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CHE 3265-02 Materials Lab

Lab #1: Tensile Test

Instructor: Prof. Jim Brenner

Prepared by: Brian Giblin

February 13, 2003


Introduction

The purpose of this experiment is to determine the material properties of


aluminum alloy, Al 6061. A tensile test will be performed on a standard specimen of Al
6061 by means of a Baldwin universal testing machine, as seen in Fig 1. The properties
to be determined are yield stress (YS), ultimate tensile strength (UTS), modulus of
elasticity (MOE), and rupture stress (RS). Knowledge of these properties provides one
with the ability to predict loads that will cause a part to fail. A tensile test is performed
by pulling a specimen at both ends up to the point of failure.

Figure 1: Baldwin universal testing machine (Brenner, J.)

Experimental Procedure

For this experiment, the material type is known to be Al 6061. Since stress is
equal to force/area, it is known that the specimen will fail in the region with the smallest
diameter. The value of that diameter will be recorded to determine the cross-sectional
area to be used in further calculations. The specimen is to be placed in the testing
machine with each end secured in the jaws of the machine. The extensometer can now be
attached in the region of expected failure to measure the deflection. When the
extensometer has been calibrated, the specimen is ready to be tested. Throughout the test,
the applied load can be obtained from the testing machine and will be recorded in 100lb
increments along with the resulting deflection measured by the extensometer. When the
specimen fails, the load should be recorded and necking can be observed at the point of
failure. See Figure 2 for picture of necking.

Figure 2: Necking of Al 6061 tensile specimen


The recorded data can be used to plot a graph of the stress-strain curve. The stress can be
determined by the equation
= F/A,

where F is the applied load and A is the cross-sectional area at the point of failure. The
cross-sectional area for this cylindrical section can be calculated by the equation

A = (D^2)/4,

where D is the measured diameter of 0.249in. The strain can be calculated by the
equation

= l/lo,

where l is the change in length measured by the extensometer and lo it the original
length of before deflection. The plot of the stress-stain curve is illustrated in Graph 1 of
the results section.

The yield stress cannot be easily determined by visual inspection of Graph 1, so


we have used a 0.2% offset. The yield stress can be found at the point of intersection
between the 0.2% offset and the stress-strain curve. This point is illustrated in Graph 1,
as are all material properties to be determined in the experiment.
The ultimate tensile strength is calculated by the equation

UTS = F(max)/Ao,

where F(max) is the maximum applied load and Ao is the original cross-sectional prior to
deformation. Similarly, the rupture stress is calculated by the equation

FS = F(fail)/Ao,

where F(fail) is the load recorded at the point of failure. The modulus of elasticity is
simply the slope of the linear elastic region of the stress-strain curve.

Results

All of the properties evaluated in this experiment, YS, UTS, RS, and MOE are displayed
graphically and numerically in Graph 1 below. Comparison between measured property
values and textbook values is displayed in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Measured Values vs. Actual Property Values

Property Measured Value Text Book Value


YS 37,400 500 psi 47,000 psi
UTS 40,500 500 psi 45,500 psi
MOE (9.7 0.2) x 10^6 10 x 10^6
Insert Graph 1 here

Graph 1: Stress-strain plot for Al 6061


Discussion

There are quantitative differences between the measured property values and the text
book values that seem unreasonably large. Particularly, YS has a measured value of
37,400 500 psi and UTS has a measured value of 40,500 500. The text has these
values listed as 47,000 psi for YS and 45,500 for UTS. The measured value of MOE of
(9.7 0.2) x 10^6 was agreeable with the text value of 10 x 10^6. Error analysis, shown
in Appendix I, does not account for the large differences here. It is highly likely that the
greatest source of error is due to baseline drift. This occurs when the extensometer fails
to calibrate at zero, which adversely affects the stress-strain curve. When this occurs, the
data can only be fit with y = ax + b. It cannot be fit with y = Ex since the curve will not
cross the axis at the origin. However, this experiment was sufficient enough to develop
an understanding of how to determine material properties via the tensile test. By
observing the stress-strain curve, it is quite obvious that Al 6061 is a ductile material.
The material experienced elastic deformation up to an applied load of approximately
1850 lbs before reaching the yield stress and continuing into the plastic deformation
region. The max load of 1970 lbs was used in the calculation of the UTS. As the
specimen continued into elastic recovery, a load of 1230 lbs was recorded at failure and
used to calculate the RS.

Appendix I

For this section, will represent the symbol for partial derivative and d will represent the
error in measurement. Sample calculations for values and errors are as follows:

Area
Error in D = dD = 0.001in
Area = (D^2)/4 = ((0.249)^2)/4 = .0487 in^2 error
Error in area = (A/D)dD = (D/2)(0.001) = .0004 in^2

Stress
Error in Load (F) = 10 lbs
Stress = F/A = 1970/.0487 = 4042 psi error
Error in stress = (/F)dF + (/A)dA = (1/A)dF + (F/A^2)dA
= (1/.0478) (10) + (1970/.0487^2) (.0004) = 541.5 psi

Similar calculations were done for UTS and RS. Representing them here is tedious and
unnecessary as they are simply F/A calculations with similar error analysis.

Strain
Error in length = .0001 in, l = 2in + extensometer reading
Strain = l/lo = (lf 1o)/lo = (lf/1o) 1 = (2.0396/1.9519) - 1 = 0.04493 in/in error
Error in strain = (/lf )dlf + (/lo)dlo = (1/lo)dlf + (lf/lo^2)dlo
= (1/2.0396)(.0001) + (2.0396/1.9519^2)(.0001) = 0.0001 in/in
Appendix II

1) Callister, W. D. 1997. Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction. John


Wiley and Sons, Inc.; New York, New York.

2) Brenner, J. 2003. www.3265 CD

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