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Tensile Curve

Definition - What does Tensile Curve mean?

A tensile curve refers to the graphical and empirical representation of the relationship between stress and strain that a given metal experiences when exposed to an external force. It is a unique property for each material and is determined by the evaluation of the degree of strain experienced and the fixed stress interval of application.

The tensile curve is often also referred to as a graphical representation of the tensile stress endured by a material. Tensile stress is the resistance of an object to a force tending to tear it apart. It reflects the highest tension the object can endure without tearing.

Corrosionpedia explains Tensile Curve

Tensile curves are used to convey a variety of characteristics of a given metal. These characteristics are primarily in the form of the following:

  1. The proportional limit of a material is the point on the curve where the applied stress and strain are directly proportional.
  2. The elastic limit of a material is the point on the curve where up to which the material remains perfectly elastic and can return to its original state.
  3. The yield point of a material is the point on the curve where material elongation occurs at a significantly faster rate with little or no applied force required.
  4. The ultimate stress point of a material is the point on the curve depicting the maximum strength that can be endured by a material before breaking to a point beyond recovery.
  5. The breaking point of a material is the point on the curve depicting breaking stress. This is the maximum force that can be applied on a cross-sectional area of a material in such a way that the material is unable to withstand any additional amount of stress before breaking.

The proper understanding and application of these characteristics as they pertain to materials in a given application can prevent the force-dependent corrosion types, such as crevice corrosion and pitting corrosion.

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