Tensile Modulus

Definition - What does Tensile Modulus mean?

A tensile modulus is a measure of the resistance to elastic deformation that a material has. Materials that require higher stresses to induce elastic deformation have higher tensile moduli. The tensile modulus is commonly measured by taking the amount of stress applied to a material and dividing it by the strain the material undergoes.

Corrosionpedia explains Tensile Modulus

The value of the tensile modulus of a material defines how well it resists elastic deformation, which occurs when a force is applied to a material that causes its shape to change. However, once the force is removed, the material returns to its original shape and size because elastic deformation is simply the stretching of atomic bonds. This differs from plastic deformation, which occurs when the material does not return to its original shape and size even after the applied force is removed. Plastic deformation is permanent because the applied force is so great that the atoms actually move past each other.

The tensile modulus is an important characteristic to evaluate when selecting a material. Excessive elastic deformation could result in the material not being able to perform to the application's requirements. A material that has a very high tensile modulus and does not deform at all could also be detrimental if the application requires elasticity.

The tensile modulus is recorded during material tensile testing. It is graphed on a plot that has stress on the vertical axis and strain on the horizontal axis.

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