Johns Hopkins University (10/22/2014)
Material Testing Lab
When completing the Materials Testing Lab activities, students must wear their goggles at all times
while in the lab. You must also wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. It is suggested that you wear
disposable gloves when handling the lead shot. Please wash your hands after you complete this lab.
Failure to comply with these safety requirements may result in earning no credit for the lab activity.
Record all your data in a notebook and then transfer it to an Excel data sheet. Think about the information
you want to record in your lab notebook. Plan ahead to decide how you will record it in a table of rows
and columns. You will be taking a lot of data so good data management is important. Dont forget to
measure the diameter for every piece of spaghetti you test.
This laboratory includes three separate materials testing experiments to be done on spaghetti of 3 different
diameters. See individual labs for respective objectives. Students will work in groups of three, and all
students are required to contribute to the completion of the lab report (additional handout will provide
specific details for write-up). Students are expected to put more thought into the objectives/hypotheses
and communication of results since few instructions are given.
Materials Science and Material Properties
Materials Science involves investigating the relationships that exist between the (internal) structures and
the properties of materials. A materials properties are quantitative traits that tell us something about the
nature of that material, and a materials performance will be a product of its properties. These properties
may be constant or dependent upon environmental conditions, and most important properties of materials
may be grouped into six different categories: mechanical, electrical, thermal, magnetic, optical, and
The mechanical properties of materials are most relevant to the design of structures. The mechanical
properties reflect the relationship between a materials reaction (or deformation) to an applied load or
force. Examples of mechanical properties of materials are ultimate tensile/compressive strength,
toughness, hardness, ductility, modulus of elasticity, and stiffness.
There are three principal ways in which a load may be applied to a structural member: tension (pulling),
compression (pushing), and shear (frequently applied through torsion). In this Material Testing Lab,
students will perform three tests on spaghetti to determine the modulus of elasticity (Youngs Modulus,
E) of spaghetti, the tensile strength of spaghetti, and to prove the format of the Euler Buckling equation.
Although useful, students will not be performing shear tests of spaghetti as part of this lab.
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Ductility a measure of the degree of plastic deformation that has been sustained at failure. A
brittle material experiences little or no plastic deformation
Elastic Deformation deformation in which stress and strain are proportional. This deformation is
nonpermanent, so the specimen returns to its original shape when the applied load
Hardness resistance to (different types of) permanent shape change when a force is applied.
Hookean Solid any material that displays linear-elastic elongation.
Plastic Deformation when a material is deformed beyond the area of elastic deformation and stress is no
longer proportional to strain, this permanent deformation occurs.
Proportional Limit the point in material testing before which elastic deformation occurs and beyond
which plastic deformation occurs.
Stiffness resistance to deformation.
Strength ability of a material to withstand an applied stress without failure.
Tensile Strength the maximum stress sustained by a material in tension. Prior to and including the
tensile strength, all deformation is uniform throughout the specimen tested.
However, if this stress is maintained or surpassed, necking begins to form and all
subsequent deformation is confined to this neck.
Toughness resistance to fracture in a material when stressed. Toughness indicates how much
energy a material can absorb before rupturing. Think of chipping away at ice on a
Yield Strength the stress corresponding to the intersection between the stress-strain curve and a
line parallel to the elastic portion of the stress-strain curve at a 0.002 strain offset.
A materials yield strength should be constant regardless of its cross-sectional area.
Yielding plastic deformation.
Youngs Modulus also known as the modulus of elasticity, E is the constant of proportionality as
defined by Hookes Law. This modulus may be thought of as stiffness, or a
materials resistance to elastic deformation (i.e., the greater the modulus, the stiffer
TERM FORMULA UNITS DEFINITION
Engr. Stress =
0 MPa the instantaneous force applied to a specimen over
original cross-sectional area
True Stress =
MPa the instantaneous force applied to a specimen over the
instantaneous cross-sectional area
0 none the elongation (or change in length) of a specimen divided
by the original length, sometimes referred to as percent
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Hookes Law = MPa strain is directly proportional to stress for Hookean materials (linear-elastic materials); this is equivalent to the
Experiment 1: Tensile Test
Tensile tests are one of the most common mechanical property tests. If you pull on both ends of a rod
with an increasing amount of force (making sure to apply the force only along the length of the rod), at
some point the rod will stretch, like silly putty, or break. The force will have exceeded the materials yield
strength. Depending on the material, the rod may simply snap in two. It also might experience plastic
deformation in the form of necking (a gradual reduction in cross-sectional area) before it breaks. Under
tensile loading, brittle materials tend to fracture without deformation, while ductile materials typically
experience plastic deformation and necking before breaking.
The force required to pull a rod apart depends on two things: the inherent strength of the material and the
cross-sectional area of the rod. A cotton string is easier to break than the same size steel wire. A larger
cross-section requires a larger force to pull it apart. This makes sense because a larger cross-sectional area
means that there are more atomic bonds to pull apart along a fracture line, which in turn necessitates a
larger force. With a circular cross-sectional area A = R2, the force to break the rod is
mRkP where the constant k depends on the material.
You will measure the fracture strength of spaghetti by pulling on it using a
lever arm apparatus. You will use the spaghetti epoxied to two cotter pins the
1. Start with the thinnest spaghetti. Use a micrometer to measure the
2. For the lever-arm apparatus, the lower end of the spaghetti will be attached
to a metal pin (use another cotter pin); the upper end will be attached to the
lever arm via a chain and S-hook (see figure). Adjust the chain so that the
lever arm is as level as possible.
3. Fill the bucket with BBs until the spaghetti breaks. Record the mass required to break the spaghetti.
Record whether the spaghetti beaks along its length or at the glue joint.
4. Repeat for three samples of each spaghetti thickness. Measure the spaghetti thickness each time. You
will have a total of 12 data points, three data points for each of the four thicknesses of spaghetti.
DATA ANALYSIS AND INTRODUCTION TO EXCEL SPREADSHEETS
1. Enter your data into an Excel spreadsheet, along with the proper units. It will work best if you organize your spreadsheet in the following manner:
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2. Add a column C where you calculate the radius of the spaghetti in the units of meters. a. First, label the column - in cell C1 type Radius (m)
b. Then calculate the radius for the first sample by typing this equation into cell C2 (the = at the beginning of the calculation tells Excel that you wish for it to perform a mathematical
This will take the diameter in mm and convert it into meters (A2/1000) and then it will
convert the diameter to a radius (1/2)
c. To copy this equation: i. Click on the contents of Cell C2 ii. Hold down the Ctrl button and the C key at the same time (to copy) iii. Click on C3 and drag the mouse to highlight the cells where you want to copy the
iv. Hold down the Ctrl button and the V key at the same time (to paste)
This will copy the equation into cells C3 and higher.
3. Add a column D where you calculate the force required to break the spaghetti.