Tensile testing refers to testing a material property such as ultimate tensile strength, yield strength, yield limit, yield point, elastic limit, proportional limit, Poisson’s ratio, modulus of elasticity or modulus of rigidity. Tensile tests tend to be performed on standardized (e.g. ASTM or ISO) test geometries and test methods that produce materials properties data.

Tension testing refers to the force a material experiences when a load is applied in an effort to attempt to lengthen, elongate or pull the material apart. It refers to the test machine direction of force being applied and is the opposite of compression testing. A simple analogy of tension is the force experienced by a bar as both ends are pulled away from each other or the force a rubber band feels when it is stretched.