Tensile Elongation

Definition - What does Tensile Elongation mean?

Tensile elongation is the stretching that a material undergoes as it is pulled in tension. Tensile elongation is a measure of both elastic deformation and plastic deformation, and is commonly expressed as a percentage. It is used in conjunction with stress and strain values to help determine the mechanical properties of a material when performing a tensile test.

Corrosionpedia explains Tensile Elongation

Tensile elongation is expressed as a percentage of the new material length in terms of the original material length. Typically, marks are made on a material prior to testing. These marks are then measured again after testing is completed to determine the amount of tensile elongation that occurred. There are also special gauges that can measure elongation as the testing is happening.

Tensile elongation is a sum of both elastic deformation and plastic deformation. Elastic deformation is stretching that occurs on the atomic bond level. A material will return to its original size if the yield stress is not reached. Plastic deformation occurs after the yield stress is reached. This type of deformation is permanent; the material will not return to its original size following plastic deformation.

Tensile elongation is used to establish what the mechanical properties of a material are. A high tensile elongation is indicative of a soft, ductile material. If tensile elongation is nearly zero then the material is most likely hard and extremely brittle. Care must be taken to ensure that the velocity of the tensile testing is not too great. A high-tension force velocity could skew the tensile elongation results.

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