Ultimate tensile strength

Ultimate tensile strength (UTS), often shortened to tensile strength (TS), ultimate strength, or within equations,[1][2][3] is the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before breaking. In brittle materials the ultimate tensile strength is close to the yield point, whereas in ductile materials the ultimate tensile strength can be higher.

Two vises apply tension to a specimen by pulling at it, stretching the specimen until it fractures. The maximum stress it withstands before fracturing is its ultimate tensile strength.

The ultimate tensile strength is usually found by performing a tensile test and recording the engineering stress versus strain. The highest point of the stress–strain curve is the ultimate tensile strength and has units of stress. The equivalent point for the case of compression, instead of tension, is called the compressive strength.

Tensile strengths are rarely of any consequence in the design of ductile members, but they are important with brittle members. They are tabulated for common materials such as alloys, composite materials, ceramics, plastics, and wood.


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