Tensile strength is tested by stretching. A metal extends overall at first, but later expansion concentrates around the point of fracture. Curves A and B (see graph) show typical extensions. Curve A, for mild steel, remains linear to its elastic limit. If the load is released early, the metal returns to its original length. Curve B is typical of softer metals. A range of relative strengths of metals is also shown.
Related category PROPERTIES OF MATTER
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