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Mechanical Properties:
The mechanical behavior of materials is the response of the material to external loads. All materials deform in response to loads; however , the specific response of a material depends on its properties, the magnitude and type of load, and the geometry of the element.


Ductile materials exhibit the same behavior under tensile and compression loads. Therefore, tensile test is sufficient to determine mechanical properties of these materials. In brittle materials such as natural stones, brick, mortar and concrete compression test is performed. Tensile strength can be calculated indirectly by bending test and/or splitting test. Basic mechanical properties of materials: Strength, Modulus of elasticity, Stress, Strain, Ductility, Poissons ratio, etc.

The strength of a material is its ability to withstand an applied stress without failure. The applied stress may be tensile, compressive, or shear. Strength of materials is a subject which deals with loads, deformations and the forces acting on a material. A load applied to a mechanical member will induce internal forces within the member called stresses (). The stresses acting on the material cause deformation of the material. Deformation of the material is called strain (). = L/L0 Ductility (k ) is the ultimate strain of a solid material at fracture. Ductility of steel is about 35% at room temperature and about 1% at 250 0C. Material's resistance to deformation under stress is called Modulus of elasticity (Youngs modulus) (E, MPa). Elastic moduli is not effected by test conditions but ductility and strength are effected by test conditions. Materials subject to tension shrink laterally and those subject to compression, bulge. The ratio of lateral and axial strains is called the Poisson's ratio ().

= lateral/ axial

Elastic deformation. When the stress is removed, the material returns to the dimension it had before the load was applied. Valid for small strains (except the case of rubbers). Deformation is reversible, non permanent Plastic deformation. When the stress is removed, the material does not return to its previous dimension but there is a permanent, irreversible deformation. In tensile tests, if the deformation is elastic, the stress-strain relationship can be determined by Hooke's law: = E That is, E is the slope of the stress-strain curve. E is the Young's modulus or the modulus of elasticity. In some cases, the relationship is not linear so that E can be defined alternatively as the local slope: E = d /d Fig.: Ductile and brittle behavior of materials



Mechanical Properties/Tensile strength

Tensile strength (T): When stress continues in the plastic regime, the stress-strain passes through a maximum, called the tensile strength (T) , and then falls as the material starts to develop a neck and it finally breaks at the fracture point. Note that it is called strength, not stress, but the units are the same, MPa. For structural applications, the yield stress is usually a more important property than the tensile strength, since once it is passed, the structure has deformed beyond acceptable limits. Yield strength (y): Strength at the plastic strain level of 0.2%. Ductility: The ability to deform before fracture. It is the opposite of brittleness. Ductility (k ) is measured after fracture (repositioning the two pieces back together). Resilience (WR): Capacity to absorb energy elastically. The energy per unit volume is the area under the strain-stress curve in the elastic region.

WR =


e: Stress at the elastic limit, E: Modulus of elasticity

Tensile strength (T, MPa) is the ratio of ultimate load (Pult, N) determined by tensile test to the cross section area ( A, mm2). T= Pult / A

Toughness (WT): Ability to absorb energy up to fracture. The energy per unit volume is the total area under the strain-stress curve.

WT =

( y + T ) 2

y: Yield strength, T: Tensile strength, k: Ductility



Mechanical Properties/Compressive strength

Modulus of elasticity

7,00 6,00 Stress ( , N/mm) 5,00 4,00 3,00 2,00 1,00 0,00 0,00 0,01 0,02 Strain ( , mm/mm) 0,03 0,04

During the test, the loads (P, N) and the displacements (li, mm) are recorded; Stress (i, MPa) and deformations (li, mm/mm) are calculated; i=Pi / Fi li= li / L

c =

Compressive strength (fc, MPa) is the ratio of ultimate load (Pult, N) determined by compression test to the surface area ( A, mm2).

Pk A

( L: length that displacements are measured, mm ) Stress-Strain (i- li) curve is obtained (i- li), Modulus of elasticity (E, MPa) is determined from the linear part of this curve.

Fig.: Stress-strain relation

P f c = ult A

fc = Compressive strength Pult= Ultimate load (kN) A = Area (mm2)





Mathematical treatment of elasticity:

Consider a metal bar of cross-sectional area, A, and length, L, subjected to tension forces that tend to cause an increase in length. We define the TENSILE STRESS, as the force applied per unit area of the bar, that is, = P/A Note that the unit of tensile stress is the MPa, the same unit as pressure. The STRAIN, , is the ratio of the increase in length, L to the original length, that is, = L/L is dimensionless. For relatively low values of L, Hooke's law is obeyed, and we have

E= /
Where E is knows as Modulus of Elasticity or Young's Modulus, with units of MPa. It is instructive to examine in detail what happens when a wide range of stresses is applied to an elastic material:



In the range B to D, called the PLASTIC REGION, the stress causes permanent deformation. We call this PLASTIC DEFORMATION. In this range, relatively large deformations occur for small additional stresses. In this range (generally after C), the cross-sectional area of the material may decrease, a phenomenon called "necking-down", until the material breaks at D, the FRACTURE POINT. The stress corresponding to point C is called the TENSILE STRENTH of the material. When we talk about the "strength" of a material, we refer to its ability to resist fracture under high stresses. The TOUGHNESS of a material refers to that material's ability to absorb large amounts of stress, deforming plastically before breaking. Steel is an example for tough materials. On the other hand, a BRITTLE material, such as glass, is elastic over a very limited range of stresses, and undergoes fracture without plastic deformation. RESILIENT materials are those that can absorb large stresses before they deform plastically. Coil springs (spiral yaylar) are examples of this.

In the stress range up to A, the LINEAR LIMIT, Hooke's law is obeyed. From A to B, Hooke's law is no longer obeyed, but removal of the stress cause the material to return to its original length. In other words, the deformation is reversible. B is known as the ELASTIC LIMIT, and the range up to B is called the ELASTIC RANGE. The stress corresponding to the point B is called the YIELD STRENGTH or YIELD POINT of the material.




1. 2. 3. 4.

Determination of the diameter (D) by measuring or by Archimedes principle as V = WSA WSW The steel bar is marked with 1 cm intervals to determine ductility at the end of the test. During the test Load (P, N) vs. displacement (L) are recorded to obtain the stress-strain relation. Yield strength (y), Tensile strength (T), Apparent fractural strength (af), True fractural strength (tf), Ductility (k) are calculated. Determination of the true fractural strength

tf = af (1 + )


Modulus of Elasticity is calculated either by the slope of the stressstrain curve or by the minimum squares method as;


i i 2 i

Ductility = k= (Lfinal-Linitial)/Linitial Linitial = 5xD0 or 10xD0 (short bar system or long bar system) Deciding if the reinforcing steel meets the requirements given in TS 708






Plasticity, creep and fracture:

Plasticity is the property of a material to undergo significant permanent deformation without undergoing fracture, when subjected to a stress. This happens to elastic materials when the stress exceeds a certain limit, known as the YIELD STRENGTH or YIELD POINT for that material. This would be the stress at the point labelled B in the graph shown above on the left. Normally, plastic materials undergo large deformation for a relatively small stress. A perfectly plastic material shows no tendency to revert to its original shape once it has been subjected to a stress.

Some values of Young's modulus for various materials: Note that for homogeneous materials, such as metals, Young's modulus for tension and compression are usually the same. This is not true for inhomogeneous materials such as stone or concrete.

Material Aluminium Brass Copper Glass Nylon Steel

Young's modulus (Pa) 7x1010 9x1010 11x1010 7x1010 3x109 - 7x109 2x1011



Creep: Creep is the permanent deformation that a material experiences when it is subjected to stresses below the yield strength for extended periods of time. For example, if a spring is kept in a stretched or compressed state within the elastic region for long periods of time, the spring may not revert to its original, unstressed length. Creep is more likely to occur at elevated temperatures, and is a problem for materials subjected to high stresses at high temperatures, such as, for examples, the turbine blades of jet engines. Zinc, tin and lead, their alloys, as well as most polymers, can show creep at room temperature.

A fracture occurs when a material separates into two or more fragments when subjected to a stress. Materials that are particularly subject to fracture are called BRITTLE MATERIALS. Glass is an example of this. Materials that can be subjected to significant stresses without fracture are called DUCTILE MATERIALS. Most metals are ductile. However, a ductile material, when subjected to repeated stresses that may well be below the ultimate tension strength, may develop microscopic cracks that lead eventually to fracture. This is known as METAL FATIGUE, a phenomenon that came into prominence in the 1950's, when the world's first jet airliner, the Comet, experienced several disastrous crashes with considerable losses of life.