How to Calculate Elastic Strain

If you are looking to calculate true elastic strain in a strained elastic material, you will be glad to know that the steps involved are very simple. Strain is defined as the change in length per the total original length of a material when it is pulled or stretched under load. Depending on the deformation of the material, there are a couple of methods of calculating true strain on an elastic material.

Engineers across the world are required to determine the elastic strain to figure the breaking point. The true strain, also known as natural strain or logarithmic strain, is also used to determine the true stress on a particular material. Follow the techniques and instructions given below to calculate true strain before and after necking.

Things Required:

– Rubber band
– Ruler
– Scientific calculator


  • 1

    Calculation of strain prior to necking

    Calculation of true strain prior to necking is very simple. You will need to determine the length of the material that will be placed under stress or load.

    Consider an example of a rubber band 1 inch long and use a rule to measure its length in an unstretched position.

    As you apply tension to the rubber band, its length will  increase. Tension can be applied by holding one end of the rubber band while pulling the other in opposite direction. Again, use a ruler to measure the length of the stretched rubber band.

    For example, the length of the rubber band was increased to 2 inch after tension was applied.

    Next, you will be required to divide the extended length of the rubber band by the actual length of the material, which will be 2/1 = 2.

    Now use a scientific calculator to take the natural logarithm of the length ratio. The natural logarithm function is usually represented by LN or ln abbreviation on the calculator. Taking log of the 2, the answer will be 0.693, which is the strain prior to necking or deformation of the material.

  • 2

    Calculation of strain after necking

    True strain after necking can be calculated using the areas of the material before and after applying tension. Divide the actual area by the necking area and then take the natural logarithm to determine the true strain after the necking process.

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