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University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Department of General Engineering

GE 2340- Mechanics of Materials
Torsion Test Lab
May 2, 2018

Objective: Analyze the response of a hot-rolled steel A36 to torsional loading, and also the shear stress-shear
strain relationship.
In general, when torsional loading is applied to shafts having circular cross sections, the shafts develop
an internal stress, which varies from zero at the center to a maximum at the outer surface on the circular cross
section. This variation in stress causes a permanent deformation in the shaft. The hot rolled steel A36, with a
solid circular cross section 1eq, behaves in a unique way, however, as a linear elastic material. Therefore, Hook's
law 2eq. can be applied to determine the shear stress 3eq. and the shear strain 4eq.
𝜋 𝑇𝑝 ∅𝑟
1. J= 2 𝑐 4 2. 𝜏 = 𝐺𝛾 3. 𝜏 = 𝐽
4. 𝛾 = 𝐿

To obtain accurate results from this experiment the following steps were applied: measured of the length
and diameter, mounted the gage on the specimen making sure that it read Zero degree, the torsion test machine
was running with a speed of 1.5 to 2.5 from 0o to 5o. Once the specimen reached the 5o, its proportional limit, the
gage was removed. As the final step the torsion test machine was running at the speed of 10. The torsional loading
applied to the hot-rolled steel bar induced a permanent deformation until it broke down completely.
The data collected shows that each load (T) was applied with its respective degree angle (θ). After
changing the angles to radians, it is possible to determine the shear strain using equation 4. In a similar way, with
equation 3 the shear stress can be calculated using the torque from the data collected. With both calculations the
shear stress-shear strain diagram is created. This same diagram, shown in fig 1.0, presents the mechanical behavior
of the hot-rolled steel A36 under torsional load. In fig 2.0 the behavior of elasticity can be observed before the
object suffers permeant deformation. Since the modulus of rigidity (G) can be defined as the linear portion (slope)
of the shear stress-shear strain curve until the proportional limit, the modulus of rigidity was calculated, G=10,439
Ksi, using a trendline. However, the experimental G obtained is under the theory value, G=11,000 with error
percent of –5.1%, which indicates that the experimental estimate was lower.
Despite the underestimated result, it is very interesting to see graphically the behavior of steel under
torsional loading, and, more important, recognize the elastic and plastic behavior of a hot-rolled steel A36 under
torsional loading. Furthermore, it was visible from this experiment that a solid circular steel bar has greatly
efficient torsional rigidity. Therefore, when it comes to shaft design it is very important to know the modulus of
rigidity of the material.


0.05 0.25 0.45 0.65 0.85 1.05 1.25 1.45 1.65 1.85 2.05 2.25 2.45 2.65 2.85 3.05 3.25

Fig. 2.0
20000 y = 10,439,846.56x - 893.34
R² = 0.99



0 0.0005 0.001 0.0015 0.002


Hibbeler, R. (2018). Mechanics of Materials. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, pp.1792-250.