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C

PART
Yield Strength, Tensile Strength,
and Ductility
CHAPTER 8
Yield Strength, Tensile Strength,
and Ductility
CONTENTS
8.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................115
8.2 Linear and nonlinear elasticity...........................................................................116
8.3 Loadextension curves for nonelastic (plastic) behavior ...................117
8.4 True stressstrain curves for plastic flow...................................................119
8.5 Plastic work.....................................................................................................................121
8.6 Tensile testing...............................................................................................................121
8.7 Data......................................................................................................................................122
8.8 A note on the hardness test.................................................................................125
Examples ..................................................................................................................................127
Revision of terms and useful relations...................................................................129
8.1 INTRODUCTION
All solids have an elastic limit beyond which something happens. A totally brit-
tle solid will fracture suddenly (e.g., glass). Most engineering materials do
something different; they deform plastically or change their shapes in a perma-
nent way. It is important to know when, and how, they do thisso we can de-
sign structures to withstand normal service loads without any permanent
deformation, and rolling mills, sheet presses and forging machinery that will
be strong enough to deform the materials we wish to form.
To study this, we pull carefully prepared samples in a tensile testing machine,
or compress them in a compression machine, and record the stress required to
produce a given strain.
115
Engineering Materials I: An Introduction to Properties, Applications, and Design, Fourth Edition
2012, Michael F. Ashby and David R. H. Jones. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
8.2 LINEAR AND NONLINEAR ELASTICITY
Figure 8.1 shows the stressstrain curve of a material exhibiting perfectly linear
elastic behavior. This is the behavior that is characterized by Hookes law
(Chapter 3). All solids are linear elastic at small strainsby which we usually
mean less than 0.001, or 0.1%. The slope of the stressstrain line, which is the
same in compression as in tension, is Youngs modulus, E. The area (shaded) is
the elastic energy stored, per unit volume: we can get it all back if we unload the
solid, which behaves like a spring.
Figure 8.2 shows a nonlinear elastic solid. Rubbers have a stressstrain curve like
this, extending to very large strains (of order 5 or even 8). The material is still
200
100
100
10
3
10
3
200
Tension
Compression

(
M
N
m

2
)
Slope E
e

de
Area=elastic energy, U
el
stored
in solid per unit volume,

e
FIGURE 8.1
Stressstrain behavior for a linear elastic solid. The axes are calibrated for a material such as steel.
Area=elastic
energy, U
el
stored in solid
per unit volume,
1
0.5
0.5
1
2 1 1 2 3 4

(
M
N
m

2
)
e

de

e
FIGURE 8.2
Stressstrain behavior for a nonlinear elastic solid. The axes are calibrated for a material such as rubber.
116 CHAPTER 8 Yield Strength, Tensile Strength, and Ductility
elastic: if unloaded much of the energy stored during loading is recoveredthat
is why catapults can be as lethal as they are.
8.3 LOADEXTENSION CURVES FOR NONELASTIC
(PLASTIC) BEHAVIOR
Rubbers are exceptional in behaving elastically to high strains; as we said, almost
all materials, when strained by more than about 0.001 (0.1%), do something irrevers-
ible: and most engineering materials deformplastically to change their shape per-
manently. If we load a piece of ductile metal (e.g., copper), in tension, we get the
following relationship between the load and the extension (Figure 8.3). This
can be demonstrated nicely by pulling a piece of plasticine modelling clay
(a ductile non-metallic material). Initially, the plasticine deforms elastically,
but at a small strain begins to deform plastically, so if the load is removed,
the piece of plasticine is permanently longer than it was at the beginning of
the test: it has undergone plastic deformation (Figure 8.4).
If you continue to pull, it continues to get longer, at the same time getting thin-
ner because in plastic deformation volume is conserved (matter is just flowing
from place to place). Eventually, the plasticine becomes unstable and begins
to neck at the maximum load point in the force-extension curve (see
Figure 8.3). Necking is an instability which we shall look at in more detail in
Chapter 11. The neck grows rapidly, and the load that the specimen can carry
through the neck decreases until breakage takes place. The two pieces produced
after breakage have a total length that is slightly less than the length just before
breakage by the amount of the elastic extension produced by the terminal load.
A F
u
l
F
F
F
F
F
F
Slope E
Tension
F=0 F=0
I
o
F=0 F=0
A
o
u
FIGURE 8.3
Load-extension curve for a bar of ductile metal (e.g., annealed copper) pulled in tension.
117 8.3 LoadExtension Curves for Nonelastic (Plastic) Behavior
If we load a material in compression, the force-displacement curve is simply the
reverse of that for tension at small strains, but it becomes different at larger
strains. As the specimen squashes down, becoming shorter and fatter to
conserve volume, the load needed to keep it flowing rises (Figure 8.5). No inst-
ability such as necking appears, and the specimen can be squashed almost
F
u F=0
F=0
A
0 l
0
F
F
A
l
Compression
FIGURE 8.5
Squashing of the specimen increases the load needed to keep it flowing.
u
F
Permanent plastic deformation
Reversible elastic deformation
FIGURE 8.4
Permanent plastic deformation after a sample has yielded and been unloaded.
118 CHAPTER 8 Yield Strength, Tensile Strength, and Ductility
indefinitely, only being limited by severe cracking in the specimen or plastic
flow of the compression plates.
Why this great difference in behavior? After all, we are dealing with the same
material in either case.
8.4 TRUE STRESSSTRAIN CURVES
FOR PLASTIC FLOW
The apparent difference between the curves for tension and compression is due
solely to the geometry of testing. If, instead of plotting load, we plot load divided
by the actual area of the specimen, A, at any particular elongation or compression, the
two curves become much more like one another. In other words, we simply plot
true stress (see Chapter 3) as our vertical coordinate (Figure 8.6). This method of
plotting allows for the thinning of the material when pulled in tension, or the
fattening of the material when compressed.
But the two curves still do not exactly match, as Figure 8.6 shows. The reason is
that a displacement of (for example) u = l
0
/2 in tension and in compression
gives different strains; it represents a drawing out of the tensile specimen from
l
0
to 1.5l
0
, but a squashing down of the compressive specimen from l
0
to 0.5l
0
.
The material of the compressive specimen has thus undergone much more plas-
tic deformation than the material in the tensile specimen, and can hardly be
expected to be in the same state, or to show the same resistance to plastic de-
formation. The two conditions can be compared properly by taking small strain
increments
de =
du
l
=
dl
l
(8:1)
F/A=
(true stress)
Tension
Reflection of
tensile curve
Compression
u=l
0
/2 u=+l
0
/2
l
0
u
FIGURE 8.6
119 8.4 True StressStrain Curves for Plastic Flow
about which the state of the material is the same for either tension or compres-
sion (Figure 8.7).
This is the same as saying that a decrease in length from 100 mm(l
0
) to 99 mm
(l), or an increase in length from 100 mm (l
0
) to 101 mm (l) both represent a
1% change in the state of the material. Actually, they do not give exactly the
same state in both cases, but they do in the limit
de =
dl
l
(8:2)
Then, if the stresses in compression and tension are plotted against
e =

l
l
0
dl
l
= ln
l
l
0

(8:3)
the two curves exactly mirror one another (Figure 8.8). The quantity e is called
the true strain (to be contrasted with the nominal strain u/l
0
defined in
Chapter 3) and the matching curves are true stress/true strain (s/e) curves.
Now, a final catch. From our original load-extension or load-compression curves
we can easily calculate e, simply by knowing l
0
and taking natural logs. But how
do we calculate s? Because volume is conserved during plastic deformation we
can write, at any strain,
A
0
l
0
= Al
provided the extent of plastic deformation is much greater than the extent of
elastic deformation (volume is only conserved during elastic deformation if
Poissons ratio v =0.5; and it is near 0.33 for most materials). Thus
A =
A
0
l
0
l
(8:4)
l
0
Tension
Compression
dt
dt
FIGURE 8.7
120 CHAPTER 8 Yield Strength, Tensile Strength, and Ductility
and
s =
F
A
=
Fl
A
0
l
0
(8:5)
all of which we know or can measure easily.
8.5 PLASTIC WORK
When metals are rolled or forged, or drawn to wire, or when polymers are in-
jection molded or pressed or drawn, energy is absorbed. The work done on a
material to change its shape permanently is called the plastic work; its value, per
unit volume, is the area of the crosshatched region shown in Figure 8.8; it may
easily be found (if the stressstrain curve is known) for any amount of perma-
nent plastic deformation, e
/
. Plastic work is important in metal and polymer
forming operations because it determines the forces that the rolls, or press or
molding machine must exert on the material.
8.6 TENSILE TESTING
The plastic behavior of a material is usually measured by conducting a tensile
test. Tensile testing equipment is standard in engineering laboratories. Such
equipment produces a load/displacement (F/u) curve for the material, which
is then converted to a nominal stress/nominal strain, or s
n
/e
n
, curve
(see Figure 8.9), where
s
n
=
F
A
0
(8:6)
Tension
Compression
Necking
begins
Final
fracture
Area=plastic work dissipated per unit volume
in causing a permanent plastic strain e
and e
in center
of neck
e e

FIGURE 8.8
121 8.6 Tensile Testing
and
e
n
=
u
l
0
(8:7)
Naturally, because A
0
and l
0
are constant, the shape of the s
n
/e
n
curve is identical
to that of the load-extension curve. But the s
n
/e
n
plotting method allows us to
compare data for specimens having different (though now standardized)
A
0
and l
0
, and thus to examine the properties of material, unaffected by speci-
men size. The advantage of keeping the stress in nominal units and not convert-
ing to true stress (as shown before) is that the onset of necking can clearly be
seen on the s
n
/e
n
curve.
Now, we define the quantities usually listed as the results of a tensile test. The eas-
iest way to dothis is toshowthemonthe s
n
/e
n
curve itself (Figure 8.10). They are:
n s
y
= yield strength (F/A
0
at onset of plastic flow)
n s
0.1%
= 0.1% proof stress (F/A
0
at a permanent strain of 0.1%) (0.2% proof
stress is often quoted instead; proof stress is useful for characterizing yield
of a material that yields gradually, and does not showa distinct yield point)
n s
TS
= tensile strength (F/A
0
at onset of necking)
n e
f
= (plastic) strain after fracture, or tensile ductility; the broken pieces are
put together and measured, and e
f
calculated from (l l
0
)/l
0
, where l is the
length of the assembled pieces
8.7 DATA
Data for yield strength, tensile strength, and tensile ductility are given in Table 8.1
and shown on the bar chart (Figure 8.11). Like moduli, they span a range of
F
A
0

n
=
u
l
0
e
n
=
Nominal strain
N
o
m
i
n
a
l

s
t
r
e
s
s
Onset of necking
Final
fracture
FIGURE 8.9
122 CHAPTER 8 Yield Strength, Tensile Strength, and Ductility
about 10
6
: from about 0.1 MN m
2
(for polystyrene foams) to nearly 10
5
MN
m
2
(for diamond).
Most ceramics have enormous yield stresses. In a tensile test, at room temper-
ature, ceramics almost all fracture long before they yield: this is because their
fracture toughness, which we will discuss later, is very low. Because of this,
you cannot measure the yield strength of a ceramic by using a tensile test.
Instead, you have to use a test that somehowsuppresses fracture: a compression
test, for instance. The best and easiest is the hardness test: the data shown here
are obtained from hardness tests, which we shall discuss in a moment.
Pure metals are very soft indeed, and have a high ductility. This is what, for cen-
turies, has made them so attractive at first for jewellery and weapons, and then
for other implements and structures: they can be worked to the shape that you
want them in; furthermore, their ability to work-harden means that, after you
have finished, the metal is much stronger than when you started. By alloying,
the strength of metals can be further increased, thoughin yield strengththe
strongest metals still fall short of most ceramics.
Polymers, in general, have lower yield strengths than metals. The very strongest
barely reach the strength of aluminum alloys. They can be strengthened, how-
ever, by making composites out of them: GFRP has a strength only slightly in-
ferior to aluminum, and CFRP is substantially stronger.
Slope is Youngs
modulus, E Onset of necking
Final
fracture
Tensile
strength

TS
Yield
strength

y
0.1%
proof
stress

0.1%
0.1%
strain

TS
(Plastic) strain
after fracture, e
f
e
n
FIGURE 8.10
123 8.7 Data
Table 8.1 Yield Strength, s
y
, Tensile Strength, s
TS
, and Tensile Ductility, e
f
Material s
y
(MN m
2
) s
TS
(MNm
2
)
f
Diamond 50,000 0
Boron carbide, B
4
C 14,000 (330) 0
Silicon carbide, SiC 10,000 (200800) 0
Silicon nitride, Si
3
N
4
9600 (200900) 0
Silica glass, SiO
2
7200 (110) 0
Tungsten carbide, WC 56008000 (80710) 0
Niobium carbide, NbC 6000 0
Alumina, Al
2
O
3
5000 (250550) 0
Beryllia, BeO 4000 (130280) 0
Syalon (Si-Al-O-N ceramic) 4000 (945) 0
Mullite 4000 (128140) 0
Titanium carbide, TiC 4000 0
Zirconium carbide, ZrC 4000 0
Tantalum carbide, TaC 4000 0
Zirconia, ZrO
2
4000 (100700) 0
Soda glass (standard) 3600 (5070) 0
Magnesia, MgO 3000 (100) 0
Cobalt and alloys 1802000 5002500 0.016
Low-alloy steels (water-quenched and tempered) 5001900 6802400 0.020.3
Pressure-vessel steels 15001900 15002000 0.30.6
Stainless steels, austenitic 286500 7601280 0.450.65
Boron/epoxy composites 7251730
Nickel alloys 2001600 4002000 0.010.6
Nickel 70 400 0.65
Tungsten 1000 1510 0.010.6
Molybdenum and alloys 5601450 6651650 0.010.36
Titanium and alloys 1801320 3001400 0.060.3
Carbon steels (water-quenched and tempered) 2601300 5001880 0.20.3
Tantalum and alloys 3301090 4001100 0.010.4
Cast irons 2201030 4001200 0.0.18
Copper alloys 60960 2501000 0.010.55
Copper 60 400 0.55
Cobalt/tungsten carbide cermets 400900 900 0.02
CFRPs 670640
Brasses and bronzes 70640 230890 0.010.7
Aluminum alloys 100627 300700 0.050.3
Aluminum 40 200 0.5
Stainless steels, ferritic 240400 500800 0.150.25
Zinc alloys 160421 200500 0.11.0
Concrete, steel reinforced 50200 0.02
Alkali halides 200350 0
124 CHAPTER 8 Yield Strength, Tensile Strength, and Ductility
8.8 A NOTE ON THE HARDNESS TEST
We said in Section 8.7 that the hardness test is used for estimating the yield
strengths of hard brittle materials. It is also widely used as a simple non-
destructive test on material or finished components to check whether they meet
the specified mechanical properties. Figure 8.12 shows how one type of test
works (the diamond pyramid test). A very hard (diamond) pyramid indenter
(with a standardized angle of 136

between opposite faces) is pressed into the


Table 8.1 Contd
Material s
y
(MN m
2
) s
TS
(MNm
2
)
f
Zirconium and alloys 100365 240440 0.240.37
Mild steel 220 430 0.180.25
Iron 50 200 0.3
Magnesium alloys 80300 125380 0.060.20
GFRPs 100300
Beryllium and alloys 34276 380620 0.020.10
Gold 40 220 0.5
PMMA 60110 110 0.030.05
Epoxies 30100 30120
Polyimides 5290
Nylons 4987 100
Ice 85 (6) 0
Pure ductile metals 2080 200400 0.51.5
Polystyrene 3470 4070
Silver 55 300 0.6
ABS/polycarbonate 55 60
Common woods (|| to grain) 3555
Lead and alloys 1155 1470 0.20.8
Acrylic/PVC 4548
Tin and alloys 745 1460 0.30.7
Polypropylene 1936 3336
Polyurethane 2631 58
Polyethylene, high density 2030 37
Concrete, non-reinforced 2030 (15) 0
Natural rubber 30 8.0
Polyethylene, low density 620 20
Common woods (l to grain) 410
Ultrapure f.c.c. metals 110 200400 1.2
Foamed polymers, rigid 0.210 0.210 0.11
Polyurethane foam 1 1 0.11
Note: Bracketed s
TS
data for brittle materials refer to the modulus of rupture s
r
(see Chapter 15).
125 8.8 A Note on the Hardness Test
surface of the material with a force F. Material flows away from underneath the
indenter, so when the indenter is removed again, a permanent indent is left.
The diagonals of the indent are measured with a microscope, and the total sur-
face (or contact) area A of the indent is found from look-up tables. The hard-
ness H is then given by H = F/A. Obviously, the softer the material, the larger
the indents.
The yield strength can be estimated from the relation (derived in Chapter 11)
H = 3s
y
(8:8)
When flowing away from the indenter, the material experiences an average
nominal strain of 0.08. This means that Equation (8.8) is only accurate for
0.1
1
10
1
10
2

y
(
M
N
m

2
)
10
3
10
4
10
5
Ceramics Metals Polymers Composites
Diamond
Low-alloy
steels
Cobalt alloys
Nimonics
Stainless steels
Ti alloys
Cu alloys
Alkali halides
Cement
(non-reinforced)
Ice
SiC
Si
3
N
4
Silica glass
Al
2
O
3
, WC
TiC, ZrC
Soda glass
MgO
Commercially
pure alloys
Mild steel
Al alloys
Lead alloys
Ultra-pure
metals
Drawn PE
Drawn nylon
Kevlar
BFRP
CFRP
Woods, II
grain
Woods,
grain
GFRP
Reinforced
concrete
PMMA
Nylon
Epoxies
PS
PP
Polyurethane
Polyethylene
Foamed
polymers
FIGURE 8.11
Bar chart of data for yield strength, s
y
.
126 CHAPTER 8 Yield Strength, Tensile Strength, and Ductility
materials which do not work harden. For materials that do, the hardness test
gives the yield strength of material that has been work hardened by 8%. Good
correlations can also be obtained between hardness and tensile strength.
For example,
s
TS
= 0:33H (8:9)
holds well (to 10%) for all types of steel.
The indentation hardness is defined slightly differentlystill as H=F/A, but A is
now the area of the indent measured at the surface of the material (which is
slightly less than that measured on the faces of the indentation).
EXAMPLES
8.1 Nine strips of pure, fully annealed copper were deformed plastically by being
passed between a pair of rotating rollers so that the strips were made thinner and
longer. The increases in length produced were 1, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 100%,
respectively. The diamondpyramid hardness of each piece was measured after
rolling. The results are given in the following table:
Nominal strain 0.01 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 1.0
Hardness
(MN m
2
)
423 606 756 870 957 1029 1080 1116 1170
F
Hard pyramid-
shaped indenter
Contact
area A
Plastic flow of material
away from indenter
View of remaining indent, looking
directly at the surface of the material
after removal of the indenter
H=F/A
FIGURE 8.12
The hardness test.
127 Examples
Assuming that a diamondpyramid hardness test creates a further nominal
strain, on average, of 0.08, and that the hardness value is 3.0 times the true stress,
construct the curve of nominal stress against nominal strain.
[Hint: Add 0.08 to each value of nominal strain in the table.]
8.2 Using the plot of nominal stress against nominal strain from Example 8.1, find:
a. The tensile strength of copper
b. The strain at which tensile failure commences
c. The percentage reduction in cross-sectional area at this strain
d. The work required to initiate tensile failure in a cubic metre of annealed copper
Answers
(a) 217 MN m
2
; (b) 0.6 approximately; (c) 38%, (d) 109 MJ.
8.3 Why can copper survive a much higher extension during rolling than during a
tensile test?
8.4 The following data were obtained in a tensile test on a specimen with 50 mm
gauge length and a cross-sectional area of 160 mm
2
.
Extension
(mm)
0.050 0.100 0.150 0.200 0.250 0.300 1.25 2.50 3.75 5.00 6.25 7.50
Load
(kN)
12 25 32 36 40 42 63 80 93 100 101 90
The total elongation of the specimen just before final fracture was 16%, and the
reduction in area at the fracture was 64%.
Find the maximum allowable working stress if this is to equal
a. 0.25 tensile strength
b. 0.6 0.1% proof stress
Answers
(a) 160 MN m
2
; (b) 131 MN m
2
8.5 One type of hardness test involves pressing a hard sphere (radius r ) into the test
material under a fixed load F, and measuring the depth, h, to which the sphere
sinks into the material, plastically deforming it. Derive an expression for the
indentation hardness, H, of the material in terms of h, F, and r. Assume hr.
Answer
H =
F
2prh
128 CHAPTER 8 Yield Strength, Tensile Strength, and Ductility
8.6 The following diagram shows the force-extension characteristics of a bungee rope.
The length of the rope under zero load is 15 m. One end of the rope is attached to a
Z
30.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0
0 5 10
Extension (m)
F
o
r
c
e

(
k
N
)
15
Z
30kN
breaking
force
L
o
a
d
in
g
U
n
lo
a
d
in
g
bridge deck, and the other end is attached to a person standing on the deck. The
person then jumps off the deck, and descends vertically until arrested by the rope.
a. Find the maximum mass of the person for a successful arrest, m
max
.
b. The diagram shows that the unloading line is 0.5 kN below the loading line.
Comment on the practical significance of this to bungee jumping.
Answer
(a) 89.2 kg
REVISION OF TERMS AND USEFUL RELATIONS
s
n
, nominal stress s
n
= F/A
0
s
,
true stress s = F/A
F=0 F=0 F F
A
A
0
e
n,
nominal strain
e
n
=
u
l
0
, or
l l
0
l
0
or
l
l
0
1
129 Revision of Terms and Useful Relations
F=0 F=0 F
u
F
l
l
0
Relations between s
n
, s, and
n
Assuming constant volume (valid if u = 0.5 or, if not, plastic deformation
elastic deformation):
A
0
l
0
= Al; A
0
=
Al
l
0
= A(1 e
n
)
Thus
s =
F
A
=
F
A
0
(1 e
n
) = s
n
(1 e
n
)
e, true strain and the relation between e and e
n
e =

l
l
0
dl
l
= ln
l
l
0

Thus
e = ln 1 e
n
( )
Small strain condition
For small e
n
e ~ e
n
, from e = ln(1 e
n
)
s ~ s
n
, from s = s
n
1 e
n
( )
Thus, when dealing with most elastic strains (but not in rubbers), it is immater-
ial whether e or e
n
, or s or s
n
, are chosen.
Energy
The energy expended in deforming a material per unit volume is given by the area
under the stressstrain curve.
130 CHAPTER 8 Yield Strength, Tensile Strength, and Ductility

(
n
/
n
)
Onset of necking
Energy required to cause plastic
deformation up to point of final
fracture (plastic work at fracture)
Elastic energy released when
specimen breaks
Total energy (elastic plus plastic)
required to take specimen to point
of necking
Work per unit volume
U=U
pl
+U
el
= d
n
o
=
o
d

For linear elastic strains, and only linear elastic strains


s
n
e
n
= E, and U
el
=

s
n
de
n
=

s
n
ds
n
E
=
s
2
n
2E

n
2
2E

n
E

n
=

n
131 Revision of Terms and Useful Relations
Elastic limit
In a tensile test, as the load increases, the specimen at first is strained elastically,
that is reversibly. Above a limiting stressthe elastic limitsome of the strain
is permanent; this is plastic deformation.
Yielding The change from elastic to measurable plastic deformation.
Yield strength The nominal stress at yielding. In many materials this is
difficult to spot on the stressstrain curve and in such cases it is better to use
a proof stress.
Proof stress The stress that produces a permanent strain equal to a specified
percentage of the specimen length. A common proof stress is one that
corresponds to 0.2% permanent strain.
Strain hardening (work-hardening)
The increase in stress needed to produce further strain in the plastic region. Each
strain increment strengthens or hardens the material so that a larger stress is
needed for further strain.
s
TS
, tensile strength (ultimate tensile strength, or UTS)
F

TS
=

TS

n
F
A
0
maximum F
A
0

f
, strain after fracture, or tensile ductility
The permanent extension in length (measured by fitting the broken pieces to-
gether) expressed as a percentage of the original gauge length.
l
break
l
0
l
0

100
Reduction in area at break
The maximumdecrease in cross-sectional area at the fracture expressed as a per-
centage of the original cross-sectional area.
132 CHAPTER 8 Yield Strength, Tensile Strength, and Ductility
Strain after fracture and percentage reduction in area are used a measures of
ductility, that is the ability of a material to undergo large plastic strain under
stress before it fractures.
A
0
A
break
A
0
100
A
break
A
133 Revision of Terms and Useful Relations