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Ultimate tensile strength

Ultimate tensile strength (UTS), often shortened to tensile strength (TS) or ultimate strength,[1][2] is the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before necking, which is when the specimen's cross-section starts to significantly contract. Tensile strength is the opposite of compressive strength and the values can be quite different. The UTS is usually found by performing a tensile test and recording the stress versus strain; the highest point of the stress-strain curve is the UTS. It is an intensive property; therefore its value does not depend on the size of the test specimen. However, it is dependent on other factors, such as the preparation of the specimen, the presence or otherwise of surface defects, and the temperature of the test environment and material. Tensile strengths are rarely used in the design of ductile members, but they are important in brittle members. They are tabulated for common materials such as alloys, composite materials, ceramics, plastics, and wood. Tensile strength is defined as a stress, which is measured as force per unit area. For some non-homogeneous materials (or for assembled components) it can be reported just as a force or as a force per unit width. In the SI system, the unit is pascal (Pa) or, equivalently, newtons per square metre (N/m). The customary unit is pounds-force per square inch (lbf/in or psi), or kilo-pounds per square inch (ksi), which is equal to 1000 psi; kilo-pounds per square inch are commonly used for convenience when measuring tensile strengths.

Ductile materials

Stress vs. Strain curve typical of aluminum 1. Ultimate strength 2. Yield strength 3. Proportional limit stress 4. Fracture 5. Offset strain (typically 0.2%)

Stress vs. strain curve typical of structural steel 1. Ultimate strength 2. Yield strength 3. Fracture 4. Strain hardening region 5. Necking region A: Engineering stress B: True stress

Many materials display linear elastic behavior, defined by a linear stress-strain relationship, as shown in the figure up to point 2, in which deformations are completely recoverable upon removal of the load; that is, a specimen loaded elastically in tension will elongate, but will return to its original shape and size when unloaded. Beyond this linear region, for ductile materials, such as steel, deformations are plastic. A plastically deformed specimen will not return to its original size and shape when unloaded. Note that there will be elastic recovery of a portion of the deformation. For many applications, plastic deformation is unacceptable, and is used as the design limitation. After the yield point, ductile metals will undergo a period of strain hardening, in which the stress increases again with increasing strain, and they begin to neck, as the cross-sectional area of the specimen decreases due to plastic flow. In a sufficiently ductile material, when necking becomes substantial, it causes a reversal of the engineering stress-strain curve (curve A); this is because the engineering stress is calculated assuming the original cross-sectional area before necking. The reversal point is the maximum stress on the engineering stress-strain curve, and the engineering stress coordinate of this point is the tensile ultimate strength, given by point 1. The UTS is not used in the design of ductile static members because design practices dictate the use of the yield stress. It is, however, used for quality control, because of the ease of testing. It is also used to roughly determine material types for unknown samples.[3]
[edit] Brittle materials

Brittle materials, such as concrete and carbon fiber, are characterized by failure at small strains. They often fail while still behaving in a linear elastic manner, and thus do not have a defined yield point. Because strains are low, there is negligible difference between the

engineering stress and the true stress. Testing of several identical specimens will result in different failure stresses, this is due to the Weibull modulus of the brittle material. The UTS is a common engineering parameter when design brittle members, because there is no yield point.[3]

[edit] Testing

Round bar tensile specimen after testing Main article: Tensile testing

Typically, the testing involves taking a small sample with a fixed cross-section area, and then pulling it with a controlled, gradually increasing force until the sample changes shape or breaks. When testing metals, indentation hardness correlates linearly with tensile strength. This important relation permits economically important nondestructive testing of bulk metal deliveries with lightweight, even portable equipment, such as hand-held Rockwell hardness testers.[4] It should be noted that while most metal forms, like sheet, bar, tube and wire can exhibit the test UTS, fibers, such as carbon fibers, being only 2/10,000th of an inch in diameter, must be made into composites to create useful real-world forms. As the datasheet on T1000G below indicates, while the UTS of the fiber is very high at 6,370MPa, the UTS of a derived composite is 3,040MPa - less than half the strength of the fiber.[5]

[edit] Typical tensile strengths

Typical tensile strengths of some materials Material Structural steel ASTM A36 steel Carbon steel 1090 Human skin Yield strength (MPa) 250 250 15 5205 2693 2430 2070 1110 1040 531 760 37 19.7-80 860 200 550-1600 448 483 248 70 220 6.1 1.84 2.8 2.63 8.92 7.45 8.00 7.86 8.00 7.85 4.50 7.8 7.8 0.95 0.91 8.19 Ultimate strength (MPa) 400 841 Densit y (g/cm) 7.8 7.58

Micro-Melt 10 Tough Treated Tool Steel (AISI 5171 A11)[6] 2800 Maraging Steel[7] AerMet 340[8] Sandvik Sanicro 36Mo logging cable Precision Wire[9] AISI 4130 Steel, water quenched 855C (1570F), 480C (900F) temper[10] Titanium 11 (Ti-6Al-2Sn-1.5Zr-1Mo-0.35Bi0.1Si), Aged[11] Steel, API 5L X65[12] Steel, high strength alloy ASTM A514 High density polyethylene (HDPE) Polypropylene Stainless steel AISI 302 - Cold-rolled Cast iron 4.5% C, ASTM A-48 "Liquidmetal" alloy[citation needed] Beryllium[13] 99.9% Be Aluminium alloy[14] 2014-T6 Aluminium alloy 6063-T6 Copper 99.9% Cu 2617 2160 1758 951 940 448 690 26-33 12-43 520 130 1723 345 414

Typical tensile strengths of some materials Material Yield strength (MPa) Ultimate strength (MPa) 350 550 1510 33[15] Densit y (g/cm) 8.94 5.3 19.25 2.53

Cupronickel 10% Ni, 1.6% Fe, 1% Mn, balance 130 Cu Brass Tungsten Glass 200 +



1500 for laminates, 2.57 3450 for fibers alone 4710 4840 15 3 2.7 2.48 2.7

S-Glass Basalt fiber[16] Marble Concrete


Carbon fiber


1600 for Laminate, 1.75 4137 for fiber alone 6370 fibre alone 380 350-500 1000 0.4 1.3 1.80

Carbon fiber (Toray T1000G)[17] Human hair Bamboo Spider silk (See note below) Darwin's bark spider silk[18] Silkworm silk Aramid (Kevlar or Twaron) UHMWPE UHMWPE fibers[19][20] (Dyneema or Spectra) Vectran 1652 500 3620 3447

1.3 2757 6894 2300-3500 2850-3340 1.44 0.97 0.97

Typical tensile strengths of some materials Material Polybenzoxazole (Zylon)[21] Pine wood (parallel to grain) Bone (limb) Nylon, type 6/6 Epoxy adhesive Rubber Boron Silicon, monocrystalline (m-Si) Silicon carbide (SiC) Ultra-pure silca glass fiber-optic strands[23] Sapphire (Al2O3) Boron Nitride Nanotube Diamond Graphene First carbon nanotube ropes Colossal carbon tube Carbon nanotube (see note below) Carbon nanotube composites N/A N/A N/A N/A ? N/A N/A N/A 104-121 45 N/A N/A N/A Yield strength (MPa) Ultimate strength (MPa) 2700 40 130 75 12 - 30[22] 15 3100 7000 3440 4100 1900 33000 2800 130000[24] 3600 7000 11000-63000 1200[25] 3.9-4.1 ? 3.5 1.0 1.3 0.116 0.0371.34 N/A 2.46 2.33 1.6 1.15 Densit y (g/cm) 1.56

^a Many of the values depend on manufacturing process and purity/composition. ^b Multiwalled carbon nanotubes have the highest tensile strength of any material yet measured, with labs producing them at a tensile strength of 63 GPa,[26] still well below their theoretical limit of 300 GPa[citation needed]. The first nanotube ropes (20mm in length) whose tensile strength was published (in 2000) had a strength of 3.6 GPa.[27] The density depends on the manufacturing method, and the lowest value is 0.037 or 0.55 (solid).[28] ^c The strength of spider silk is highly variable. It depends on many factors including kind of silk (Every spider can produce several for sundry

purposes.), species, age of silk, temperature, humidity, swiftness at which stress is applied during testing, length stress is applied, and way the silk is gathered (forced silking or natural spinning).[29] The value shown in the table, 1000 MPa, is roughly representative of the results from a few studies involving several different species of spider however specific results varied greatly.[30] ^d Human hair strength varies by ethnicity and chemical treatments. Typical properties for annealed elements[31] Young Ultimat Offset or 's e yield Element modul strengt strength us h (MPa) (GPa) (MPa) silicon tungsten iron titanium copper tantalum tin zinc (wrought) nickel silver gold 107 411 211 120 130 186 47 105 170 83 79 1520 1435 550 80100 100225 33 180 914 5000 9000 550620 350 240370 210 200 15200 110200 140195 170 100 40-50 12

aluminium 70 lead 16