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Tensile Test Lab Report

Name of student:



This experiment was conducted so as compare the mechanical properties of aluminium and mild steel. The basics
on the operation of universal testing machine were also learnt during this experiment. The Universal Testing
Machine can be used to determine the tensile strengths of many engineering materials. The design of many
engineering structures is based on the tensile properties of the materials used. The stress- strain relationship of
various metals can be used to predict the characteristics of materials when subjected to different types of loadings.
From this experiment, it can be seen that mild steel have higher tensile and yield strength than aluminium. This
explains the wide applications of mild steel in many constructions and other engineering applications that require
high strength.


For safe design of structural components in bridges, railway lines, marines ships, aircrafts, pressure vessels
etc, the tensile properties of materials used should be analyzed. Hence the tensile strength of the materials should
meet the strength requirements of the structural applications. The mechanical properties of the metals determine the
kind of engineering application to be used for. Experiments on tensile tests can be used to predict the tensile
properties and they are conducted by application of axial or longitudinal forces to a specimen with known
dimensions. (Davies, 2004). These forces are applied on the specimen until deformation causes failure. The tensile
load and corresponding extensions are then recorded for calculations and determination of stress- strain relationship
of the material specimen. The tensile test experiment can be used to determine other mechanical characteristics of
the specimen like yield strength, percentage elongation, and ultimate strength among others. The original gauge

length Lo , diameter Do or cross sectional area also used in calculations hence should be recorded. (Micheal

F. Asby, 2013)


To compare and contrast the tensile strengths of mild steel and aluminium specimens

To study the deformation and fracture characteristics of mild steel and aluminium when they are subjected
to uniaxial loading
To observe the load extension and stress strain relationships in both aluminium and mild steel
To study the basics of uniaxial tensile testing.

A. Stress- strain relationship

Tensile loading on material causes the material to undergo deformations. The kind of deformation can either be
elastic or plastic deformation. The elastic deformation is characterised by linear relationship between the extension

and applied load. Engineering stress is given by the ratio of load applied to the original cross sectional area,

while engineering strain is given by change in length (extension) L over the original length L. (G &

Barry, 2012)


= and (1)

= (2)


is engineering stress

P is the applied axial load

Ao is the original cross sectional area

is the engineering strain

L is the extension

Lo is the original length

B. Youngs modulus

The engineering stress- strain relationship for elastic deformation is based on Hookes law. The gradient on
this curve gives a modulus of elasticity called The Youngs Modulus E.

E= , (3)


E is Youngs modulus

is engineering stress and is the engineering strain.

In engineering applications of materials/ metals that are subjected to deflections, Youngs modulus is of critical
importance. (Richard Budynas, 2014)
Figure 1: stress- strain relationship under uniaxial loading. Source (Richard Budynas, 2014)


A. Materials and equipment

Universal testing machine
Vernier calipers
3 samples of mild steel
3 samples of aluminum

B. Experimental procedure
1) By use of Vernier calipers, the thickness and width each samples of aluminium and mild steel were
measured. The gage length of each specimen was determined to be 80 mm.
2) A ruler was used to measure and confirm the gage length of each sample of specimen.
3) The software for acquiring and recording data was activated and the material corresponding to the
specimen was selected in the software.
4) By zeroing the load cell, the Instron Load Frame could only be set to measure only the tensile load on
each specimen inserted.
5) The jaws were adjusted to fit the size of the specimens. This was followed by attaching the
extensometers on the reduced sections of the gage specimen.
6) To avoid slipping of the specimens, the scroll wheel was used in preloading the machine.
7) After the specimen was removed, the extensometers were adjusted to zero values and the test
commenced to measure strain of the specimen.
8) The data was recorded by the software on the spreadsheet
9) By placing each sample in the universal testing machine, the tensile test was conducted and results
were recorded in the computer. The data was later retrieved for calculation and plotting of the graphs.


Figure 2 table of dimensional results


Load at Break (Standard) 3,357.43 N -801.0313 N

Extension at Break (Standard) 26.83716 mm 6.76516 mm
Data point at Break (Standard) 3222 813

Tensile strain (Extension) at Break (Standard) 0.26837 m 0.06765 mm/mm

Tensile extension at Break (Standard) 26.83716 mm 6.76517 mm
Tensile stress at Break (Standard) 335.743 MPa -80.10313 MPa

Figure 3: results of mild steel and aluminium samples

steel aluminiu
sample m sample

Time n Load stress strain Extension Load stress strain
(mm/mm (mm/mm
(s) (mm) (N) (MPa) ) (mm) (N) (MPa) )
0 0 0.90 0.05 0 0 0.611 0.024 0
10 0.83 4694.34 238.89 0.010 0.832 2687.750 4 0.010
20 1.67 4831.41 245.87 0.021 1.665 2884.170 7 0.021
30 2.50 4781.08 243.30 0.031 2.498 2981.600 2 0.031
40 3.33 4918.83 250.31 0.042 3.332 3048.760 7 0.042
50 4.17 4926.58 250.71 0.052 4.165 3071.700 7 0.052
60 5.00 5257.07 267.53 0.062 4.998 3112.230 5 0.062
70 5.83 5437.01 276.68 0.073 5.832 2877.540 4 0.073
80 6.66 5575.88 283.75 0.083 6.665 -645.521 -25.610 0.083
81 6.75 5584.21 284.18 0.084 6.748 -780.168 -30.952 0.084
81.1 6.76 5584.04 284.17 0.084 6.757 -791.985 -31.421 0.084
81.2 6.77 5591.60 284.55 0.085 6.765 -801.031 -31.780 0.085
81.3 6.77 5587.98 284.37 0.085 6.772 -809.438 -32.114 0.085
100 8.33 5775.18 293.89 0.104
110 9.16 5847.52 297.57 0.115
120 10.00 5911.04 300.81 0.125
130 10.83 5965.41 303.57 0.135
140 11.67 6010.53 305.87 0.146
150 12.50 6042.57 307.50 0.156
160 13.33 6072.26 309.01 0.167
170 14.16 6092.93 310.06 0.177
180 15.00 6113.24 311.10 0.187
190 15.83 6129.65 311.93 0.198
200 16.67 6140.36 312.48 0.208
210 17.50 6146.37 312.78 0.219
220 18.33 6148.14 312.87 0.229
230 19.16 6149.17 312.93 0.240
240 20.00 6147.15 312.82 0.250
250 20.83 6142.22 312.57 0.260
260 21.66 6130.59 311.98 0.271
270 22.50 6120.44 311.46 0.281
280 23.33 6099.74 310.41 0.292
290 24.16 6050.83 307.92 0.302
300 25.00 5940.21 302.29 0.312
310 25.83 5675.33 288.81 0.323
320 26.67 4725.52 240.48 0.333
322.2 26.84 358.03 18.22 0.336
322.2 26.85 79.03 4.02 0.336
322.2 26.85 -7.95 -0.40 0.336
Mild Steel







0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35

Figure 4: graph of stress v strain for mild steel









0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.09
Strain (mm/mm)

Figure 5: graph of stress v strain for aluminium sample

Stress versus strain for Mild Steel and Aluminium



Mild Steel



0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35
Strain (mm/mm)

Figure 6: graph of stress versus strain for both aluminium and mild steel.


The data obtained from the universal testing machine shows the difference in rates of extensions in mild steel
aluminium samples. From data on cross- sectional area, length, extension and axial loads, the strains and stress for
both sample specimens were calculated. When subjected to same amount of load, there was relatively high extension
in aluminium than in mild steel. This can be attributed to the difference in micro- crystalline structures of the two
sample materials. Mild steel reached yield point at stress of 240 MPa while aluminium reached yield strength at 105
MPa. Hence it can be seen that mild steel has high tensile strength compared to aluminium. When the gradients of
both mild steel and aluminium were calculated, mild steel had a higher gradient than aluminium. The gradients of
stress- strain curves give the Youngs Modulus, which affect the deflection of material under different loads. Further
loading of both specimens beyond the yield point gave a stack difference; mild steel reached fracture point at
approximately 335 MPa while aluminium reached fracture at 80 MPa. Mild steel has Body Centered Cubic (BCC)
structure while aluminium has Centered (FCC) structure. Changes in length indicate the ductility of the material
when loaded. There were large amounts of necking observed in mild steel than there was in aluminium. Precipitation
hardening done to aluminium and its alloys hinders the elongation of the specimen.
The changes encountered in cross sectional area cannot be influenced by engineering stress- strain relationships;
the changes can only be possible for true stress- strain curves. Normally, true strains are of higher values than those
of engineering strains. This can be explained by the fact that true strains take place in transverse directions of the
gage length. High values of stress and strains in mild steel are attributed to strain hardening. Strain hardening or
work hardening in mild steel occurs at higher values of stress than aluminium. In the graph, it can be seen that for
engineering stress- strain curves, the curves drop downwards after necking has occurred. However, this phenomenon
cannot be seen in normal true stress- strain curves, the curves would reach the highest region of fracture.

Engineering stress and strains were calculated after the extensometers on the Instron machine measured the strain
that was applied on each sample specimen. The data on strain was obtained on the cross head after necking had
occurred. The engineering stress was then calculated by dividing the applied load by the original cross- sectional
area. For engineering strains, the changes in length (extensions) were divided by the original length. In calculations
of true stress, the load applied could be divided by the instantaneous area. True strain is calculated by dividing the
change in length by the instantaneous final length.


Many engineering applications that require high tensile strength normally use mild steel. This is because of the
crystalline structure of mild steel that allows it to withstand high axial loads before fracture can occur. Aluminium
however has found many uses in designs that require low density materials like in aerodynamics and some motor
vehicles. Aluminium experiences high ductility rates compared to mild steel and have therefore low level values of
Youngs Modulus, a factor that determines deflections in structural components. This experiment therefore gives
close relationship of tensile strength to the theoretical data.


1) Davies, J. (2004). Tensile Testing (2nd Edition ed.). ASM International.

2) G, J., & Barry. (2012). Mechanics of Materials (8th Edition ed.). CL Engineering.

3) Marc, K. K. (2008). Mechanical Behavior of Materials (2nd ed.). Cambrige University Press.

4) Micheal F. Asby, K. J. (2013). Materials and Design (3rd Edition ed.). Butterworth.

5) Richard Budynas, K. D. (2014). Mc-Graw Hill Series in Mechanical Engineering (10th Edition ed.). Mc-
Graw Hill Series.

6) Richard, A. (2002). Advanced Mechanics of Materials. (R. J. Schmidt, Ed.) Wiley.


A. Terminologies

Engineering strain it s calculated by dividing the change in length (extension) by original length.

Engineering stress it is obtained by dividing the applied axial load by the original cross sectional area.
Engineering stress-strain curve is a graph showing the relationship between engineering stress and engineering

Hookes law -this law explain the linear relationship observed in the elastic regions of a stress strain curves. The
gradient along this curves give the Youngs modulus.

Modulus of elasticity also called the Young's modulus, is the ratio of stress to strain and can be calculated on the
stress- strain curves by determining the gradients of the curves.

Necking this refers to the gradual reduction of the cross sectional area along the gage length and starts at the
tensile point. It results in formation of cups and cones and is experienced in ductile materials.

Plastic deformation this phenomenon occurs when the material is loaded beyond the yield point then offloaded.

% Reduction in area can be determined by dividing the change in cross sectional area over the original area
multiplied by 100% when a tensile test is performed on the specimen.

Tensile strength - refers to the maximum stress that a material can withstand during the tensile tests.

Tensile test - refers to the methods of determining the mechanical properties of material when subjected to uniaxial
load. The results can be used to determine the Youngs modulus, tensile strength, ductility, toughness and ultimate
tensile strength of the materials.

True strain refers to the ratio of extension to the final instantaneous length of the material

True stress is the ratio of the applied load over the instantaneous cross- sectional area.

Yield strength this refers to the amount of stress required to initiate plastic deformation.

B. Ultimate tensile strength

As shown in figure 2 above of the engineering stress- strain relationship, when loading is continued past the
yielding point, a permanent deformation of the material is realized. At this point, the material is said to be strain or
work hardened and this phenomena is dependent upon the micro- crystalline structure and chemical composition of
the material. It is at this point that the material can withstand the highest possible stress and is characterised by
reduction of cross sectional area at the center of the specimen- a process known as necking. (Marc, 2008)

Figure 6: stress- strain relationship for mild steel and aluminium. Source (Auther & Richard, 2002)