Used to evaluate static tensile strength characteristics of materials, products & components

Tesnile Testing System

A tensile test is one of the most fundamental mechanical tests that can be performed on a material, product, or component.

Our tensile testers will measure characteristics such as ultimate tensile strength, yield strength, elongation, and modulus. Each tensile test machine is configured to your testing needs by our application engineers with the correct controller, grips, and accessories.

We have a wide range of tensile testing equipment that can be configured for your exact application. Our team of tensile testing experts is dedicated to helping you find the right solution that meets your specific requirements.

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What Is a Tensile Test?

A tensile test is a mechanical testing method that tests to determine how a material such as aluminum or plastics behaves under a tension or pull force. The product of a tensile test is a test report that characterizes tensile properties using stress strain data.

What Happens During a Tensile Test?


In the case of a metals tensile test, your material will behave as follows:

  • It elongates proportionally to the stress applied and return to its original shape if the load is removed.
  • Beyond yield, it deforms permanently and doesn't return to its original shape even if the load is removed.
  • Before fracture, the material may form a narrower necking region.
  • Eventually, the sample breaks, the load drops off and the maximum stress is recorded as ultimate tensile strength.

Why Are Tensile Tests Important?

Tensile tests provide fundamental insights into a material's strength and stiffness as characterized by its ability to withstand tension or pull forces. This information is needed in virtually all mechanical products where strength and stiffness are design variables. Tensile test properties make it possible to select and compare materials, design components, ensure quality, and prevent product failures.

  • Material Selection - Tensile test data enables comparison of different materials.
  • Design Engineering - Tensile properties are used in design to predict how a component made from a specific material will behave.
  • Quality Control - Manufacturing processes can be improved using tensile tests to ensure that materials consistently meet strength requirements.
  • Research and Development - Tensile testing characterizes new alloys, composites, and advanced materials, assessing their suitability for applications.
  • Process Improvement - Researchers use tensile tests to understand how heat treatments, processing techniques, and changes in composition affect a material's mechanical properties.
  • Failure Analysis - researching how and where materials fracture during tensile tests provides valuable insights into failure mechanisms, improving material design.
  • Industry Compliance and Safety - Many industries have strict standards and regulations that require materials to undergo tensile testing to ensure they meet design criteria.

What's Involved in Tensile Testing and Where Do You Start?

Tensile test methods vary from material to material and application to application. Start your process by researching the materials you want to test and establishing what results you should expect.

ASTM and ISO Industry standards provide a comprehensive list of different tensile tests. Industry standards can be educational and address many topics, including:

  • Testing equipment required including test machine, grips and fixtures, data analysis requirements, test control variables, etc
  • Definitions of terms and technical jargon used.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to perform a test on your specific material, including:
    • Equipment setup and calibration,
    • Specimen mounting,
    • Test machine loading speeds or strain rates, and
    • Test machine data collection requirements.
  • Special formulas and equations to calculate properties
  • Specifies special information that should be included in a test report

How to Perform a Tensile Test When Using a Specific Standard?

  1. Identify the closest test method for your material.There are multiple international standards organizations and subsequent standards including ASTM, ISO and 20+ others. See below for examples.
  2. Prepare your test samples per a shape and size defined in your test standard. In tensile testing, "Dogbone" shaped samples are common, with thick ends for gripping and a narrower gauge section where deformation is concentrated. There are multiple forms (round, flats, thin film, sheet, wire, etc) and dimensions, so refer to your standard, which will guide you.
  3. Set up your Universal test machine. The machine must have
    1. A set of upper and lower tensile grips mounted to your machine. If the grips are general purpose then you will need to decide what type of jaw inserts are needed. The jaws grip and hold your sample without slipping (or destroying) your sample. Jaw selection is important. Contact us for advice.
    2. An extensometer with the correct gauge length and travel for your test sample
    3. A load cell sized for your application. Not too small. Not too large. A conservative rule of thumb is that your sample should break at a load range 20% to 80% of the load cell rating. Outside of that range you should consider a second load cell. Our load cells are inexpensive to add to a system.
    4. Test machine control system with data analysis software. The software should be easy to use, with all the calculations you need, and the controller hardware should not be ten years or older.
  4. Load the test sample in the grips while carefully aligning the sample to the center axis of the loading frame to avoid bending forces that could skew results. Some grips are self aligning, some are not. Contact us for advice.
300 Series Test System with Newton Controller

What Are Some Common Tensile Testing Standards?

There are plenty of tensile testing standards available. Some of the most common include:

ASTM Test Methods

  • ASTM E8 Tension Testing of Metals
  • ASTM D638 Tensile Properties of Plastics
  • ASTM D3039 Tensile Properties of Polymer Matrix Composites
  • ASTM D412 Tension Tests of Rubber and Elastomers
  • ASTM D882 Tensile Properties of Thin Plastic Sheeting
  • ASTM A370 Tensile Testing of Steel Products
  • ASTM E21 Elevated Temperature Tension Tests of Metals
  • ASTM D828 Tensile Properties of Paper and Paperboard
  • ASTM D5035 Breaking Force and Elongation of Textile Fabrics

ISO Test Methods

  • ISO 6892-1 Tensile Testing of Metals
  • ISO 527 Tensile Testing of Plastics
  • ISO 527-5 Tensile Properties of Fiber-Reinforced Plastic Composites
  • ISO 13934-1 Tensile properties of Textile Fabrics
  • ISO 1924-2 Tensile Properties of Paper and Paperboard

Tensile Testing Standards by Standards Organization:

If you have a specific standard that you will be using, please refer to this table to find and learn more about the products we recommend for that particular standard.

Identify Your Standard by Your Specific Application

Identify the closest test method for your material. There are multiple international standards organizations and subsequent standards including ASTM, ISO and 20+ others.

If you have a specific material that you will be using, please refer to this table to find and learn more about the products we recommend for testing that specific material.

What if I Don’t Have a Specific Test Standard or Don’t Know Exactly What I Need?

We can guide you through the process of configuring a machine, whether the purpose is to help you create a budget or to buy a machine.

Important Considerations When Performing a Tensile Test

  • For most tensile tests, especially plastics, rubber, and composites, the test speed setting should be set to control the test at a constant test speed. Metals test settings vary depending on the standard. You may need strain control. We recommend our Newton controller.Contact us for advice.
  • The machine's load cell measures applied force and the controller captures the force readings in real-time at whatever speed you need. Fast or slow.
  • If your machine has a clip-on extensometer with the correct strain range and gauge length (pretty unlikely, so double check it) then use it to measure strain. If you don't have an extensometer, you may use the test machine's crosshead encoder measurement for measurements. Caution - using the displacement encoder to calculate elongation, yield strength and modulus can be of use in some cases. Be aware that the calculated results will then include some error due to the inherent compliance of the test system. Contact us for advice. We also offer non contacting extensometers.
  • During the test, your Newton test machine controller records force-elongation data continuously. If you are using an extensometer then you can create a full stress strain curve and report with all key parameters.
  • Your test sample breaks after reaching its ultimate tensile strength. With the Newton controller, key property values are reported such as yield strength, ultimate tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, and elongation at break are derived from the stress-strain curve.
  • Some customers need to test samples at elevated temperatures, in a saline bath, or at cryogenic conditions. We also provide environmental subsystems including fixturing and extensometry.

What Equipment Do I Need to Perform a Tensile Test?

The specific equipment needed to perform a tensile test depends on your application. However, the most common equipment used for a tensile test is a universal test machine that is configured for your specific application. Universal test machines are extremely versatile and can perform various tests on a variety of different samples by simply switching out different grips and fixtures.

Complete Tensile Test Machines can include the following:

Get a Complete Test System for Your Test Application

Completing your material test system is easy. Simply start by choosing a test machine, choose your accessories, and select your controller software. We are your one-stop shop for all your application testing needs.

Let us help you choose the right machine for your specific application.
Tensile Test Machines

Tensile Test Machines

Get the Highest Value Tensile Testers

Choose form 38 different models and two different technologies with 100's of configurations which allows you to optimize your testing capabilities and pick exactly what you need.

Select Tensile Test Machines

Newton Test Controller

From simplified test setups to an intuitive controller software interface and pre-configured methods for industry standards - this innovative technology ensures that your test application are conducted seamlessly and with precision.

Accurate & Repeatable Test Results

  • Simple test setup, operation, and reporting
  • Flexible and scalable software packages - Get what you need now with room to grow!
  • Prebuilt test methods for many of the most common application-specific testing standards
Software Reports
Newton Software

High-performance and easy-to-use controller with logical workflow design

With an intuitive interface, Newton makes it easy for users to navigate through various options and settings, ultimately enhancing the overall user experience. By streamlining complex procedures into user-friendly steps, this software serves both experienced test engineers and beginners alike to conduct tests with confidence and accuracy.

Due to the massive selection of products that we offer, it can be difficult to narrow down what you need. Let us help you select and configure based on your testing application.

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Tensile Strength Tests Vs. Tensile Characterization Tests

The software and calculations you need depends on the type of test you will be performing. The Newton controller can be configured for each of the following tests:

Tensile Strength Tests

Includes tensile strength calculations.

Strength tests measure and report one specific key parameter which is the maximum stress a material can withstand before breaking. It's a single data point that's easy to test, to understand and to communicate. The data can be plotted as a force-deflection curve which helps provide warning signs about unusual sample behaviors.

In many scenarios, knowing the tensile strength is sufficient for design purposes. To the designer, if the selected material can withstand the expected tension stresses without breaking, the details of its deformation behavior are not considered critical. Tensile strength offers a lower cost simpler way to compare different materials and perform basic design calculations.

Simplified and lower cost

Tensile Characterization Tests

Includes tensile strength, yield strength, elongation at break, and the material's response throughout the stress-strain curve calculations.

Tensile characterization tests are performed to describe the material properties with the intent to understand its behavior under tensile stress. The mechanical behaviors can be complex and broad, including key parameters such as tensile strength, yield strength, elongation at break, and the material's response throughout the stress-strain curve. Tensile characterization Tests provide a complete picture.

The test machine is an expanded version of a strength-alone tester. It includes additional Newton software calculations and the addition of an extensometer and strain channel. It also can plot full and accurate stress strain curves.

Provides a complete analysis

What Does a Tensile Test Report Look Like?

A stress versus strain plot is a valuable materials property graph in materials science, providing important characterization data. It is essential to note that accurate strain measurements often require the use of an extensometer. This data also yields several key material properties:

  • Yield strength is reported at the stress at which a material starts to deform plastically.
  • Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) is the maximum stress the material can withstand before breaking.
  • Elongation at Break measures the material stretch before failure which is related to ductility.
  • Young's Modulus measures a material's stiffness or resistance to deformation within the elastic region. It's also known as the modulus of elasticity.
Tensile Test Report Data Example

Tensile Testing Accesories

Choose from 100's of tensile test accessories to complete your tensile test machine. All of our tensile accessories will fit any brand of test machine through the use of an adapter.

Our tensile grips are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials to meet your specific needs. They are designed for materials like elastomers, metals, composites, plastics and more.

Talk to one of our Engineers to help you navigate the vast selection of testing accessories to find the perfect fit for your testing application.

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Common Tensile Test Applications

A tensile test is used to check the quality of different materials based on their properties such as ductility, hardness, yield strength, and tensile strength. When selecting materials for a final product or prototype, you need to know if they will stand up to real-world use. Every material has a breaking point, so knowing how strong your materials are can alert you if you are using something that won't hold up well under stress. When choosing fabrics, metal alloys, paper pulp and other raw materials, a tensile test can help you select the strongest available options.

Aerospace & Automotive

Tensile testing of aluminum alloys, high-strength steel, and titanium is common in aircraft wings, fuselages, landing gear, and car chassis. Evaluating carbon fiber composites and fiberglass for consideration as lightweight and strong structural components. Fastener tests of bolts, screws, and rivets are needed to ensure they have the strength for their intended use.

Construction & Infrastructure

Tensile tests ensure that steel rebar used in concrete meets strength and ductility standards. Tensile materials tests of steel l I-beams, girders, and other building elements along with tensile strength tests of cables and wire rope used in bridges and suspension structures. Wide width tensile strength of geotextile fabrics used in earthworks and soil reinforcement applications.

Manufacturing & Product Development

Determining the tensile strength and flexibility of plastics and polymers is used in thin film packaging, toys, consumer goods, and automotive parts. Also, evaluating the tensile bond strength of adhesives and bonding agents between different materials and testing a textile or fabric durability and tear resistance of clothing, upholstery, and technical fabrics are important. Characterizing the tensile strength of electrical wires, cables, and ropes.


Testing the strength and suitability of tissue engineering and biomaterials used in implants, prosthetics, and sutures is critical. Analyzing the tensile properties of bone and soft tissues helps understand injury mechanisms and develop treatments. Medical devices are tested to prove the safety and reliability of catheters, tubing, and other medical equipment.

Research & Development

Tensile tests evaluate the properties of new advanced experimental alloys, composites, ceramics, and other materials under development. These tests help Investigate the root causes of material failures by analyzing fracture points and deformation patterns. Understanding how manufacturing processes like heat treatment or forming affect a material's tensile properties is done daily.

These are just a few examples of tensile testing applications:

200 Series Tensile Test Hydraulic Tensile Testing
Tensile Testing Biomedical Bath Rebar Tensile Testing
Rubber Tensile Testing Rubber Tensile Testing with 200 Series