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MAE244 Tensile and impact test Lab3-2 .

Tensile Test and Impact Test


Material characterization of conventional metals and advanced materials such as fibrous

composites is of fundamental importance. Standardized tests are performed regularly in industry
to validate quality control and product reliability. The tensile test is a basic test for determining
elastic constants, such as Young's Modulus and Poisson's ratio, strengths such as yield strength
and ultimate tensile strength, as well as ductility such as uniform elongation and elongation to
failure. The impact test is a common test for evaluating the toughness of materials. This
experiment will be performed to demonstrate common methods used in material characterization.

• To learn the operation of modern tensile and impact testing equipment;
• To conduct tensile tests on ductile and brittle materials, aluminum and Plexiglas;
• To perform impact tests, both for characterizing the toughness properties of engineering
materials, and for analyzing the factors, criteria and results that define the process of shock
absorption during impact.

Tensile Test –
Instron electromechanical testing machine (1125 Lb capacity), aluminum and plexiglass tensile
specimens, clip gage extensometer, micrometer.
Impact Test -
Sonntag Universal Impact Machine (240 ft-lb capability), steel and plastic impact specimens,
wrench and specimen holder, ruler.


Tensile test

Instron 4411 is a modern materials testing machine. The series TX software is a data acquisition
and control software for the Instron 4411 testing machine. READ and follow the instructions

1. Measure specimen dimensions: Thickness and width.

2. Turn on the Instron test machine (switch is on the right side) and the PC next to it.

3. Mount a specimen into the upper grip: Insert the specimen into the upper grip and firmly
tighten the grip. Don’t over-tighten. Make sure that the specimen is aligned in the upper grip.
Misalignment may cause non-uniform stress distribution due to bending.

MAE244 Tensile and impact test Lab3-2 .

5. Attach the extensometer: Using appropriately sized specimen clip, attach the extensometer to
the specimen as demonstrated by the instructor.

6. If needed, lower the upper grip using the crosshead jog control, so the specimen has proper
size for mounting the lower grip

7. Load calibration on Instron: Calibrate the load cell by pressing Load/Cal, wait till 1000
appear on the screen, then press Enter on the keypad, wait until the light is off.

8. Extensometer calibration: Calibrate the extensometer by pressing strain/Cal, wait till 100
(100% strain) appears on screen, then press Enter, wait until the light is off.

9. Check maximum load limit: set to 1000 LBs, (Use the keypad to input new value). The
minimum load should be set to -10 LBs.

10. Press the “GL Reset” (gage length reset) button. This establishes a zero strain for the test.

11. Mount specimen into the lower grip. Pay attention to specimen alignment.

12. Press the IEEE 488 button to switch the control from Instron to computer(the light will turn
on ).
13. Press the “GL Reset” (gage length reset) button on emore time to make sure a zero strain for
the test.

14. Double-Click the “Series IX” icon on the desktop to run the software

15. On the “Home Screen”, press the ‘Test’ icon to conduct the test. This is done only once for a
series of tests (i.e. for several specimens of one material type that will be averaged together).
When separate tests are conducted (e.g. aluminum, plexiglass) there will be two separate run.

16. The software prompts you to input data file name, type your data file name, suggested the
data file name to include your group number and the material, such as: G2A-AI-0.mrd or
G2A-P-0.mrd (“Al” for aluminum and “P” for Plexiglas). Check the directory/folder
information, make sure it is in D drive, then click OK.

17. In the following window, check your data file name again, and you can input your name in
the operator field, make sure you are using tensile tests and using the general testing or
MAE244Fa112005 method. If everything looks fine, choose OK”. (if you forget to enable
the IEEE 488 button, the software will ask you to do so.)

18. It will prompt you for ASCII data file name, default name will be good. You need to change
the directory/folder to D drive so that you can access this file later for your lab report.

19. Click the menu: Graph → Setup

MAE244 Tensile and impact test Lab3-2 .

20. Uncheck “Auto scale” option, and change the X-Y scales to the following:
Material X scale max V scale Max
Aluminum -0.05 to 0.20 0 to 60,000 psi
Plexiglas 0 to 0.04 0 to 10,000 psi

21. Click the menu: Start Test, input specimen dimensions: width and thickness, gage

22. You will see the display of “warning for starting test”. If you decide to continue, click “OK”.

23. Test will begin and real-time stress-strain plot is on the screen. When the test is completed, the
stress-strain plot will automatically resize to fit the data. Material properties will be given in the
lower part of the screen. Record these on your data sheet.

24. To remove the specimen, push the IEEE 488 button (LED light goes off) to return control back
to the test machine.

25. Carefully remove the extensometer, place it back on the holder and then remove the specimen
from the grips.

26. Press the yellow RIN (return) button to move the specimen grip back to initial position.

27. Click the menu: ‘End Sample’ and wait for printing graph is aborted by ‘cancel’.

28. Click the menu: Continue, then on the “report to” screen, select “none”, then “OK”.

To run another test, return to Step 15 and repeat the test sequence.

Aluminum and Plexiglass Specimens

Raw test data for aluminum and Plexiglass test specimens will be analyzed in the lab report. Raw
data from the test will be recorded and saved on a file for the analysis. The students should also
record screen calculation values (max stress, strain, modulus, etc.) for comparison with home
calculations using the raw data. In running the tests, consider the following differences:

• Extensometer test clips will need to be changed to accommodate thinner specimens.

• The displacement rate should be set at 0.1 in/min.

Access to Experimental Data

Once the tests are completed, you can display the stress-strain curve. The raw data is saved as
ASCII files (with extension .txt). You can import the raw data into Excel.

MAE244 Tensile and impact test Lab3-2 .

The txt file has a header, in contains some of the information such as specimen width, thickness
and other parameters for the tension test. Following that, you will see three columns of data:
Increment number, strain, load (LBs)

You will need to convert load to stress for analysis and plotting in Excel:
Stress= load(Lbs)/cross section area (units =Lbs/in2 or psi)

You can make a copy of your txt file, cut of the header, then input into Excel for further analysis.

You can also check details of the stress-strain curve in Instron software.
1. Click ‘Utilities’ on the home screen
2. Choose ‘aw data’ and then ‘display raw data’.
3. Double click the filename to show stress-strain data and plot.
4. Move the stress-strain data, the mark in stress-strain plot will be updated to trace your move.

Impact test

Caution !!!
Do not touch the impact machine without permission of the instructor. This experiment involves
high-speed motion objects that may cause severe injury under improper action.

Procedures for Izod Impact Test

Setup sequence:
1. Move up the hammer of the pendulum to the 100 ft-lb position,

2. Without any specimen mounted, release the pendulum, and record the reading of the indicator arm (in

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2. Adjust the driving needle, until the reading in step 2 is ZERO.

Impact Tests:
4. Rest the hammer on a steel block away from the vertical position.

5. Use the wrench to mount the steel specimen on the specimen holder. Make sure that the notch is just
above the top of the holder and facing the pendulum.

6. Move up the hammer of the pendulum to the 100 ft-lb position.

7. Release the pendulum, and record the reading of the indicator arm (in ft-lb).

8. Repeat steps 4 to 7 for the lower temperature specimen.

Impact Energy:

MAE244 Tensile and impact test Lab3-2 .

9. Move up the hammer of the pendulum to the initial position, Measure the height of hammer at this

10. Move the hammer of the pendulum to the other side until the indicator arm points the reading of steel
specimen test. Measure the height of hammer at this position.

11. Repeat steps 10 and 11 for lower temperature specimen.

Report (Discussion items indicated in italics)

Tensile Test —

1. Convert the experimental data to stress versus strain diagrams.

2. Determine the Young’s Modulus (slope of linear portion of the curve), the yield stress (defined by
0.2% offset) and the ultimate stress for both materials and tabulate. Compare experimentally
determined values with the expected values in a table and discuss the accuracy of the comparisons.

3. Report the total strain before rupture for each material and compare with attached textbook value.
Qualitatively discuss the type of failure (i.e. the appearance of the fracture). Also, discuss the ductility of the
specimen in terms of the total strain before rupture. Which material has the highest elongation at failure?

4. Estimate the material toughness for both materials and compare these with calculations made by the
test software. Can brittle material and ductile materials have the same toughness?

Impact Test -
1. Report the measured values of the impact energy. Measure the heights of the hammer at the two
limits of its swing motion and then calculate the weight of hammer.
2. We measured two samples, i.e., one was kept at room temperature and another was treated at low
temperature (liquid nitrogen). Please compare the impact energy of the two samples. And discuss the

MAE244 Tensile and impact test Lab3-2 .

Tensile Test Specimen

Aluminum Plexiglas

Material Property Aluminum Plexiglas Steel Plastic

6061-T6 1040 Polyethylene (PE)

Elastic Modulus, E (Msi) 9.9 0.48 30 0.040

Shear Modulus, G (Msi) 3.8 12

Poisson's Ratio, ν 0.33 0.32

Yield Stress, σy (ksi) 36 4.83 36

Ultimate Stress, σu (ksi) 42 6.43 58 3.0

Ultimate Strain, εu (%in/in) 10 1.85 28 50

Toughness (lb/in) 5400 71

MAE244 Tensile and impact test Lab3-2 .

Impact Energy (ft-lb/in) 50 9.0