Tensile Test

In the tensile test a 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.

Depending on the material, the tensile 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.

Tensile test - Purpose and Meaning

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


During a tensile test the material behavior is examined

  • Under continually increasing (smooth) load—classic quasi-static tensile test
  • Under constant resting (static) load—static 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
  • At elevated test speeds—high-speed tensile 


The characteristic values determined with the tensile test

  • Are the foundation for the calculation and dimensioning of statically loaded components and structures
  • Are needed for the characterization of the processing behavior of the materials
  • Are used during quality control for the determination of production uniformity
  • Are used during material selection for comparison between materials and material conditions