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Chapter 5

Mechanical property of metals

WHY STUDY The Mechanical Properties of Metals?
Many materials, when in service, are subjected to forces
or loads. In such situations it is necessary to know the
characteristics of the material and to design the member
from which it is made such that any resulting deformation
will not be excessive and fracture will not occur.
The mechanical behavior of a material reflects the
relationship between its response or deformation to an
applied load or force. Key mechanical design properties
are stiffness, strength, hardness, ductility, and toughness.2
The mechanical properties of materials are ascertained by
performing carefully designed laboratory experiments
that replicate as nearly as possible the service conditions.
Factors to be considered
nature of the applied load and its duration

environmental conditions

Chapter Outline
Stress and Strain
Elastic deformation
Plastic Deformation
Yield Strength
Tensile Strength
Hardness 4
To understand and describe how materials deform
(elongate, compress, twist) or break as a function of
applied load, time, temperature, and other conditions we
need first to discuss standard test methods and standard
language for mechanical properties of materials.

three principal ways in which a load may be applied namely,
tension, compression, and shear.

(a) Schematic illustration of how a (b) Schematic illustration of

tensile load produces an elongation how a compressive load
and positive linear strain. Dashed produces contraction and a
lines represent the shape before negative linear strain
deformation; solid lines, after
deformation. 7
(d) Schematic representation
(c) Schematic representation of of torsional deformation (i.e.,
shear strain , where = tan . angle of twist ) produced by
an applied torque T.

Concepts of Stress and Strain(tension and compression)
To compare specimens of different sizes, the load is
calculated per unit area.

Engineering stress: = F / Ao

where : F is load applied perpendicular to specimen cross

section; A0 is cross-sectional area (perpendicular to the
force) before application of the load.

Engineering strain: = l / lo ( 100 %)

l is change in length, lo is the original length.
Example : A cylindrical specimen of a brass alloy having a
length of 60 mm must elongate only 10.8 mm when a
tensile load of 50,000 N is applied. Under these
circumstances, what must be the radius of the specimen?

[the stress corresponding to strain of 0.18 is 420Mpa]

Ans: 6.2mm

These definitions of stress and strain allow one to
compare test results for specimens of different cross
sectional area A0 and of different length l0.
Stress and strain are positive for tensile loads, negative
for compressive loads.
Concepts of Stress and Strain (shear and torsion)
Shear stress: = F / Ao
F is load applied parallel to the upper and lower faces
each of which has an area A0.
Shear strain: = tan = tg ( 100 %) , is strain angle

Torsion is variation of pure shear. The shear stress in this
case is a function of applied torque T, shear strain is
related to the angle of twist, .

Stress-Strain Behavior Elastic deformation
Reversible: when the stress is
removed, the material returns to the
dimensions it had before the
loading. Usually strains are small
(except for the case of some
plastics, e.g. rubber).
Plastic deformation
Irreversible: when the stress is
removed, the material does not
return to its original dimensions.
Stress-Strain Behavior: Elastic Deformation
In tensile tests, if the deformation is elastic, the stress-
strain relationship is called Hooke's law:
E is Young's modulus or modulus of elasticity, has the
same units as , N/m2 or Pa

Higher E higher stiffness

Example: A piece of copper originally 305 mm long is
pulled in tension with a stress of 276 MPa. If the
deformation is entirely elastic, what will be the resultant
[E of Cu = 110Gpa = 110000Mpa]
Ans: l = 0.77mm

Elastic Deformation: Shear Modulus

Relationship of shear stress to shear strain:

= G , where: = tg = y / zo, G is Shear Modulus
(Units: N/m2 or Pa)
Elastic Deformation: Nonlinear Elastic Behavior
In some materials (many polymers, concrete, gray cast
Fe...), elastic deformation is not linear, but it is still

Elastic Deformation: Atomic scale

Force versus interatomic separation for weakly and strongly bonded

atoms. The magnitude of the modulus of elasticity is proportional to
the slope of each curve at the equilibrium interatomic separation r 0
Elastic Deformation: Anelasticity (time dependence of elastic
So far we have assumed that elastic deformation is time
independent (i.e. applied stress produces instantaneous elastic
However, in reality elastic deformation takes time (finite rate of
atomic/molecular deformation processes) - continues after initial
loading, and after load release. This time dependent elastic
behavior is known as anelasticity.
The effect is normally small for metals but can be significant for
polymers (visco-elastic behavior). 19
Elastic Deformation: Poissons ratio

When a tensile stress is imposed on a metal specimen, an

elastic elongation and accompanying strain z result in the
direction of the applied stress (arbitrarily taken to be the z
As a result of this elongation, there will be constrictions in the
lateral (x and y) directions perpendicular to the applied stress;
from these contractions, the compressive strains x and y may
be determined.
If the applied stress is uniaxial ,and the material is isotropic,
then x = y.

Poissons ratio is defined as the ratio of the lateral and axial

For isotropic material shear and elastic moduli related as
E = 2G(1+) G ~ 0.4E

(Note: single crystals are usually elastically anisotropic: the
elastic behavior varies with crystallographic direction

Example: A tensile stress is to be applied along the long axis

of a cylindrical brass rod that has a diameter of 10 mm
(0.4 in.). Determine the magnitude of the load required to
produce a 2.5 103 mm (104 in.) change in diameter if the
deformation is entirely elastic.

[ of brass = 0.34 and E of brass = 97Gpa]

Ans: 5600N 22
Consider a cylindrical specimen of some hypothetical
metal alloy that has a diameter of 8.0 mm . A tensile force
of 1000 N, produces an elastic reduction in diameter of
2.8 10-4 mm . Compute the modulus of elasticity for this
alloy, given that Poisson's ratio is 0.30.

Ans: E=170.5Gpa

Stress-Strain Behavior: Plastic deformation

For most metallic materials, elastic deformation persists
only to strains of about 0.005. As the material is
deformed beyond this point, the stress is no longer
proportional to strain (Hookes law, ceases to be valid),
and permanent, nonrecoverable, or plastic deformation

Plastic deformation:
stress and strain are not proportional to each other
the deformation is not reversible
deformation occurs by breaking and re-arrangement
of atomic bonds
Tensile Properties: Yielding

Yield strength y - is chosen as

that causing a permanent strain
of 0.002
Yield point P - the strain deviates
from being proportional to the
stress (the proportional limit).
The yield stress is a measure of
resistance to plastic deformation.

Yield strength- it is the strength at which a metal or alloy
shows significant plastic deformation. Because there is no
definite point on the stress-strain curve where elastic
strain ends plastic strain begins, the yield strength chosen
to be that strength when a definite amount of plastic
strain has occurred.
For AESD, the yield strength is chosen when 0.2% plastic
strain has taken place.

Tensile Properties: Yielding

In some materials (e.g. low-carbon steel), the stress vs. strain curve
includes two yield points (upper and lower). The yield strength is
defined in this case as the average stress at the lower yield point.
Tensile Strength

Tensile strength (TS)- it is the maximum stress on engineering
stress-strain curve. If this stress is applied and maintained
fracture will result.
All deformation up to this point is uniform through out the
narrow region of the tensile specimen. However, at this
maximum stress, a small constriction or neck begins to form at
some point, and all subsequent deformation is confined at this
neck, as indicated by the schematic specimen insets. This
phenomenon is termed necking, and fracture ultimately occurs at
the neck.
The fracture strength corresponds to the stress at fracture.
For structural applications, the yield stress is usually a
more important property than the tensile strength, since
once the yield stress has passed, the structure has deformed
beyond acceptable limits.
Tensile properties: Ductility

Ductility It is a measure of the degree of plastic deformation that
has been sustained at fracture
Defined by percent elongation
(plastic tensile strain at fracture)
where: where lf is the fracture length and l0 is the original gauge
or percent reduction in area

The magnitude of %EL will depend on specimen gauge length

the shorter l0, the greater fraction of total elongation from the neck
and consequently the higher the value of %EL.

A metal that experiences very little or no plastic deformation upon

fracture is termed brittle 32
Typical mechanical properties of metals

The yield strength and tensile strength vary with prior thermal
and mechanical treatment, impurity levels, etc. This variability
is related to the behavior of dislocations in the material. But
elastic moduli are relatively insensitive to these effects.
The yield and tensile strengths and modulus of elasticity
decrease with increasing temperature, ductility increases with

behavior for iron
at three

Resilience is the capacity of a material to absorb energy
when it is deformed elastically and then, upon unloading,
to have this energy recovered.
The associated property is the modulus of resilience, Ur,
which is the strain energy per unit volume required to
stress a material from an unloaded state up to the point of
Computationally, the modulus of resilience for a
specimen subjected to a uniaxial tension test is just the
area under the engineering stressstrain curve taken to

Assuming a linear elastic region, in which y is the strain at

Thus, resilient materials are those having high yield
strengths and low moduli of elasticity; such alloys would
be used in spring applications.

Example: A brass alloy to be used for spring applications

must have a modulus of resilience of at least 0.750Mpa.
What must be the minimum yield strength?

[E for brass is 97Gpa = 97x103Mpa]

Ans: 381Mpa


Toughness = the ability to absorb energy up to fracture = the total

area under the strain-stress curve up to fracture

True Stress and Strain
True stress = load divided by actual area in the necked-
down region (Ai): T = F/Ai
Sometimes it is convenient to use
true strain defined as T = ln(li/lo)
True stress continues to rise
to the point of fracture, in
contrast to the engineering stress.


Example: (1). show that the equation above (true stress and
true strain) are valid when there is no volume change
during deformation.

T = (1+ ) and T = ln (1+ )

(2). Demonstrate that the expression defining true strain

may also be represented by
T =

Elastic Recovery During Plastic Deformation

If a material is deformed plastically and the stress is then
released, the material ends up with a permanent strain.
If the stress is reapplied, the material again responds
elastically at the beginning up to a new yield point that is
higher than the original yield point.
The amount of elastic strain that it will take before
reaching the yield point is called elastic strain recovery.

Hardness is a measure of the materials resistance to
localized plastic deformation (e.g. dent or scratch)
Different types of quantitative hardness
test has been designed (Rockwell,
Brinell, Vickers, etc.). Usually a small
indenter (sphere, cone, or pyramid) is
forced into the surface of a material
under conditions of controlled magnitude
and rate of loading. The depth or size of
indentation is measured.

The hardness of the metal is measured by forcing an
indenter material, which is usually a ball, pyramid or
cone is made of material harder than the material being
For most standard hardness tests a known load is applied
slowly by pressing the indenter at 90o in to the metal
surface being tested. After the indentation has been made,
the indenter is withdrawn from the surface. An empirical
hardness number is then calculated of a dial, which is
based on the cross sectional area or depth of impression.

Both tensile strength
and hardness may be
regarded as degree of
resistance to plastic

Hardness is
proportional to the
tensile strength but
note that the
proportionality constant
is different for different

What are the limits of safe deformation?

Design stress: d = Nc where c = maximum anticipated stress, N

is the design factor > 1. Want to make sure that d < y
Safe or working stress: w = y/N where N is factor of safety >
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