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Laboratory experiment 2 – The Uniaxial Tensile and

the Hardness Tests

Hossein Shariati, Hassan Mohammed

Laboratory report in SE2123

Testing Techniques in Solid Mechanics
Department of Solid Mechanics
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Stockholm, Sweden
The tensile test is one of the most used tests to determine the materials properties and
behavior. A specimen made of the material of interest is subjected to a tensile force. The
force and displacement are continuously recorded during the test until the specimen fails.
The extracted data is then analyzed to find the material properties. The calculated properties
can be used for material selection in different engineering applications.

Materials and instruments

Uniaxial tensile test

1. Tool-steel uniaxial test specimen

2. Extensometer

3. MTS hydraulic testing machine

4. Vernier scale

5. Radius gauge measuring tool

Brinell hardness test

1. Tool-steel specimen

2. Wolpert hardness tester

Uniaxial tensile test

First of all the total length of the specimen was measured. The length (Lc) and the diameter
of the reduced cross section (a0) were measured as well [Figure 1]. Then by using the
scribing tool, five positions with equal distances from each other, were marked on the
specimen. The distance between these positions were equal to 5 mm. these measurement
are required to calculate the quantities such as Rm, A5 and Z. The specimen was made of
tool steel.

Figure 1: the specimen

The specimen ends were fixed by the grips of the testing machine. In fact the grips must
provide the connection between the specimen and the testing machine. This connection
should be an axial connection. Therefore, the grips were aligned to be on the straight line.
Then two extensometers were installed on the specimen in order to record the elongation of
the specimen. The gage length of the specimen was recorded as a reference length to
calculate the strain. The testing machine and extensometers were connected to a computer
to record data during the test. The parameters which should be recorded during the test are:
time, force, piston position. In addition the extensometer information was recorded. However,
at the beginning of the test the recorded data of extensometer included negative values.
These negative values should be neglected.

The test was done by determining the amount of piston displacement at time unit (controlled
displacement) in order to prevent instability after necking. A tensile force was applied by the
machine and the specimen started to elongate. The force-elongation graph was shown on
the monitor. When the extensometers failed, the test continued with recording of piston
position and load. Therefore, the machine was stopped and the extensometers were
removed. Then the test was continued again. After necking initiated, the testing machine was
paused several times in order to measure the diameter and radius of curvature of the
smallest cross-section of the neck. This was done by using radius gage measuring tool.

Brinell hardness test

Wolpert hardness tester was used for Brinell indentations. The Brinell 2.5 mm ball indenter
was installed. The Hardness selection lever was set on Brinell/Vickers indentation. Then the
specimen made of the same material as uniaxial tensile test was placed on the Specimen
table. The lamp was turned on and the specimen table was raised in order to see the
specimen surface through the ocular clearly. Then the indentation load was selected by
using load button. After that, the indentation lever was released and after several seconds,
the lever was returned to its first position. The indent diagonal length was recorded. Three
Brinell hardness indentions were done and the indentation diameters and applied loads were

Figure 2: Brinell hardness indentation

Symbols and Parameters
1. The tensile test

Table 1: Tensile test parameters description

Parameter Description
P Applied load
Lext Length of extensometer
Lc Straight part of the specimen
δext Extensometer displacement
δpiston Piston displacement
The combined displacement extensometer and continuing with the
converted piston displacement
C Equipment compliance
ao Initial specimen radius
Ao Initial specimen cross sectional area
𝜀𝑒𝑛𝑔 Engineering strain
𝜎𝑒𝑛𝑔 Engineering stress
𝜀𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑒 True strain
𝜎𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑒 True stress
𝜀𝐵𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑔𝑚𝑎𝑛 True strain according to a full Bridgman correction
𝜎𝐵𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑔𝑚𝑎𝑛 True stress according to a full Bridgman correction
a Neck radius
R Radius of curvature of the neck
E Young’s modulus
Rp0.2 The 0.2 % offset yield strength
Rm Ultimate tensile stress
Lo Total length of equal five defined segments each equal to one ao
Lf Length of the five defined segments after failure
df Neck diameter after failure
Ao Specimen cross sectional area after failure
A5 Elongation at failure
Z Reduction of area at failure
𝜎𝑦 Yield stress
H Plastic modulus
k, n Power law hardening parameters
𝜀𝑝𝑙 Plastic strain

2. The Brinell hardness test

Table 2 : Brinell hardness test parameters description

Parameter Description
P Applied load in kilogram-force (kgf)
D Brinell indenter diameter
d Indentation diameter
HB Brinell hardness number
H Hardness number by using the projected area
m, k Power law hardening parameters
𝜎 Stress
𝜀 Strain
𝜎𝑅 Representative stress
𝜀𝑅 Representative strain

1. The tensile test

At first the data was cleaned for any anomalies and clearly erroneous values, i.e. the data at
the start of the test (the test specimen caps locking into position under loading), the
extensometer removal data points and the stress relaxation data that is generated during the
pauses to measure the necking parameters.

Parameters and measured values:

The parameters which were used in the experiment and the recorded outputs from the
experiment are summarized in the table below:

Table 3: Tensile test parameters and recorded values

Parameter Value Unit

Le 25 mm
Lc 30 mm
ao 5 mm
Lf 31.79 mm
df 3.65 mm

The following table contains the neck diameter and radius of curvature as measured during
the experiment.
Table 4: Neck diameter and radius of curvature

Neck diameter (mm) Radius of curvature (mm)

4.62 ∞
4.59 ∞
4.56 ∞
4.51 ∞
4.46 ∞
4.36 ∞
4.27 ∞
4.21 ∞
4.02 15
3.87 13
3.65 6

1. The tensile test
After cleaning the data as described previously all of the relative data points (extensometer
and piston displacements) were subtracted from a certain starting values. The test data was
plotted in Figure 3.

Figure 3: load vs. displacement for extensometer and piston displacement measured data

In order to obtain the full data from the start of the experiment using the extensometer and
continue after the extensometer failure at approximately 2.5 mm displacement; the measured
piston displacement has to be converted to remove the contribution from the equipment
To calculate the equipment compliance, the extensometer data was used in the following

𝛿𝑝𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑛 − (𝐿 ) × 𝛿𝑒𝑥𝑡
𝑒𝑥𝑡 (1)
Then an average was calculated as 𝐶 = 0.0427 𝑚⁄𝑁

And then by reversing the previous equation, the piston data after stopping the extensometer
was converted according to the following equation:
𝛿𝑒𝑥𝑡 = (𝛿𝑝𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑛 − 𝐶 × 𝑃) (2)

The 𝛿𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑏𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑑 results were plotted in Figure 4.

Figure 4: load vs. the combined displacement

The engineering strain and engineering stress were calculated as follows:

𝐴𝑜 = 𝜋 × 𝑎𝑜 2 = 19.6350 𝑚𝑚2
𝜀𝑒𝑛𝑔 = (3)

𝜎𝑒𝑛𝑔 = (4)
The true strain and true stress were calculated as follows:

𝜀𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑒 = ln(1 + 𝜀𝑒𝑛𝑔 ) (5)

𝜎𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑒 = 𝜎𝑒𝑛𝑔 (1 + 𝜀𝑒𝑛𝑔 ) (6)

The true stress and strain were then calculated using the Bridgman correction according to
the data collected in
Table 4.
𝜀𝐵𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑔𝑚𝑎𝑛 = 2 × ln ( ) (7)

𝜎𝐵𝑟𝑖𝑑𝑔𝑚𝑎𝑛 = 2𝑅 𝑎 (8)
(𝜋𝑎2 ) (1 + ) ln (1 + )
𝑎 2𝑅

The stress-strain diagrams for the engineering, true and Bridgman corrected values is plotted
in Figure 5. A second degree polynomial square fit was used to fit the Bridgman corrected
data points.

Figure 5: Stress-strain curves for the engineering, true and Bridgman corrected data

The Young’s modulus is the slope of the linear part of the engineering stress-strain curve as
in Figure 6.
To find the 0.2 % offset yield strength, a line parallel to the linear part of the engineering
stress-strain curve was made through the 0.2 % strain value. The intersection between the
line and curve defines the yield point as in Figure 6.

𝑅𝑝0.2 = 462.8 𝑀𝑃𝑎

𝑅𝑚 = 704.0 𝑀𝑃𝑎

𝐸 = 214.2 𝐺𝑃𝑎

Figure 6: The Rm, Rp0.2 and E

The length of five ao segments is used to calculate the A5:

𝐿𝑜 = 5 × 𝑎𝑜 = 25 𝑚𝑚 (9)

𝐿𝑓 − 𝐿𝑜
𝐴5 = ( ) × 100% = 27.16 % ( 10 )
The cross sectional area at failure is used to calculate Z as follows:
𝜋 × 𝑑𝑓 2
𝐴𝑓 = = 10.4635 𝑚𝑚2 ( 11 )
𝐴𝑜 − 𝐴𝑓
𝑍=( ) × 100% = 46.71 % ( 12 )
Two material models were used, where an evenly spaced selected number of points where
used to find the curve fitting for both models.
1. Elastic-plastic linear model

This model has a linear elastic part and linear hardening part with a plastic modulus H:

𝜎𝑦 = 𝑅𝑝0.2 = 462.8 𝑀𝑃𝑎

𝜎 = 𝐸𝜀 for 𝜀 ≤ 𝐸
( 13 )

𝜎 = 𝜎𝑦 + 𝐻𝜀𝑝𝑙 for 𝜀 ≥ ( 14 )

𝜀𝑝𝑙 was calculated by subtracting the strains after the yield point from the elastic strain (the
strain at the yield point). The plastic stress strain points where then curve fitted with a linear
function and plotted in Figure 7. H was calculated as the slope of the stress-plastic strain
𝐻 = 694 𝑀𝑃𝑎
The yield stress, the stress where the curve changes its slope, according to this model is
684.2 MPa.

Figure 7: The bilinear elastic plastic material model

2. Power law material model

In this model the plastic part is modeled using the parameters n and k in equation ( 15 ). To
find these parameters linear curve fitting was done according to equation ( 16 ).
𝜎 = 𝐸𝜀 for 𝜀 ≤ 𝐸

𝜎 = 𝜎𝑦 (1 + 𝑘𝜀𝑝𝑙 𝑛 ) for 𝜀 ≥ 𝐸
( 15 )

ln(𝜎 − 𝜎𝑦 ) = 𝑛 × ln 𝜀𝑝𝑙 + ln(𝑘𝜎𝑦 ) ( 16 )

The slope is: 𝑛

The y-intercept is: ln(𝑘𝜎𝑦 )

Then the hardening

𝑛 = 0.3658

𝑘 = 1.5302 𝐺𝑃𝑎

Figure 8: Power law hardening model

2. The Brinell hardness test

Parameters and measured values:

D = 2.5 mm

The recorded values from the experiment are summarized in the table below:

Table 5: Brinell test parameters and recorded values

Indentation diameter Indentation diameter

Load (kg)
1 (mm) 2 (mm)

100 0.77 0.77

60 0.60 0.60

30 0.46 0.46

𝐻𝐵 = ( 17 )
𝜋𝐷(𝐷 − √𝐷 2 − 𝑑2 )

4𝑃 × 9.80665
𝐻= ( 18 )
Using equations ( 17 ) and ( 18 ) the values for Brinell and Meyer hardness are tabulated in
Table 6.
Table 6: Brinell hardness and Meyer’s hardness

P (kgf) HB (kg/mm2) H (GPa)

100 209.5279 2.1060
60 209.1055 2.0810
30 178.9750 1.7703

A power law hardening of the material is used:

𝜎 = 𝑘𝜀𝑝𝑙 𝑛 ( 19 )

Using the following Tabor experimental relation:

𝑑 𝑚
𝐻 = 2.8 × 𝑘 (0.4 ) ( 20 )

A linear fit of the logarithmic version of equation ( 20 ) is used to find the hardening
parameters as in Figure 9.
ln 𝐻 = ln(2.8𝑘) + 𝑚 × ln (0.4 ) ( 21 )

Figure 9: Brinell test curve fitting

The slope is: 𝑚

The y-intercept is: ln(2.8𝑘)

Then the hardening

𝑚 = 0.34

𝑘 = 1.9889 𝐺𝑃𝑎

The representative stress and strain are calculated as follows:

𝑑 𝑚
𝜎𝑅 = 𝑘 (0.4 ) ( 22 )
𝜀𝑅 = 0.4 ( 23 )

The power law hardening model is constructed and shown in Figure 10 with the true stress-
strain curve determined from the tensile test. The representative values are shown as circles.

Figure 10: Brinell hardening power law model (with representative values) and true stress strain curve

1. Uniaxial tensile test

The specimen material properties were as follows:

𝑅𝑝0.2 = 462.8 𝑀𝑃𝑎

𝑅𝑚 = 704.0 𝑀𝑃𝑎

𝐸 = 214.2 𝐺𝑃𝑎

The quantities Z and A5 values are:

𝐴5 = 27.16 %

𝑍 = 46.71 %

The linear hardening model parameter H is equal to 694 𝑀𝑃𝑎.

The power law hardening parameters are as follows:

𝑛 = 0.3658
𝑘 = 1.5302 𝐺𝑃𝑎

2. Brinell hardness test

Then the hardening parameters are:

𝑚 = 0.34
𝑘 = 1.9889 𝐺𝑃𝑎

The uniaxial tension test can be very simple. But there are several factors which can affect
the result such as equipment, human factors, methodology and environmental conditions.
First of all, the test should be done at constant temperature, since any changes in
temperature can affect the result by changing the specimen properties. Secondly, the
method of fixing the specimen within the load frame of testing machine is very important.
There should be only axial force acting on the specimen. Any bending moment can lead to
uncertainty of results.

Another important issue during the uniaxial tensile test is measuring the properties after
necking. In order to capture the curvature radius of the smallest cross section of the
specimen, one way is to use radius gage measuring tool. But the problem with this method is
that, the machine should be halted several times after necking in order to measure the
curvature radius. Therefore, there would be some erroneous data recorded which should be
found and cleaned after the test. In addition, using the radius gage measuring tool is not very
exact. Instead, a camera can be used during the test to capture any changes in the shape of
the specimen and more data points.

As it can be seen in the graphs, the material elasticity-plasticity phase transition is very
smooth. In fact there is no unique point at which one can define the exact yield stress; the
Rp0.2 is good measure to define the yielding point. When a bilinear hardening model is used
as in Figure 7, the yield stress value is different from the Rp0.2 and it is clearly wrong. On the
other hand, the power law hardening as in Figure 8, gives a better representation of the
material model. It should be mentioned that in order to fit the power law hardening model
some points after the Rp0.2 had to be neglected in order to get the best fit.

The power law hardening model for the Brinell hardness test does not fit the experimental
data as good as the tensile test power law; the reason for this is the limited number of tests
were done (only three tests), and the strains for these tests are in a limited range. It can be
seen that the Brinell test points are close to the uniaxial tensile test points and model
diverges as the strain increases since there are no test points in that range.