Mechanical testing

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Mechanical testing covers a wide range of tests, which can be divided broadly into two types:

  1. those that aim to determine a material's mechanical properties, independent of geometry.[1]
  2. those that determine the response of a structure to a given action, e.g. testing of composite beams, aircraft structures to destruction, etc.

Mechanical testing of materials[edit]

Tensile test. A standard specimen is subjected to a gradually increasing load (force) until failure occurs. The resultant load-displacement behaviour is used to determine a stress–strain curve, from which a number of mechanical properties can be measured.

There exists a large number of tests, many of which are standardized, to determine the various mechanical properties of materials. In general, such tests set out to obtain geometry-independent properties; i.e. those intrinsic to the bulk material. In practice this is not always feasible, since even in tensile tests, certain properties can be influenced by specimen size and/or geometry. Here is a listing of some of the most common tests:[2]


  1. ^ Siri, S., Maier, F., Chen, L., Santos, S., Pierce, D.M., Feng, B., 2019, "Differential biomechanical properties of mouse distal colon and rectum innervated by the splanchnic and pelvic afferents", American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, vol. 316, issue. 4, pp. G473-G481;
  2. ^ Ed. Gale, W.F.; Totemeier, T.C. (2004), Smithells Metals Reference Book (8th Edition), Elsevier

General references[edit]

  • Foster, P. Field (2007), The Mechanical Testing of Metals and Alloys, Read Books, ISBN 978-1406734799.
  • American Society for Metals (1978), Mechanical Testing, American Society for Metals, ISBN 978-0871700131.
  • Fenner, Arthur J. (1965), Mechanical Testing of Materials (International monographs on materials science and technology), Newnes, ASIN B0000CMMOM.
  • Foster, P. Field (2007), The Mechanical Testing of Metals and Alloys, Read Books, ISBN 978-1406734799.