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CET I (section 1) Mechanical Properties of Materials

Examples Sheet
Elastic Properties 1. A pillar of length H and cross-sectional area A is erected into a vertical position. Show that the compressive strain due to self-weight at a height h from the ground is:

= g ( H h ) / E
Hence show that the overall reduction of length of the pillar due to self-weight is:

H = gH 2 / 2E
Is this reduction in length likely to be significant for a marble pillar of height 3 m?

For marble, = 2700 kg/m3 , E = 81 GN/m2.

Answer: 1.47 m; insignificant

2. It is possible to make polymers stiffer by mixing them with a second much stiffer material, normally in the form of fibres, to give a composite material.

(a) If the fibres are aligned parallel to the stress, then it may be assumed that the strain in the fibre and matrix will be the same. Show that in this case the overall Youngs modulus of the composite may be expressed as:

Ecomposite = Vf Efibres + (1 Vf )E matrix where Vf denotes the volume fraction of fibres present. (b) On the other hand, if the fibres are aligned perpendicular to the stress, then it may be assumed that the stress in the fibre and matrix will be the same. Show that in this case the composite Youngs modulus may be expressed as:
Ecomposite = Vf (1 Vf ) + Efibres Ematrix 1

(c) The following results have been obtained on a glass-filled epoxy resin composite (with randomly orientated chopped fibres). Draw a graph showing these results together with the predictions in parts (a) and (b) of this question and comment upon the results. Volume fraction of glass, Vf Ecomposite/GN m2

0 5.0

0.05 5.5

0.10 6.4

0.15 7.8

0.20 9.5

0.25 11.5

0.30 14.0

Glass particles have Ef = 80 GN m-2 ; Epoxy resin has E = 5 GN m-2


CET I section 1: Mechanical Properties of Materials

Plastic behaviour

What are the relationships between true and nominal stress and strain?

Six strips of pure copper are deformed plastically by passing them through a pair of rotating rollers so that they become thinner and longer. The nominal strain and the true stress applied to the strips were measured: In compression: Nominal strain n 0.1 0.2 -438 0.3 -538 0.4 -630 0.5 -720 0.6 -813

True stress (MN m-2) -315

(a) Calculate the true strain for each strip. (b) Hence calculate the nominal stress and nominal strain if a tensile test was performed. (c) By drawing a suitable graph estimate: (i) the tensile strength of copper. (ii) the nominal strain at which tensile failure commences. (iii) the percentage reduction in cross-sectional area when necking commences. (d) Why can pure copper survive a much higher extension during rolling than during a tensile test?
Answer: (c) (i) 380 MN m-2; (ii) 0.55; (iii) 35.5 %

4. (a) In lectures, it was stated that the onset of necking occurs when there is a maximum in the nominal stress-strain curve, i.e.
d n =0 d n Show that the equivalent expression in terms of true stress and strain is:

d = d
(You may assume that volume remains constant). (b) Use this result to show that the force remains constant at the onset of necking. (Hint: use d = dl/l = dA/A).

= A n where A and n are constants. Use the expression in part (a) to find an expression for the tensile strength, TS, of a material in terms of A and n.

(c) The true stress-true strain curve may often be approximated by the formula

CET I section 1: Mechanical Properties of Materials


(d) A particular wire obeys the equation = 340 0.2 in MN m-2. Calculate the work required to take a unit volume of the wire to the point of necking.
Answer: (c) Ann/en; (d) 41.1 MJ

Fast fracture and fatigue

5. (a) A crack of length 1 cm is inserted into a metal plate which has E= 200 GN m-2, and the stress at which fast fracture occurs was found to be 300 MN m-2. Calculate the fracture toughness and the critical strain energy release rate (toughness) of the metal.
(b) A large thick plate of the same material is examined by X-ray methods and found to contain no detectable cracks. The equipment can detect a single edge-crack of depth a = 1 mm or greater. Assuming that the plate contains cracks on the limit of detection, predict whether the plate will undergo general yield or fail by fast fracture given that the yield strength of the metal is 1000 MN m-2.
Answer: (a) 53.2 MN m-3/2 ; 14.1 kJ m-2 (b) fast fracture at stress of 949 MN m-2

6. (a) An aluminium alloy for an airframe component was tested in the laboratory under an oscillating applied stress about a mean stress of zero. Under a stress range of 280 MN m-2, the material failed after 105 cycles. Under a stress range of 200 MN m-2, the material failed after 107 cycles. Assuming that the fatigure behaviour of the allow can be represented by Basquins law, calculate the number of cycles to failure for a component subjected to a stress range of 160 MN m-2.
(b) Under operational conditions, the actual mean will not be zero. Use Goodmans rule to predict the number of cycles until failure for a stress range of 160 MN m-2 with a mean stress of 60 MN m-2. The alloy has a tensile strength of 300 MN m-2. (c) The aluminium alloy is subjected to 108 cycles with a stress range of 160 MN m-2 and zero mean stress. Estimate the number of further cycles that it would then survive if it was subjected to a stress range of 160 MN m-2 but with a mean stress of 60 MN m-2.
Answer: (a) 2.2x108 cycles; (b) 107 cycles; (c) 5.4x106 cycles

7. A cylindrical steel pressure vessel of 7.5 m diameter and 40 mm wall thickness is to operate at a working pressure of 5 MPa. You may take the stress in the steel to be =PR/t where P is pressure, R is vessel radius and t is vessel thickness. The design assumes that small cracks may be present that will gradually extend due to fatigue.
(a) If the fracture toughness of the steel is 200 MN m-3/2, would you expect the vessel to fail by leaking (when the crack penetrates the thickness of the wall) or by fast fracture? The growth of a crack by fatigue in steel may be represented approximately by the equation:

CET I section 1: Mechanical Properties of Materials


da = A(K ) 4 dN
where da/dN is the extent of growth per load cycle and K is the stress intensity factor for the crack. (b) Calculate the maximum length crack that can be present in the vessel if it is not to suffer leakage after 3000 loading cycles from zero to full load and back again. Tests have indicated that under these operating conditions A = 2.44 x 10-14 (MN m-2)-4 m-1. (c) Hence calculate the minimum pressure that the vessel must be subject to in a hydraulic test in order to guarantee that the 3000 loading cycles can be performed without materials failure.
Answer: (a) leak; (b) 0.0167 m; (c) 9.3 MPa


8. A stainless steel pipe is intended to be used on a chemical plant and to operate at a temperature of 510C for 9 years. The internal pressure is such that the tube experiences a stress of = 60 MPa. The manufacturers specification for this alloy gives the following steady-state creep rates for an applied tensile stress of 200 MN m-2:
Temperature/C 600 625 1.1x10-7 650 2.4x10-7 675 5.9x10-7 700 1.3x10-6



Assuming that the creep rate can be represented by the equation: = A 5 exp( Ea / RT )

plot a graph of ln against 1/T and predict the steady state creep rate at 510C at a stress of (a) 200 MPa; (b) 60 MPa. Hence predict the total creep strain for the pipe expected during the lifetime of the plant. Comment on the safety of the design if failure is expected when the total creep strain reaches 0.01.
Answer: (a) 8.6x10-10 s-1 ; (b) 2.1x10-12 s-1 ; 6x10-4; safe assuming extrapolation okay

Materials Selection (The CES Selector database on the computers in the departments PC suite is needed for the final parts of this question)

9. The ultimate bicycle should have a frame as light as possible for a given stiffness. The bicycle frame may be treated as cantilever beams of length L and radius r (both fixed) with thin-walled tubes of thickness t (variable). The elastic deflection of the frame is specified by design constraints, and under a sideways force F is given by:

CET I section 1: Mechanical Properties of Materials


FL3 3Er 3t

(a) Show that a suitable merit index is to maximise E/. (b) Using the E and values given in the lecture handout, rank mild steel, aluminium alloy, silicon nitride, PMMA, CFRP, fibreglass, Portland cement and wood according to their suitability based on this criteria. (c) Why is silicon nitride not a suitable material for a bicycle frame? (d) Why is manufacture using wood likely to be problematic? (e) Suggest a reason why an aluminium alloy might be preferred to mild steel. (f) What material would you recommend racing bicycles be made out of if money is no object? (g) What is the optimum material based solely on the stiffness criterion according to the CES Selector database? (h) Cost and ductility are also important. Use a second selection stage within CES (either a limit stage or another graphical stage) to select only those materials with price less than 5/kg, and ductility greater than 0.1. With these constraints, what is the material that now best satisfies the stiffness criterion?
Answer: (g) carbon fibre; (h) low alloy steel

CET I section 1: Mechanical Properties of Materials