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A tension test or tensile test provides a large amount of information about a material.  A sample is machined from a plate or pipe section or round bar, or an actual part.  The sample is placed in the grips and pulled apart at a controlled rate.  During this process, the elongation of the material on a micro scale is measured against the required load to cause such a degree of deflection.

At room temperature, up to 600kN, yield point
 elongation 0.2%, proof stress 0.5%


ASTM E8, BS EN ISO 6892-1, BS EN ISO 10002-1 and ASTM A370


This graph is plotted and converted to stress versus strain data.  From this graph the so called yield point, ultimate tensile strength, elongation to failure can be determined.  The yield strength tells us what the load the material can take before it will buckle or distort.  The ultimate tensile strength will tell us what load is required to cause rupture and failure or fracture of the material.  The change in load between the yield and the UTS tells us how much load the material can take from when it starts to deform till when it fails completely.  The amount of elongation to failure is the materials resistance to fast catastrophic fracture.  All of these parameters need to be determined for materials for different reasons.  The graph shows an example of a graph that is created by a tensile test.

For example this information is generated as part of the weld procedure qualification record testing.  In such cases the test should not fail in the weld material, depending on the weld procedure code that is used.

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