In the metal industry, all raw materials and finished metal products must meet compliance standards. Tensile testing ensures only high-quality materials are used, to minimize failures and ensure customer satisfaction.
One such test is the ASTM E8. This test provides data on the mechanical characteristics of metals — their strength and ductility — under uniaxial tensile forces. A metal's tensile strength is its ability to withstand tensile loads without failure. Ductility, meanwhile, measures the ability to deform under tensile stress (e.g. a wire's ability to bend). A metal that is too brittle cannot be formed into the requisite shape without fracturing, rendering it useless.
This leads to the importance of R&D on alloys. Alloys can be crafted with properties designed for specific uses. For example, in the construction industry, load-bearing steel beams are crafted from high strength materials. Framing steel, on the other hand, needs sufficient ductility to be formed into shape and so fasteners can be installed — as noted above, excessively brittle steel will crack and become dangerous.
By comparison, the automotive field often works with lighter materials that can reduce fuel costs but still adhere to strength requirements. The automobile, in fact, is a common example of how materials are designed for highly specific purposes — the engine compartment, for example, uses different materials than the frame around the driver and passengers. Using one type of metal for the entire car creates a situation where crashes from the front may be substantially less dangerous than those from the side or rear. However, through the use of different alloys in the same vehicle, car manufacturers can determine which materials have the best mix of characteristics for maintaining passenger safety through crashes from various angles.
When new alloys are developed for these purposes, both the raw materials and the finished products are repeatedly subjected to tensile tests to ensure they possess the requisite characteristics for wherever they will be used. Having fast, accurate feedback on the strength of these metals is critical to all of their potential applications.
When running a tensile test, it is critical for the test's accuracy and quality to cut a sample without nicks or jagged edges. Such imperfections will degrade the test's ability to provide consistent results. TensileMill CNC offers small and large high-speed machining centers designed to prepare high-quality tensile test specimens, with a user-friendly interface that will allow any operator to make the right cut time after time. If your business is in need of better specimen preparation tools, contact us to find out more.