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CHAPTER 2
MECHANICAL TESTING
OF MATERIALS
Revision 1: February 2011 1

MECHANICAL TESTING OF MATERIALS

Terminology
♦ Tensile Strength
♦ Ductility
♦ Hardness
♦ Toughness
♦ Malleability

Revision 1: February 2011 2

TENSILE STRENGTH
♦ Also known as Ultimate Tensile Strength
(UTS) or engineering stress and it is the
ratio of the maximum load divided by the
original cross-sectional area of the test
specimen

Maximum load or force

Tensile strength =
Original cross-sectional area

DUCTILITY AND HARDNESS

♦ Ductility
This is the ability of a material to deform
considerably by tension before it fails
♦ Hardness
A material is considered hard if it has
good resistance to abrasion or surface
indentation

Revision 1: February 2011 4

TOUGHNESS
♦ Toughness
A tough material can withstand
considerable bending without fracture

♦ Tough materials have good resistance

to impact or shock loading

MALLEABILITY

♦ A material is said to be malleable if it

can be deformed to a great deal by
compression before it shows sign of
cracking (failure)

THE TENSILE TEST

Force Max load B1

Point of
A Fracture (B)

Y: Yield Point

A: Limit of Proportionality

Elastic Uniform Plastic Necking Extension

Extension Extension

Video
Revision 1: February 2011 7

ACTUAL STRESS (TRUE STRESS)

AT THE POINT OF FRACTURE
♦ Actual stress (true stress) at the point of
fracture is based on the actual cross
sectional area at the fracture point
♦ If the stress is calculated using the area
at the point of fracture, the resulting
stress-strain graph will follow a path as
shown by the dotted line to B1

Applied load (force) at fracture

Actual stress (at fracture) =
Actual cross sectional area at fracture

Revision 1: February 2011 8

YOUNG’S MODULUS
♦ In the elastic range the test piece will obey
Hooke’s Law which states that stress is
proportional to strain (i.e. stress α strain)
Stress
Young’s modulus, E =
Strain

YIELD STRESS
Yield force
Yield stress =
Original cross sectional area

Revision 1: February 2011 9

PROOF STRESS
♦ Some metals (e.g. heat-treated steels and most
alloys) do not show a clearly-defined yield point on
the elastic portion of the graph which gradually
merges into the “plastic section”. In such cases, it
will be difficult to assess the yield stress of such an
alloy or materials.
♦ In such a situation, the yield stress is being
replaced by a value known as the “proof stress”
♦ Generally, a 0.1% proof stress is being used and it
is defined as the stress that will produced a
permanent extension of 0.1% of the gauge length.
Proof force
0.1% proof stress =
Original cross sectional area

Revision 1: February 2011 10

B
Proof force

Force

O A
Extension
0.1% of gauge length
The determination of 0.1% proof stress
(Materials For The Engineering Technician – R.A. Higgins)

Revision 1: February 2011 11

PERCENTAGE ELONGATION
♦ This is an indicator of ductility.

Final length – Initial length

% elongation = x 100
Initial length

Note: (i) [ Final length – Initial length ] is also known

as the increase in length.
(ii) Final length – Initial length
is known as
Initial length
strain

Revision 1: February 2011 12

PERCENTAGE AREA REDUCTION

Original area – Final area

% Area reduction = x 100
Original area

Stress

How does the shape of the

stress-strain curve for brittle
metals look like?

Strain
Stress-strain curve for brittle metals

Revision 1: February 2011 14

Stress
How about the stress-
strain curve for ductile
metals?

Strain

STRESS-STRAIN CURVES FOR

STIFF AND LESS STIFF METALS

Stiffer
metals
Stress

Less stiff
metals

Strain
Stress-strain graphs within the limits of proportionality
Revision 1: February 2011 16
HARDNESS TESTS

HARDNESS TESTS

Rockwell Test

Revision 1: February 2011 17

BRINELL TEST
♦ Can be found by calculations or by referring
to charts.
♦ Procedures (by calculations):
 A hardened steel ball is pressed into the
surface of a test piece by a suitable
standard load
 The diameter of the impression measured
by some form of calibrated microscope
 The Brinell Number is then calculated
using the following formula (next slide):

Revision 1: February 2011 18

BRINELL TEST (cont’d)

Load (P)
H =
Area of curved surface

Area of curved surface = ½(π) D(D – [D2 – d2]½)

where: D = ball diameter (mm)
d = diameter of impression (mm)

BRINELL TEST (cont’d)

♦ Procedures (referring to charts)
 This is an alternative method to reduce
the tedious calculations.
 Once the diameter of the impression is
known, the Brinell Hardness Number
(BHN) can be found by referring to
tables that relate BHN to d. For
different values of the load P, a
different table is used.

Revision 1: February 2011 20

CONDITIONS FOR BRINELL TEST

h
Not less than 3D Not less
than 8h

Test piece

♦ The depth of the impression should not be too great

relative to the thickness of the test piece.
Reason: If the impression is too deep, a situation
will arise when the work table of the machine is
supporting the load instead of the test piece
material.
Revision 1: February 2011 21

CONDITIONS FOR BRINELL TEST – cont’d

Recommendations:
 The thickness of the test piece should be about
eight (8) times the depth of the impression.
♦ The point of indentation from any edge of the test
piece should not be less than three (3) times the
diameter of the indentor (i.e. 3D where D is the
ball diameter).
Reason: If the point of indentation is less than
3D, the edge may not have enough material to
support the load when it is applied. The edge
may collapse thus giving an erroneous
reading.

Revision 1: February 2011 22

OTHER PROBLEMS
♦ For cold-rolled metal plates, strips or case-
hardened steels, the surface skin is harder than
the interior layer. When the steel ball indentor is
indenting the surface skin, the hardness number
will be higher than if a large ball is used.
♦ This is because in the latter case, the ball would
be supported by the softer metal of the interior.
♦ To overcome this problem, the following
procedures are to be followed:
(i) Slice across the component , polish and etch
to expose the extent of the hardened case.
(ii) Take measurements across the section using
the smallest ball.

this line

Method of determining the hardness for cold-rolled metal

plates, strips or case-hardened steels

Revision 1: February 2011 24

BALL SIZES FOR BRINELL TEST

3 sizes

1 mm 5 mm 10 mm

Appropriate ball size has to be chosen to suit the

thickness of the test piece.

TEST LOADS FOR BRINELL TEST

♦ In order to select an appropriate load, the
ratio P/D2 is used. The ratios are shown in
the table below:
Materials P/D2

Steel 30

Copper alloys 10
Aluminium 5
Lead & tin alloys 1

Revision 1: February 2011 26

ROCKWELL HARDNESS TEST
♦ Two loads will be used:
(i) Minor load (light)
(ii) Major load (full)
♦ The minor load is applied first to take up
the system slack. After the minor load is
applied, the scale is set to zero “0”.
♦ The major load is then applied for a certain
time. The time period is automatically
controlled.
♦ The hardness number is read directly from
the dial and it is done when the test piece is
under light load.
Revision 1: February 2011 27

The Rockwell Test

(Materials For The Engineering Technician – R.A. Higgins)

Revision 1: February 2011 28

ADVANTAGES OF ROCKWELL TEST

♦ Hardness number can be read off directly from

the machine dial.
♦ Test piece does not need any preparation.
♦ Operator need not be skilled so long as he/she is
able to read the hardness number off the scale.
♦ Test can be done very quickly.
♦ The impression is very small and therefore will
not damage the surface of the work piece.

SCALES

SCALE TYPE OF INDENTER LOAD (kgf)

A Diamond cone 60

SCALES – cont’d

♦ Scale C is used for testing hardened steels

and very hard materials.
♦ Scale B is for the testing of other materials
including normalised steels and non-ferrous
alloys.
♦ Scale A is seldom used.
♦ Of these scales, scales B and C are
commonly used.

VICKERS HARDNESS TEST

♦ It uses a square-based diamond indenter.
♦ In this test, the lengths of the diagonals are
measured and the average of the diagonals is
calculated. Measurement of diagonals is made by
means of a microscope ruler which has variable
slits built-into the eye-piece.
♦ The hardness number can be obtained by
calculations or by referring to charts.
♦ This test is also known as the Diamond Pyramid
Hardness Test.
♦ The contact time between the indenter and the
work piece is about 15 seconds. Timing is
automatically controlled.

Revision 1: February 2011 32

VICKERS HARDNESS TEST – cont’d
♦ Obtaining the hardness number by calculations
♦ Use the following formula:
Load (P)
H =
Surface area of indentation
2P sin(136o/2)
=
d2

where P = Load (kgf)

d = arithmetic mean of the
diagonals (mm)

VICKERS HARDNESS TEST – cont’d

♦ By referring to charts:
 Upon obtaining the average of the
diagonals, reference is made to tables
to obtain the Vickers Hardness Number.
 Care must be taken to ensure that the
correct table is used as different
loadings will have different tables.

Revision 1: February 2011 34

VICKERS HARDNESS TEST – cont’d
a
a

(i)

(ii)
136o IMPRESSION
(iii)

The Vickers Pyramid Hardness Test

(Materials For The Engineering Technician – R.A. Higgins)

(i) The diamond indenter

(ii) The angle between opposite faces of the diamond
(iii) The appearance of the impression in the eyepiece

VICKERS HARDNESS TEST – cont’d

♦ Advantages
(i) The impression made by the indentor is
small and therefore does not damage the
surface of the work piece.
(ii) Impressions made are geometrically similar
and within limits. The accuracy of the results
will not vary with the depth of the impression.
For hard materials (above an index of 500) the
hardness values are more accurate than those
obtained by using the Brinell Test. The reason is
that the diamond indentor does not deformed
under high load whereas a hardened steel ball
does.

Revision 1: February 2011 36

IMPACT TESTS
♦ Impact tests are used to determine the toughness of
materials.
♦ Generally, there are two types of impact tests:
(i) Izod Impact Test
(ii) Charpy Impact Test
The differences between these two tests are:
• In the Izod Test, the test piece is held vertical in a
clamp whereas in Charpy Test, the test piece is
placed horizontally and supported on both ends.
• The striker height at the start is at fixed position
whereas in the Charpy Test, the striker position is
higher.
Revision 1: February 2011 37

IZOD TEST
♦ The striker will strike the test piece after being
released from a fixed height.
♦ The test piece is held vertically and clamped
in position (one side only).
♦ If a material is tough, more energy is used up
to break the specimen. The striking energy is
absorbed when the striker hits the test piece
and as the striker swings past, it carries with it
a drag pointer which is left at the highest point
of swing.
♦ If the material is brittle, lesser energy will be
absorbed.
Revision 1: February 2011 38
IZOD TEST (TEST SPECIMEN)
28 mm 28 mm 28 mm

10 mm

10 mm
130 mm

22.5o 22.5o

2 mm

28 mm 22 mm

Front View

CHARPY TEST

♦ Test piece is placed horizontally and

simply supported on both ends.
♦ Impact energy can be varied:
(i) 150J
(ii) 300J

Revision 1: February 2011 40

CHARPY TEST (TEST SPECIMEN)
30 mm 30 mm

10 mm SQ

60 mm

20 mm

PLAN VIEW
20 mm

Note: The ends, A & B, are only

B supported but not clamped

EQUIPMENT

1.8 m

SUMMARY

More energy is used up to

Large fracture the test piece.
Hence, material is tough

Lesser energy is used to

Small break the test piece.
Hence, material is brittle.

Revision 1: February 2011 43

CREEP
♦ This is a phenomenon of slow and
continuous extension of a material under
a steady load over a long period of time
♦ When materials are stressed over a long
period of time, they will finally fail even
though the stress level is well below the
tensile strength of the metal
♦ Creep occurs in 3 stages:
(i) Primary creep
(ii) Secondary creep
(iii) Tertiary creep
Revision 1: February 2011 44
CREEP – cont’d

♦ Limiting stress is the maximum stress a

metal can withstand, at any given temperature,
without showing any measurable extension

What is limit
ing
stress?

CREEP TEST – cont’d

♦ The test pieces used are similar in shape
to those used in tensile test.
♦ The test piece is placed in a
thermostatically-controlled furnace the
temperature of which can be accurately
controlled over a long period of time.
♦ The test piece is statically stressed and a
sensitive extensometer is used to
measure the small extension at suitable
intervals.
Revision 1: February 2011 46
CREEP TEST – cont’d

♦ A set of curves is obtained for different

static forces at the same temperature.
♦ From these curves, the limiting creep
stress is obtained. However, the
difficulty is in determining the stress
which will produce measurable
extension. The detection of such
extension is dependent upon the
sensitivity of the extensometer.

CREEP TEST EQUIPMENT

Specimen

Furnace

Loading weights

Dial indicator

Creep Tester
Revision 1: February 2011 48
CREEP – 3 STAGES
III
II

re
tu
STRAIN

ra
Tertiary creep

pe
m
te
h
ig
rh
o
d/
an

Secondary creep (constant strain)

ss
re
st
gh
Hi

I
Low stress and/or low temperature

TIME

Revision 1: February 2011 49

FATIGUE
♦ When a metal component is subjected to
loads which vary continuously between
limits, or are applied and removed a great
number of times, failure may occur
suddenly although the component would
not fail under the action of even larger
static loads.
♦ This type of failure is known as fatigue
and it is due to cyclic loading.

Revision 1: February 2011 50

FATIGUE – cont’d
♦ The surface of a component failed by fatigue
consists of three parts:
(i) Initial crack zone (smooth and shining)
(ii) Cracked growth zone (burnished part)
• This is smooth and burnished. It shows
ripple-liked marks radiating from the
centre to the crack formation.
(ii) Final fracture (crystalline part)
• This part is coarse and crystalline
indicating that the final fracture of the
remaining cross-sectional area is
unable to withstand the load.

Revision 1: February 2011 51

FATIGUE – cont’d
Initial crack zone (smooth shiny appearance)

Crack growth zone

(burnished, ridged appearance)

Revision 1: February 2011 52

FATIGUE TEST
♦ Procedures
(i) The test piece is held in a chuck at one end
and it is rotated by an electric motor. The other
end carries a vertical load )W).
(ii) When the test piece rotates through 180 o, the
force W acting at a point falls to zero and then
increases to W in the opposite direction
(iii) In order to find the fatigue limit, numerous test
pieces will be tested each at different values of
W until failure occurs

FATIGUE TEST – cont’d

♦ From the results obtained, an S-N curve is
plotted with stress versus the number of
reversals. The curve becomes a horizontal at a
stress which will endure for an infinite
number of reversals. The stress is termed the
fatigue limit or the endurance limit.
♦ This test is widely used because of its simplicity
and ability to give consistent results

♦ Some non-ferrous metals do not show a well-

defined fatigue limit

Revision 1: February 2011 54

FATIGUE
♦ Fatigue can be caused by:
(i) Bad design (e.g. sharp corners,
undercuts, sudden change in sections)
(ii) Presence of high-frequency vibrations
(iii) Surface finish (e.g. bad tool marks)
(iv) Corrosion
(v) Stress concentration

FATIGUE TEST EQUIPMENT

W Loading System
Fibres under
compression
Chuck

Revolutions Counter
Fibres under
tension

A simple fatigue-testing machine

Video
Revision 1: February 2011 56
Stress (s)
S-N CURVE

Machine components made from this metal will not be

subject to fatigue failure if the design stress is in this Fatigue
stress range limit

A typical S-N curve obtained from a series of tests

(Materials for Engineering Technician – R.A. Higgins)

Idealised S-N curves for ferrous & non-ferrous metals

(Materials for Engineering Technician – R.A. Higgins)

Revision 1: February 2011 58

R Y
MA
UM
Tensile test, force-
extension curve, and
S some calculations.

Stiff materials and

Definitions of their force-extension
mechanical diagrams
properties

Mechanical
Testing Of
Materials
Fatigue, Creep and Impact
Tests, S-N curves and
idealised S-N curves for Types of hardness tests
ferrous and non-ferrous (Brinell, Rockwell and
metals, Equipment for Vickers). Indenter sizes
fatigue test, creep test and and calculation of test load
impact test for Brinell Test.

Till We Meet
Again Next
Week