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Spring 2018
Experiment # : 1
Date : 12 / 02/ 2018
Section # : 602
Group # : 3
This report is entirely our own work and we have kept a soft/ hard copy for our own
records. It is based on experimental work which we performed in the ​MECE - 306
laboratory work on which it is based, has not been submitted for assessment in any other
unit of study. We are aware of the University’s policies on cheating and plagiarism. We
understand the safety concerns related to this experiment.

Submitted by:
SR. Number Name RIT ID Signature

1 Rahul Johnson rrj6587

2 Mohammad Marwan Al-Roub 331001206

3 Zona Ali zxa1691

4 Asset Semenov 321001461

​Marks Obtained:
Table of Contents

Table of Figures 3

Symbols Used 3

Abstract 4

Introduction 5

Experiment Procedure 8

Data and Results 10

Discussion 12

Sources of Error 13

Conclusion 13

References 14

Table of Figures and tables

Table 1………………………………………………………………………………………..…8

Table 2……………………………………………………………………………………….….9

Table 3…………………………………………………………………………………….……10

Figure 1 & 2………………………………………………………………………………..…...9

Figure 3, 4 & 5 ……………………………………………………………………………..….11

Figure 6………………………………………………………………………………………...12

Symbols Used

µε Microstrain

µV Microvolts

Σ Sum


Comprehending the mechanics of materials is core to all engineering operations. Naturally, the

tensile test to study the behavior of material on application of load is the most common method

of determining the properties of the material; in order to fulfill two main purposes – ​Engineering

design​ to establish strength and point of failure of material based on its deflection, elasticity and

geometry, and ​Quality control​ for the manufacturers to verify and confirm specifications of the

material. And thus, the uniaxial tension test is the most effective tool in providing a homogenous

material’s response to loading while determining its Young’s Modulus.

The experiment conducted here aimed to study and compare the behavior of three metals:

Aluminum, Steel, and Copper, in order to investigate the relationship between stress and strain,

as described by Hooke’s Law: ​ɛ =E σ​1​, explored through a direct proportionality curve obtained

where the slope of curve shows the elastic property of young modulus. By subjecting a strip of

material, having its initial dimensions recorded, to a controlled tensile stress along a single axis,

using a typical tensile testing machine with a strain gauge in half bridge connection mounted on

the specimen, observing change in dimensions with changing loads provides a stress-strain

profile of the material under its elastic limit. The loads in the experiment were hence

administered as to keep the deflections within the limit of elasticity. The results from this

experiment showed that E ​Steel​ > E ​Copper ​> E ​Aluminum


As engineers, we find it crucial to determine and understand the relationship between δ,

deflection in dimension, and P, the load applied, to know what ultimate stress we might expect

for the material to return to its original shape and size on account of force removal. From

strengths of material point of view, it’s essential to base our conclusions on the constitution and

microstructure of the material itself.

Looking at the history of developments for understanding mechanics of materials, one of the

most significant was the recognition that strength of a uniaxially loaded material displays a

relation to its cross-sectional area. This concept naturally follows when we consider the strength

of material to stem from a series of chemical bonds linking one cross-section to the one adjacent

to it, as shown in the figure below, where each bond is imagined as a spring with a known

stiffness and strength. Reasonably, the number of such bonds rises proportionally with increase

in cross-sectional area. The axial strength of the material will hence increase as ​square of its

diameter​. However, the material will in-fact become weaker as from statistical analysis, the

longer the specimen, the greater is the occurrence of strength-reducing flaws. ​(Roylance, 2008)


When reporting strength, it is customary to account for the area by dividing load by

cross-sectional area.

σ​f​ = P​f​ /A​0

In many engineering designs, reaching maximum possible strength is not the only target, we also

want to ensure that the structure is equally flexible to counter and resist potential deflections in

its geometry. Apparently, it’s a trade-off between strength and elasticity, specifications which are

selected depending on the purpose and conditions of design. We try to achieve an optimum

balance between strength and stiffness, aiming for the materials to be not too brittle to break

instantly without much deflection and neither too elastic to exhibit large deflections upon

application comparably small loads. Numerous engineering applications such as aerospace

vehicles require the material to be both strong and flexible.

Consequently, it is essential to distinguish between ​stiffness​, which is a measure of deformations

induced upon application of specific load, and strength, which is the maximum load a material

can carry before breaking or the material’s resistance to failure leading from excessive

deformations. The stiffness is determined by subjecting the sample to relatively small loads,

staying within the limit of elasticity, and measuring the resulting deformation. As the

deformations in the materials under study are very small for the required loading conditions, one

of the main issues is to accurately measure small changes in length.

Therefore, for the purposes of describing elasticity of any material, precise observations could

only be possible applying Robert Hooke’s experiments resulting in the expression ​P=Kδ​ where

K is the constant of proportionality called stiffness having the units N/m, δ is the deflection in

length, and P is the stress Force/ Cross-sectional area, hence using a long, coiled, thin wire

having very small cross-sectional area, to indicate uniform stretching of the material under

tensile stress by having negligible displacements in cross-sectional area but more deflections in

length. Based upon this notion are the devices designed to measure strain called strain gauges.

Strain gauges work as a transducer to convert external force or pressure into electrical display

according to the physics of metals to show increased resistance upon increase in length as in

tension and decrease in resistance upon increase in cross-sectional area as in compression, as

showed by the relation,

(Sub.allaboutcircuits.com, 2018)

It is to be marked that stress ​σ = P/A​ induced in a tensile specimen upon application of a fixed

load is independent of material properties, while the deflection depends on the material property

E, as relating to its microstructural layout. Therefore, although the stress developed in different

materials would be same, the deflections would vary depending on material properties.

Thus, the current study took into consideration three metal structures, Aluminum, Copper, and

Steel, and using uniaxial testing by recording constant increments in load and resulting

displacement, to compare their Modulus of Elasticity in order to make conclusions about their

atomic arrangement and resulting properties for an interest in structural durability. To make

direct comparisons between materials, loading responses must be normalized against a set

geometry; therefore all samples taken are of same initial shape and size to compute stress and

strain from load and displacement respectively. Here, the Engineering stress is calculated as

σ​e​ = P/A​o

Where P is the applied load and Ao is the initial cross sectional area of the sample normal to the

loading direction. And engineering strain is calculated as

ε​e​ = ΔL/L​o

Where ΔL is the measured displacement and L​o​ is initial sample length along a single axis.

(Khlystov et al., 2018)

Experiment Procedure

The following equipment and materials will be used:

● Strain Gage Trainer With bolt to hold specimens

● Set of weights and weight holder in increments of 1 kg

● Brass, Aluminium, Steel, and Copper specimens of 2mm by 10mm cross-sectional area

● Wheatstone Bridge

For each specimen, place into the holder on the strain gage trainer using the provided bolt. Using

the wires, connect the vertical strain gages to socket 1 and 4 of the Wheatstone bridge. Adjust the

gage factor on the wheatstone bridge based on the label of the metal specimen. Allow a moment

for the wires and bridge to warm up, as temperature changes will affect the readings. When

ready, zero out the Wheatstone bridge by holding the zero button for three seconds. Slowly and

carefully attach the weights to the specimen in increments of 1 kg and record the strain and

current from digital display for each weight added after the readings have stabilized. Repeat for

each specimen

Figure 1 & 2, The experimental setup and Wheatstone Bridge

Data and Results

Table 1: Area of specimen

Specimen Specimen Cross-sectional

Thickness (m) Width (m) Area (m​2​)
2.0*10​-3 10*10​-3 2.0*10​-6

Table 2: Tabulated Data

Quarter Bridge
Steel Aluminium Copper
Mass Stress Strain Voltage Strain Voltage Strain Voltage
(kg) (N/m^2) (µε) (µV) (µε) (µV) (µε) (µV)
1.0 49.05*10​5 10 28 23 61 11 30
2.0 98.10*10​ 21 56 45 118 21 57
3.0 147.1*10​5 32 85 66 173 32 84
4.0 196.2*10​ 43 112 88 227 40 106
5.0 245.2*10​5 52 137 106 276 46 122
6.0 294.3*10​ 63 164 125 326 54 141
7.0 343.3*10​5 73 191 144 373 62 163
8.0 392.4*10​ 88 229 163 423 69 181
9.0 441.4*10​5 98 254 179 464 76 199

Figure 3,4 & 5 : Stress VS Strain Graphs of Steel, Aluminium and Copper respectively

Table 3: Young’s Moduli

Metal E (mPa)
Aluminium 0.25
Steel 0.61
Copper 0.46


As shown on the graph, the result of graphing the strain of each material as a function of the

stress applied. These graphs, known as stress-strain curves, are of great importance to materials

scientists and engineers as they make decisions regarding the application of materials. The slope

of the graph is the Young’s modulus. Each slope is converted to mPa (the standard unit for

Young’s modulus) by multiplying by the conversion factor 1*106mPa/Pa. Young’s modulus is

the mathematical expression of a material’s

Figure 6 : A comparison graph of Stress VS Strain of all the tested specimens

stiffness. All graphs do not represent the entire stress-strain curve as we are only concerned with

the elastic region in this lab. Graphically comparing the stress-strain curves for all three

specimens Of the materials tested, the steel specimen had the highest modulus of elasticity. This

comes as no surprise considering that steel is widely used in the construction of buildings, which

are large structures that should bend and sway as little as possible. Copper had lower moduli,

which again comes as no surprise as these metals are almost never used as a main structural

material. Copper is used in wires which can be easily bent, which are easily dented. It was

surprising to us that aluminium had the lowest slope, but it does make sense considering that it is

easy to crush an aluminium can, and that the aluminium body of a car may dent even in a light


Sources of Errors

We used strain gages to examine the elongation of brass, copper, aluminum and

steel. Strain gages are the best to measure localized strains and strains in elastic

regions and is very cheap. However, it is very sensitive to temperature change and

cannot measure large deformations. Once the provided data were visualised in a graphical

format, several errors were found. Most of which can be attributed to errors due to failure in

proper calibration of the testing equipment itself.


By the end of the experiment, we were able to plot the stress versus strain of all the specimens

and determining the material with the highest and the lowest young's moduli, which was Steel

and Aluminium respectively. So, it helps us to understand different properties of the material by

only knowing this amount of information. This experiment shows the wide difference, which do

not usually show themselves.



1. ​Carbon Nanotubes and Other Carbon Materials Part 1 (Nanotechnology) [Internet].

What-when-how.com. 2018 [cited 10 February 2018]. Available from:


2. ​Khlystov N, Lizardo D, Matsushita K, Zheng J. Uniaxial Tension and Compression Testing of

Materials [Internet]. MIT; 2018 [cited 10 February 2018]. Available from:


3. ​Roylance D. MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF MATERIALS [Internet]. MIT; 2008 [cited 10

February 2018]. Available from:​ ​http://web.mit.edu/course/3/3.225/book.pdf


University; 2012 [cited 10 February 2018]. Available from:


5. ​Sub.allaboutcircuits.com. (2018). ​Chapter 9 - Electrical Instrumentation Signals​. [online] Available

at: https://sub.allaboutcircuits.com/images/00204.png [Accessed 10 Feb. 2018].