.

Ultimate Strength

When the material has passed through the yielding point, stress continues to increase with
strain, but at a slower rate than in the elastic range, until a maximum value is reached
which is termed the ultimate strength (point C in Figure 1). The increase in stress upon
yield stress is due to material strain hardening. Beyond point C, the stress decreases until
the specimen ruptures at point D.

Stress-Strain Diagram
Graph of stress as a function of strain. It can be constructed from data
obtained in any mechanical test where load is applied to a material,
and continuous measurements of stress and strain are made
simultaneously. It is constructed for compression, tension and torsion

Stress-Strain curve for a material such as mild steel.

The total area under the curve indicates how tough the material is -
how much energy it can absorb while deforming plastically and not
The stress-strain curve for each material is different and unique. From
these curves it is possible to extract a number of the materials
Stress-Strain curves for different materials.
The stress-strain curve for concrete is nearly straight and then stops.
This shows a brittle material. Cast iron is also a brittle material. The
mild steel curve extends further and the material continues to strain
(stretch if under tension) with the stress remaining relatively constant.
This shows a high ductility.
Suppose that a metal specimen be placed in tension-compression-testing machine. As the
axial load is gradually increased in increments, the total elongation over the gauge length
is measured at each increment of the load and this is continued until failure of the
specimen takes place. Knowing the original cross-sectional area and length of the
specimen, the normal stress and the strain can be obtained. The graph of these
quantities with the stress along the y-axis and the strain along the x-axis is called the
stress-strain diagram. The stress-strain diagram differs in form for various materials.
The diagram shown below is that for a medium-carbon structural steel. Metallic
engineering materials are classified as either ductile or brittle materials. A ductile
material is one having relatively large tensile strains up to the point of rupture like
structural steel and aluminium, whereas brittle materials has a relatively small strain up to
the point of rupture like cast iron and concrete. An arbitrary strain of 0.05 mm/mm is
frequently taken as the dividing line between these two classes.
Stress-strain diagram of a medium-carbon structural steel

Proportional Limit (Hook’s Law)

From the origin O to the point called proportional limit, the stress-strain curve is a
straight line. This linear relation between elongation and the axial force causing was first
noticed by Sir Robert Hook in 1678 and is called Hook’s Law that within the
proportional limit, the stress is directly proportional to strain or
or =k
The constant of proportionality k is called the Modulus of Elasticity E or Young’s
Modulus and is equal to the slope of the stress-strain diagram from O to P. Then

Elastic Limit

The elastic limit is the limit beyond which the material will no longer go back to its
original shape when the load is removed, or it is the maximum stress that may e
developed such that there is no permanent or residual deformation when the load is
entirely removed.

Elastic Limit
The elastic limit is the limit beyond which the material will no longer go back to its
original shape when the load is removed, or it is the maximum stress that may e
developed such that there is no permanent or residual deformation when the load is
entirely removed.

Elastic and Plastic Ranges

The region in stress-strain diagram from O to P is called the elastic range. The region
from P to R is called the plastic range.

Yield Point

Yield point is the point at which the material will have an appreciable elongation or
yielding without any increase in load.

Ultimate Strength

The maximum ordinate in the stress-strain diagram is the ultimate strength or tensile

Rapture Strength

Rapture strength is the strength of the material at rupture. This is also known as the
breaking strength.

Modulus of Resilience

Modulus of resilience is the work done on a unit volume of material as the force is
gradually increased from O to P, in N⋅m/m3. This may be calculated as the area under the
stress-strain curve from the origin O to up to the elastic limit E (the shaded area in the
figure). The resilience of the material is its ability to absorb energy without creating a
permanent distortion.

Modulus of Toughness

Modulus of toughness is the work done on a unit volume of material as the force is
gradually increased from O to R, in N⋅m/m3. This may be calculated as the area under the
entire stress-strain curve (from O to R). The toughness of a material is its ability to
absorb energy without causing it to break.

Working Stress, Allowable Stress,

and Factor of Safety

Working stress is defined as the actual stress of a material

under a given loading. The maximum safe stress that a
material can carry is termed as the allowable stress. The allowable stress should be
limited to values not exceeding the proportional limit. However, since proportional limit
is difficult to determine accurately, the allowable tress is taken as either the yield point or
ultimate strength divided by a factor of safety. The ratio of this strength (ultimate or yield
strength) to allowable strength is called the factor of safety.

Lecture 24:

Stress-Strain Curves
The relationship between the stress and strain that a material displays
is known as a Stress-Strain curve. It is unique for each material and
is found by recording the amount of deformation (strain) at distinct
intervals of tensile or compressive loading. These curves reveal many
of the properties of a material (including data to establish the
Modulus of Elasticity, E). What does a comparison of the curves for
mild steel, cast iron and concrete illustrate about their respective
It can be seen that the concrete curve is almost a straight line. There is
an abrupt end to the curve. This, and the fact that it is a very steep
line, indicates that it is a brittle material. The curve for cast iron has a
slight curve to it. It is also a brittle material. Both of these materials
will fail with little warning once their limits are surpassed. Notice that
the curve for mild steel seems to have a long gently curving "tail". This
indicates a behavior that is distinctly different than either concrete or
cast iron. The graph shows that after a certain point mild steel will
continue to strain (in the case of tension, to stretch) as the stress (the
loading) remains more or less constant. The steel will actually stretch
like taffy. This is a material property, which indicates a high ductility.
There are a number of significant points on a stress-strain curve that
help one understand and predict the way every building material will
An example plot of a test on two grades of steel is illustrated above. If
one begins at the origin and follows the graph a number of points are
indicated. Point A is known as the proportional limit. Up to this point
the relationship between stress and strain is exactly proportional. The
number, which describes the relationship between the two, is the
Modulus of Elasticity. This is discussed in more detail in the next
Strain increases faster than stress at all points on the curve beyond
point A. Up to this point, any steel speciment that is loaded and
unloaded would return to its original length. This is known as elastic
behavior. Point B is the point after which any continued stress results
in permanent, or inelastic, deformation. Thus, point B is known as the
elastic limit. Since the stress resistance of the material decreases
after the peak of the curve, this is also known as the yield point.
The line between points C and D indicates the behavior of the steel
specimen if it experienced continued loading to stress indicated as
point C. Notice that the dashed line is parallel to the elastic zone of the
curve (between the origin and point A). When the specimen is
unloaded the magnitude of the inelastic deformation would be
determined (in this case 0.0725 inches /inch). If the same specimen
were to be loaded again, the stress-strain plot would climb back up the
line from D to C and continue along the initial curve. Point E indicates
the location of the value of the ultimate stress. Note that this is quite
different from the yield stress. The yield stress and ultimate stress are
the two values that are most often used to determine the allowable
loads for building materials and should never be confused.
A material is considered to have completely failed once it reaches the
ultimate stress. The point of rupture, or the actual tearing of the
material, does not occur until point F. It is interesting to note the curve
that indicates the actual stress experienced by the specimen. This
curve is different from the apparent stress since the cross sectional
area is actually decreasing. There is quite a bit to be learned from both
the study of the ideal and actual behavior of all building materials.
Changes in that body of knowledge have had large impacts on the way
in which building structures are designed.
The earliest methods of design limited the stresses that a structure
would be "allowed" to experience. Thus, the method of design was
known as the Allowable Stress Method. Recognition of the additional
strength potential of most materials resulted in the Ultimate Stress
Method of design. Contemporary thought centers on the limitation of
the various service conditions of the structure at hand. This is known
as the Limit States Design method. In the end, it is the author’s opinion
that the actual method of design is less important than the legal
bodies would like us to believe. Human factors in the constructions
process SHOULD prevent a good designer from pushing too hard
against the envelope of safety.