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Strength and Specific Strength


Design issues


Tensile testing is used to find many important material properties. The compression test is similar but uses a stocky specimen to prevent bending.

Two measures of strength are defined - yield strength and ultimate tensile strength. Strength on the selection charts means yield strength.

Units & Values

Strength is measured by applied stress, which is equal to force/area. The units of stress are N/m2 or Pascals (1 Pa = 1 N/m2 ; 1 MPa = 1 N/mm2

Specific strength is strength/density - it is mostly just used for comparing materials, so the units are not important.