Mechanical Testing

Definition - What does Mechanical Testing mean?

Mechanical testing is a process that is used to determine the mechanical properties of a material. It can be used to evaluate a material independent of its geometry and also at defined geometrical conditions. There are a wide variety of mechanical testing methods that can be performed when evaluating a material, some of which may determine the appropriateness of a material subject to corrosion.

Corrosionpedia explains Mechanical Testing

Mechanical testing is used to determine the specific mechanical properties of a material in a given environment. For example, if the mechanical property of tensile strength is unknown for a material, then a tensile test may be performed. The toughness of a material can be quantified by performing a Charpy V-notch test. The mechanical property of hardness can be determined by performing a Vickers hardness test. A mechanical testing method known as high cycle fatigue testing can be used to determine how many load cycles a material can withstand prior to failure. There are many other forms of mechanical testing.

Some mechanical tests provide information on more than just one mechanical property. For instance, a tensile test not only provides information about a material's ultimate tensile strength, but it also provides quantitative data about its modulus of elasticity and its yield strength. A tensile test can also provide insight as to how ductile or brittle a material is based on the stress-strain curve produced by the test and how the material fractures during the mechanical testing.

There is also often more than one form of mechanical test that can be used to evaluate a given mechanical property. An example of this is the methods for hardness evaluation. Vickers, Brinell and Rockwell hardness tests can all be used to determine the hardness of a material. With toughness, a Charpy V-notch test or an Izod test may be used to quantify how tough a material is. There are small differences among the mechanical testing methods used to evaluate the same material property, so research should be performed to determine which form of mechanical testing is best for the application being evaluated.

Because the environment is important, the mechanical tests should be performed under conditions similar to those in which the component or structure will be placed.

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