Problems arise when existing standard tension tests are used for the measurement of the properties of metal matrix composites (MMCs), largely because the elastic limits in these materials are low due to intrinsic residual stresses. A new and validated data acquisition and analysis system has been developed to provide reference data for comparison with the results of two U.K. interlaboratory exercises on the tension test method for MMCs. Particular attention is paid to assessing an automatic system for calculating Young's modulus from the input data and using plots of secant or tangent modulus against stress or strain to present information on properties in a clear and succinct manner, and to methods for validating the software. The results of both interlaboratory exercises, on different types of MMCs, showed that the analysis system produced the smallest deviation from the mean.
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