Standard Article

Tension Testing

Mechanical Testing

  1. Stephen D. Antolovich

Published Online: 12 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471266965.com022.pub2

Characterization of Materials

Characterization of Materials

How to Cite

Antolovich, S. D. 2012. Tension Testing. Characterization of Materials. 1–12.

Author Information

  1. Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 OCT 2012


Of all mechanical properties, perhaps the most fundamental are related to what happens when a material is subjected to simple uniaxial tension. In its essence, a tensile test is carried out by attaching a specimen to a load-measuring device, applying a load (or imposing a given deformation), and measuring the load and corresponding deformation.

The result obtained from a tensile test is a so-called stress/strain curve, a plot of stress (force/unit area) versus strain. The results of such a test (along with the results of other tests, to be sure) are basic to determination of the suitability of a given material for a particular load-bearing application. In this regard the results obtained from such a test are of great engineering significance. Tensile-test results also provide a great deal of information relative to the fundamental mechanisms of deformation that occur in the specimen. Coupled with microscopic examination, tensile test results are used to develop theories of hardening and to develop new alloys with improved properties. Tensile tests can be used to obtain information on the following types of properties: elastic properties, plastic properties, toughness.


  • tension;
  • stress curve;
  • strain curve;
  • toughness;
  • mechanical testing