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Mechanical Properties of Materials

1APTER OBJECTIVES ving discussed the basic concepts of stress and strain we l wil in this chapter iow how Stress can be related to strain by using experimental methods to otermine the stress_strain diagram for a specific material. The behavior escribed by this diagram will then be discussed for aterials at m th are commonly used in engineering. Also, mechanical opeies and other tests pr that are related to the developrn of echanics of m materials will be GScussed

I a

The Tension and Compressjo Test

a material must be known so that engineers can ate the measured stran in a material to its associated stress Here the mechanical rel propeies of bone are determined from a compression test.

The mechanical propeies of

Strength of a material depends on its ability to sustain a load Without deformation or failure This Property is inherent in the aterial m iIan must be determined by exper/flient One of the mo important L s to perform in this regard is the teiisi or eompresjo test. 11 many important mechanical properties of a aterial n m ca he CL mined from this test. i is used primarily to termine the de fonship between the average normal stress and average normal g a in many engineerin niaterials such as metals ceramics Polymers. 5 .-ompos







0 5 in


Typical steel specimen ith attached strain caUge.

To perform the tension or compression test a specimen of the material is made into a standard shape and size. Before testing. two small punch marks are identified along the specimens length These marks are located away from both ends of the specimen because the stress distribution at the ends is somewhat complex due to gripping at the connections where the load is applied. Measurements are taken of both the specimens initial cross-SectiOfltll area, A and the gauge-length distance L between the 11 , 0 punch marks. For example. when a metal specimen is used in a tension 0.5 in. (13 mm) and a 0 test it generally has an initial diameter of d gauge length of L 2 in. (50 mm), Fig. 3i. In order to apply an axial 0 load with no bending of the specimen. the ends are usually seated into ball-and-socket joints. A testing machine like the one shown in Fig. 32 is then used to stretch the specimen at a very slow, constant rate until it reaches the breaking point. The machine is designed to read the load required to maintain this uniform stretching. At frequent intervals during the test, data is recorded of the applied load P. as read on the dial of the machine or taken from a digital readout. Also. the elongation 6 L 0 L between the punch marks on specimen may be measured using either a caliper or a mechanical or the optical device called an extenso,neter. This value of 6 (delta) is then used to calculate the average normal strain in the specimen. Sometimes, however, this measurement is not taken. since it is also possible to read the strain directly by using an electrical_resistance strain gauge which looks like the one shown in Fig. 33. The operation of this gauge is based on the change in electrical resistance of a very thin wire or piece of metal foil under strain. Essentially the gauge is cemented to the specimen in a specified direction. If the cement is very strong in comparison to the gauge, then the gauge is in effect an integral part of the specimen, so that when the specimen is strained in the direction of the gauge. the ire and specimen will experience the same strain. By measuring the electrical resistance of the wire. the gauge may be calibrated to read values of normal strain directly.


The Stress-Strain DIagram

am the data of a tension or compression test, it is possible to compute values of the stress and corresponding strain in the specimen and en plot the results. The resulting curv e is called the stressstrain agram, and there are two ways in which it is normally described. Using the recorded ta, we can determine the nominal or engi neering stress by dividing the plied load P by the specimens original cross-sectional area A This . 0 :culation assumes that the stress is cons tant over the cross section and oughout the region between the gauge points. We have Pi (3-I)

k.wise, the nominal or engineering strain is found directly from the an gauge reading, or by dividing the chan ge in the specimens gauge gth. 6. by the specimens original gaug e length L Here the strain is . 1 urned to be constant throughout the region between the gauge points.

1 0 L


mosable upper crosshead

tension specimen

T 1

1 Li



load dial


and load controls

Elccli icaliesistance strain gauge



he corresponding values of u and are plotted as a graph. for which ordinate is the stress and the absc issa is the strain, the resulting is called a conventional stressstrain diagram. This diagram is very .,inrtant in engineering since it provides the means for obtaining data a materials tensile (or compressive) stren gth without regard for the erials physical size or shape, i.e., its geom etry. Realize, however, that ii wo stressstrain diagrams for a parti cular material will he exacth iii ame, since the results depend on such variables as the materials C osition. microscopic imperfections, the way it is manufactured, the )f loading, and the temperature durin g the time of the test. will now discuss the characteristics of the conventional stress .0 curve as it pertains to steel, a commonly used material for icating both structural members and mech anical elements. Using the m )d described above, the characteristic stressstrain diagram for a sr I specimen is sho\\n in Fig. 34. From this curve we can identify four dn -rent ways in which the material behaves, depending on the amo unt r tin induced in the material.








true fracture stress

(Y 0 (15 ,I 5 1T

ultimate stress proportional limit elastic limit yield stress

fracture stress


When yielding has ended, a further load can he :p1ied to the specimen, resulting in a curve that rises continuously hut hecomes flatter until it reaches a maximum stress referred to as the Itlinate stress, u. The rise in the curve in this manjer is called strain rdening, and it is identified in Fig. 34 as the region in light green. iroughout the test, while the specimen is elongating, its cross-sectional na will decrease This decrease in area is fairly unijhrm over the occimens entire gauge length, even up to the strain corresponding to the ornate stress. At the ultimate stress, the cross-sectional area begins to crease in a localized region of the specimen, instead of over its entire coeth. This phenomenon is caused by slip planes formed within the i Herial, and the actual strains produced are caused by shear stress (see 10.7). As a result, a constriction or neck gradually tends to form in region as the specimen elongates further, Fig. 3 Since the cross 5a. tional area within this region is continually decreasing, the smaller ca can only carry an ever-decreasing load. Hence the stressstrain ctarn tends to curve downward until the specimen breaks at the fracture stress. u Fig. 35h. This region . 1 of the curve due to necking is Jtcated in dark green in Fig. 34. Instead of always using the original .s-sectional area and specimen length to calculate the (engineering) os and strain, we could have used the actual cross-sectional area and men length at the instant the load is measured. The values of stress strain computed from these measurements are called true stress and strain, and a plot of their values is called the true stressstrain tIa,ai,,. When this diagram is plotted it has a form shown by the lightc curve in Fig. 3. Note that the conventional and true uc diagrams practically coincident when the strain is small. The differences ccii the diagrams begin to appear in the strain-hardening range. the magnitude of strain becomes more significant. In particular, te is a large divergence within the necking region. Here it can be seen ci the conventional uc diagram that the specimen actually supports 0 acing load, since A is constant 0 when calculating engineering stress. P A However, from the true uc . 0 diagram, the actual area A within ecking region is always decreasing until fracture, a- and so the , 1 rctl actually sustains increasing stress, since (I = P A.

Strain Hardening.



strain hardening plastic behavior


elastic behavior

Conventional and true stress-strain diagrams for ductile material (steel) (not to scale)

Fig. 34
of the material occurs when the strains in the specimen are within the light brown region shown in Fig. 3-4. it can be seen that the curve is actually a straiglii line throughout most of this region. so that stress isproporrioiialto the strain. in other words, the material is said to be linear/v elastic. The upper stress limit to this linear relationship is called the proportional limit. up/. If the stress slightly exceeds the proportional limit, the material may still respond elastically: however, the curve tends to bend and flatten out as shown. This continues until the stress reaches the elastic limit. Upon reaching this point, if the load is removed the specimen will still return hack to its original shape. Normally for steel, however, the elastic limit is seldom determined, since it is very close to the proportional limit and therefore rather difficult to detect.

Elastic Behavior. Elastic behavior

Typical necking pattern on this steel specimen jut

Yielding. A slight increase in stress above the elastic limit will result in a breakdown of the material and cause it to deform permanently. This
behavior is called yielding, and it is indicated by the dark brown region of the curve. The stress that causes yielding is called the yield stress or yield point, u, and the deformation that occurs is called plastic deformation. Although not shown in Fig. 34. for low-carbon steels or those that are hot rolled, the yield point is often distinguished by two values. The upper yield point occurs first, followed by a sudden decrease in load-carrying capacity to a lower yield point. Once the yield point is reached, however, then as shown in Fig. 3-4. the specimen will continue to elongate (strain) without any increase in load. Realize that this figure is not drawn to scale. If it was, the induced strains due to yielding would be about 10 to 40 times greater than those produced up to the elastic limit. When the material is in this state, it is often referred to as being perfectly plastic.





Failure 01 a ductile material (b)








Although the true and conventional stressstrain diagrams are different, most engineering design is done within the elastic range, since the distortion of the material is generally not severe within this range. Provided the material is stiff. like most metals. the strain up to the elastic limit will remain small and the error in using the engineering values of (7 and e is very small (about 0.1%) compared with their true values. This is one of the primary reasons for using conventional stress -strain diagrams. The above concepts can he summarized with reference to Fig. 36. which shows an actual conventional stressstrain diagram for a mild steel specimen. In order to enhance the details, the elastic region of the curve has been shown in light color to an exaggerated strain scale, also shown in light color. Tracing the behavior, the proportional limit is 0.0012 in./in. This is 1 reached at o 35 ksi (241 MPa), where e followed by an upper yield point of (u, = 38 ksi (262 MPa). then suddenly a lower yield point of (oy) = 36 ksi (248 MPa). The end of yielding occurs at a strain of Ey = 0.030 in/in., which is 25 times greater than the strain at the proportional limit! Continuing, the specimen is strain hardened until it reaches the ultimate stress of o = 63 ksi 47 ksi (434 MPa). then it begins to neck down until failure occurs. o 1 (324 MPa). By comparison, the strain at failure, E = 0.380 in/in., is ! 1 317 times greater than E,,

Stress--Strain Behavior of Ductile aid Brittle Material

rials can he classified as either being ductile or brittle, depending hcir stressstrain characteristics. Each will now be given separate iient. Any material that can he subjected to large .ns before it ruptures is called a ductile nunerial. Mild steel, as ussed previousl, is a typical example. Engineers often choose ductile rials for design because these materials are capable of absorbing L or energ\. and if they become overloaded. they will usua liv exhibit leformation before failing. e way to specify the ductility of a material is to report its percent ) cation or percent reduction in area at the time of fracture. The 1 cree,lt elongation is the specimens fracture strain expressed as a percent. u iithe specimens original gauge-mark length is L and its length at 0 e:t re is L. then Percent elongation 1 L

1 L (100%) (33)

ccn in Fig. 36. since e 0.380. this value would he 38% for a mild specimen. 1 percent reduction in area is another way to specify ductility. It is t..J within the region of necking as follows:

(F ri


Percent reduction of area

0 A

1 A (100%) (3-4)

63 6(1 50

11 A

1 (F


(r ).

38 4)) = 36

35 3tI

21) 10

11.050 0.030

1). 11)
1 e

0.40 0.380



Stressstrain diagram for mild steel

.4 is the specimens original cross-sectional area and A is the area 1 acture. Mild steel has a typical value of 60%. esides steel, other metals such as brass, molybdenum. and zinc may exhibit ductile stressstrain characteristics similar to steel, whereby .mdergo elastic stressstrain behavior, yielding at constant stress. 11 hardening, and finally necking until rupture. In most metals. user, constant yielding will not occur beyond the elastic range. One br which this is the case is aluminum. Actually, this metal often not have a well-defined yield point, and consequently it is standard Ce to define a yield strength for aluminum using a graphical edure called the offset method. Normally nO.2/n strain (0.002 mm.) .! osen. and from this point on the axis, a line parallel to the initial iht-lme portion of the stressstrain diagram is drawn. The point this line intersects the curve defines the yield strength. An iple of the construction for determining the yield strength for an mum alloy is shown in Fig. 37. From the graph, the yield strength is 51 ksi (352 MPa).






0.002 ((l.2o offset)


Yield strengt







0 0010



0 1)035I) 0020 00015H 001(1 0 0)i)5

o (ksi)

0.0b 0(15 (1.1)4 (103

22 20


(in. in.)


Tension )ailui e 01 a brittle material


C ompression causes material to bulge out


(in. in.)







diagram for natural rubber

e diagram

for typical con


1(11) 120

o e diagram for gray cast iron

Realize that the yield strength is not a physical property of the material, since it is a stress that caused a specified permanent strain in the material. In this text. however, we will assume that the yield strength. yield point, elastic limit, and proportional limit all coincide unless otherwise stated. An exception would be natural rubber, which in fact does not even have a proportional limit, since stress and strain are not linearly related. Fig. 38. Instead, this material, which is known as a polymer, exhibits nonlinear elastic behavior. Wood is a material that is often moderately ductile, and as a result it is usually designed to respond only to elastic loadings. The strength characteristics of wood vary greatly from one species to another. and for each species they depend on the moisture content, age. and the size and arrangement of knots in the wood. Since wood is a fibrous material, its tensile or compressive characteristics will differ greatly when it is loaded either parallel or perpendicular to its grain. Specifica11y wood splits easily when it is loaded in tension perpendicular to its grain, and consequently tensile loads are almost always intended to be applied parallel to the grain of wood members.

Materials that exhibit little or no yielding before a are referred to as brittle materials. Gray cast iron is an examp le. k tog a stressstrain diagram in tension as shown by portion AB of uise in Fig. 39. Here fracture at o = 22 ksi (152 MPa) took t place o tal at an imperfection or microscopic crack and then spread rapidly the specimen, causing complete fracture. As a result of this type I iailure. brittle materials do not have a well-defined tensile fracture since the appearance of initial cracks in a specimen is quite t R m. Instead the average fracture stress from a set of observed tests is Wy reported. A typical failed specimen is shown in Fig. 3Iou . ( ompared with their behavior in tension, brittle materials, such as Steel rapidly loses its stren For this reason engineers 0) cast iron, exhibit a much higher resistance to axial compression , as structural members to he aunced by portion AC of the curve in Fig. 39. For this case any cracks of fire. nperfections in the specimen tend to close up. and as the load ases the material will generally bulge out or become barrel shaped (J (ksi) strains become larger. Fig. 3lOb. 40 F C a gray cast iron, concrete is classified as a brittle materi al, and it 9 ols.t has a low strength capacity in tension. The characteristic s of its S .s strain diagram depend primar ily on the mix of concrete (water, 7gravel, and cement) and the time and temperature of curing . A 0 al example of a complete stressstrain diagram br concre IlOF te is 6 r in Fig. 311. By inspection, its maxim um compressive strength 5i nost 12.5 times greater than its tensile strength, (u 5 ksi )gsx MPa) versus (u,) 1 0.40 ksi (2.76 MPa). For this reason. 4 161 ate is almost alays reinforced with steel bars or rods whene ver it I ned to support tensile loads. I 5 generally be stated that most materials exhibit an both ductile and I t behavior. For example. steel has brittle behavi or when it contains a I o aihon content, and it is ductile hen the carbon content is reduced. 0.01 0.02 0.03 11.04 0.05 1 \ at low temperatures materials become harder and more brittle, UC diagrams tom a methac as when the temperature rises they become softer and more d C. This effect is shown in Fig. 312 for a methacrylate plastic .






As noted in the previous section, the stress strain diagrams for most engineering materials exhibit a linear relationship between stress and strain within the elastic region. Consequently, an increase in stress causes a proportionate increase in strain. This fact was discoered by Robert Hooke in 1676 using springs and is known as Hookes law. It may be expressed mathematically as




Here E represents the constant of proportionality, which is called the modulus of elasticity or Youngs modulus, named after Thomas Young, who published an account of it in 1807. Equation 35 actually represents the equation of the initial .straight lined portion of the stressstrain diagram up to the proportional limit. Furthermore, the modulus of elasticity represents the slope of this line. Since strain is dimensionless, from Eq. 35, E will have units of stress, such as psi, ksi, or pascals. As an example of its calculation, consider the stress strain diagram for steel shown in Fig. 3 6. Here 35 ksi and 0.0012 in./in.. so that

II a specimen of ductile material, such as steel. cd into the plastic region and then unloaded, elastic strain is ed as the material returns to its equilibrium state. The plastic remains, however, and as a result the material is subjected to a oneng set. For example, a wire when bent (plastically) will spring little (elastically) when the load is removed; however, it will not eturn to its original position. This behavior can be illustrated on essstrain diagram shown in Fig. 3 Here the 14a. specimen is first d beyond its yield point A to the point A. Since interatomic forces O be overcome to elongate the specimen elastically, then these orces pull the atoms back together when the load is removed. 14a. Consequently, the modulus of elasticity, E, is the same, and ore the slope of line OA is the same as line OA. he load is reapplied, the atoms in the material will again be ced until yielding occurs at or near the strcss A, and the stress diagram continues along the same path as before, Fig. 314h. It Id he noted, however, that this new stressstrain diagram, defined AB, now has a higher yield point (A), a consequence of strainning. In other words, the material now has a greater elastic region; ser, it has less ductility, a smaller plastic region, than when it was in
Linal state.

,, 1 E

35ksi )ksi 3 29(l0 0.0012 rn/in.

, ,

u (ksi)


180 160 140 120

spring steel (I 0 carbon)

hard steel (0 6 carbon) heat treated machine steel (0 6 carbon)

60 40 20

structural steel (0 2 carbon) soft steel (0.1 0 carbon

(in. in)

0.0(12 0004 0.006 0.008 0 01

As shown in Fig. 313, the proportional limit for a particular type of steel depends on its alloy content; however, most grades of steel, from the softest rolled steel to the hardest tool steel, have about the same modulus of elasticity, generally accepted to be E 29( 10) ksi or 5 200 GPa. Common values of E for other engineering materials are often tabulated in engineering code and reference books. Representative values are also listed on the inside back cover of this book. It should be noted that the modulus of elasticity is a mechanical property that indicates the stiffness of a material. Materials that are very stiff, such as steel, have large values of E [E 5 29(10) ksi or 200 GPa], whereas spongy materials such as vulcanized rubber may have low values 0.10(10) ksi or 0.70 MPa]. [Er The modulus of elasticity is one of the most important mechanical properties used in the development of equations presented in this text. It must always be remembered, though, that E can be used only if a material has linear elastic behavior. Also. if the stress in the material is greater than the proportional limit, the stressstrain diagram ceases to be a straight line and Eq. 3 5 is no longer valid.

te true sense some heat or energy may be lost as the specimen is ded from A and then again loaded to this same stress. As a result, curves in the paths A to 0 and 0 to A will occur during a idly measured cycle of loading. This is shown by the dashed curves g. 314b. The colored area between these curves represents lost and is called mechanical hysteresis. It becomes an important deration when selecting materials to serve as dampers for vibrating tural or mechanical equipment, although its effects will not be d red in this text.

plastic region B A

elastic region

plastic region B A

.4 B mechanical hysteresis


elastic recovery

0 (a)










As a material is deformed by an external loading. ii tends to store energy internal/v throughout its volume. Since this energy is related to the strains in the material, it is referred to as strain energy. For example. when a tension-test specimen is subjected to an axial load, a volume element of the material is subjected to uniaxial stress as shown in Fig. 315. This o-( i v) on the top and bottom (1 .A stress develops a force ...\F faces of the element alter the element undergoes a vertical displacement By definition. work is determined by the product of the force and E displacement in the direction of the force. Since the force is increased uniformly from zero to its final magnitude F when the displacement e z is attained, the work done on the element by the force is equal to the average force magnitude (E/2) times the displacement E z. This external work is equivalent to the internal work or strain energy stored in the elementassuming that no energy is lost in the form of heat. Consequently, the strain energy IU is ..U = ( .XF) E ( (r x v) E :. Since the volume of the element is V = iv v (FE ,V. then U It is sometimes convenient to formulate the strain energy per unit volume of material. This is called the strain-energy densits. and it can he expressed as

Another important property of a crial is the modulus f toughness, U,. This quantity represents the 1 area under the stressstrain diagram, Fig.316b, and therefore it cates the strain-energy density of the material just before it fractures. oropertv becomes important when designing members that may he dentally oer1oaded. Materials with a high modulus of toughness will j rt greatly due to an overloading: however, they max he pretrahle to ce with a low value, since materials having a low a, may suddenly iure without warning of an approaching failure. Alloying metals can change their resilience and toughness. For example. by changing percentage of carbon in steel, the resulting stressstrain diagrams in 3 17 show how the degrees of resilience and toughness can be changed.


of bug (b)


16 (




If the material behavior is linear elastic, then Hookes law applies. = E. and therefore we can express the strain-energy density in terms of the uniaxial stress as

2 u





In particular, when the stress a- reaches the proportional limit, the strain-energy density, as calculated by Eq. 36 or 37. is referred to as the modulus of resilience. i.e..


1 2


li 2 E

Modulus ol resilincc (a)


From the elastic region of the stressstrain diagram, Fig. 3 16a, notice that 11 is equivalent to the shaded triangular area under the diagram. r Physically a materials resilience represents the ability of the material to absorb energ\ without any permanent damage to the material,

A con ventiojial stressstrait, diagram is important in engineering since it provides a means for obtaining data about a materials tensile or compressive strength without regard for the materials physical size or shape. Engineering stress and strain are calculated using the original cross-sectional area and gauge length of the specimen, A ductile material, such as mild steel, has four distinct behaviors as it is loaded. They are elastic behavior, yielding, strain hardening, and necking. A material is linear elastic if the stress is proportional to the strain within the elastic region. This is referred to as Hookes law, and the slope of the curve is called the modulus of elasticity, F. Important points on the stressstrain diagram are the proportional limit, elastic limit, yield stress; ultimate stress, and the fracture st,ess. lEe ductility of a material can be specified by the specimens percent elongation or the percent reduction in area, If a material does not have a distinct yield point, a yield strength can t e specified using a graphical procedure such as the offset method. Brittle materials, such as gray cast iron, have very little or no ielding and fracture suddenly. cu-am hardening is used to establish a higher yield point for a material. This is done by straining the material beyond the elastic mit, then releasing the load. The modulus of elasticity remains he same: however, the materials ductility decreases. train energy is energy stored in a material due to its deformation. his energy per unit volume is called strain-energy density. If it is Icasured up to the proportional limit, it is referred to as the zodulus of resilience, and if it is measured up to the point of lmcture it is called the iJiOd alas oftoughness

hard steel carh( Ii ighest stre]


fig. 31

This nylon specimen exhib of toughness as noted by 1 of necking that has occu tracture.