ASTM E646 - 16

    Standard Test Method for Tensile Strain-Hardening Exponents (n -Values) of Metallic Sheet Materials

    Active Standard ASTM E646 | Developed by Subcommittee: E28.02

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.01

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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This test method is useful for estimating the strain at the onset of necking in a uniaxial tension test (1). Practically, it provides an empirical parameter for appraising the relative stretch formability of similar metallic systems. The strain-hardening exponent is also a measure of the increase in strength of a material due to plastic deformation.

    5.2 The strain-hardening exponent may be determined over the entire plastic stress-strain curve or any portion(s) of the stress-strain curve specified in a product specification.

    Note 4: The engineering strain interval 10–20% is commonly used for determining the strain-hardening exponent, n, of formable low-carbon steel products

    5.3 This test method is not intended to apply to any portion of the true stress versus true strain curve that exhibits discontinuous behavior; however, the method may be applied by curve-smoothing techniques as agreed upon.

    Note 5: For example, those portions of the stress-strain curves for mild steel, aluminum, or other alloys that exhibit yield point and Lüders band elongation, twinning, or Portevin–Le Chatelier effect (PLC) may be characterized as behaving discontinuously.

    Note 6: Caution should be observed in the use of curve-smoothing techniques as they may affect the n-value.

    5.4 This test method is suitable for determining the tensile stress-strain response of metallic sheet materials in the plastic region prior to the onset of necking.

    5.5 The n-value may vary with the displacement rate or strain rate used, depending on the metal and test temperature.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of a strain-hardening exponent by tension testing of metallic sheet materials for which plastic-flow behavior obeys the power curve given in the Introduction.

    Note 1: A single power curve may not be a satisfactory fit to the entire stress-strain curve between yield and necking. If such is the case, more than one value of the strain-hardening exponent may be obtained (2) by agreement using this test method.

    1.2 This test method is specifically for metallic sheet materials with thicknesses of at least 0.005 in. (0.13 mm) but not greater than 0.25 in. (6.4 mm). The method has successfully been and may be applied to other forms and thicknesses by agreement

    1.3 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    Note 2: The value of the strain-hardening exponent, n, has no units and is independent of the units used in its determination

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E4 Practices for Force Verification of Testing Machines

    E6 Terminology Relating to Methods of Mechanical Testing

    E8/E8M Test Methods for Tension Testing of Metallic Materials

    E29 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Test Data to Determine Conformance with Specifications

    E83 Practice for Verification and Classification of Extensometer Systems

    E111 Test Method for Youngs Modulus, Tangent Modulus, and Chord Modulus

    E177 Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods

    E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method

    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 77.140.50 (Flat steel products and semi-products)

    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/E0646-16

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM E646-16, Standard Test Method for Tensile Strain-Hardening Exponents (n -Values) of Metallic Sheet Materials, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016,

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