The tensile test is a test method within mechanical materials testing, for determination of material characteristics. Depending on the material, the test is used as the standard method in accordance with the respective standard for determination of yield strength, tensile strength, strain at break and other material properties.
In the tensile test a material specimen is strained until it breaks. The applied strain rate must be low, so that the result is not distorted. During the tensile test the force and extension of the specimen are measured.
Next to hardness measurement, tensile tests are one of the most frequently performed tests in mechanical materials testing. They are used to characterize the strength and deformation behavior under tensile load.
Tensile tests are performed
- On machined thin specimens for determination of the material behavior under uniaxial tensile load uniformly distributed over the cross section
- On notched specimens for the simulation of multi-axial stress states—notch tensile test
- On products such as wires, yarns, films, ropes, shaped elements, components and component assemblies—which from here on out will be referred to as cycle.
During a tensile test the material behavior is examined
- Under continually increasing (smooth) load – classic quasi-static tensile test
- Under constant static load – creep tensile test
- Under alternating load for determination of the cyclic stressstrain curve –LCF (Low Cycle Fatigue)
- At room temperature (10 to 35 °C)
- At elevated temperatures (to far over 1000 °C)
- At low temperatures (down to -269 °C)
- At very low test speeds – creep tests, or also
- At elevated test speeds – high-speed tensile tests
The characteristic values determined with the tensile test are
- The foundation for the calculation and dimensioning of statically loaded components and structures
- Needed for the characterization of the processing behavior of the materials
- Used during quality control for the determination of production uniformity
- Used during material selection for comparison between materials and material conditions
In general a distinction is made between tensile tests with static, quasi-static, cyclic and impact loading.
Normally, a load is considered to be static when the material is subjected to an inactive constant load. In a classic tensile test the load is steadily increasing and applied smoothly (quasi-static). The upper limit for quasi-static test methods lies at a deformation speed of approximately 10-1s-1, therefore the maximum increase (e.g. of the strain) cannot be more than 0.1 % per second.
The tensile test is a standard-based method for materials testing, which depending on material / industry puts different requirements on the performance.
Our industry experts know these requirements and are happy to help with the configuration of the testing systems for your individual testing needs.
In the following list you will find examples of various descriptions of tensile tests in a wide range of industries.