What is Modulus of Elasticity? - Industrial Physics What is Modulus of Elasticity? - Industrial Physics

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Modulus of Elasticity Testing

Modulus of Elasticity Testing

March 1, 2022 – Modulus of elasticity testing is an efficient way to find out how resistant your materials are to elastic deformation. When subjected to force or stress, materials can deform, which can lead to faulty products, unnecessary waste, and unhappy customers.  

Be certain that your materials can withstand the sort of pressures they’re likely to encounter throughout their lifespan with modulus of elasticity testing.  

What is modulus of elasticity?

A material’s modulus of elasticity is a measure of its stiffness. To test this, force is applied to the material and the results recorded. It is then possible to calculate the modulus of elastic as equal to the stress applied to the material divided by the resulting elastic strain.  

You’ll find that stiffer materials have a higher elastic modulus. For example, steel has a far higher modulus of elasticity than a flexible material like rubber.  

Types of modulus of elasticity testing

There are several different types of modulus of elasticity, the most common being: 

Young’s modulus 

Young’s modulus is another name for the modulus of elasticity. It is also known as tensile modulus or traction modulus. It measures the ability of a material to withstand changes in length when under lengthwise tension or compression. It is equal to the longitudinal stress divided by the strain and is suited for evaluating the elasticity of rigid or solid materials. Find out more in our guide to young’s modulus testing 

Shear modulus 

Shear modulus testing, also sometimes known as modulus of rigidity testing, is a method of determining the elastic shear stiffness of a material. It uses the ratio of shear stress to the shear strain to measure elasticity. It is typically carried out via a static torsion test or by a dynamic test that tends to use a torsional pendulum. 

Bulk modulus 

Bulk modulus testing is a way of determining a material’s response to (uniform) hydrostatic pressure. This is very useful for testing building or construction materials that may be used in underwater settings, from sea stations to swimming pools.  

Materials suitable for modulus of elasticity testing 

Modulus of elasticity testing is suitable for determining the elasticity of a wide variety of materials and in commonly used in a variety of industries. A few of the materials most frequently tested include: 


Modulus of elasticity testing solutions

United Testing Systems, our specialist brand and global manufacturer of materials testing equipment, has a complete line of universal test machines suitable for modulus of elasticity testing. These industry-leading instruments are also capable of performing tension (pull testing), compression, and bend/flex testing.  

From our 2.5 kN (550 lbf) single-column system up to our 2,000 kN (450,000 lbf) servo-hydraulic system, Industrial Physics’ test frames are known for their quality, durability, and affordability.  

Once, you’ve performed your test and viewed the results on our easy-to-read display screens or transferred them to a graph. You can see the modulus of elasticity plotted as the ratio of the stress in relation to the corresponding strain (displacement). Different types of elastic modulus can be measured, including Young’s modulus, shear modulus and bulk modulus.  

Industrial Physics’ test systems, along with our DragonFly UTS software package and wide selection of grips and extensometers, give you a highly accurate tool for performing this critical material test procedure. 

Understanding universal testing machines 

If you’re looking for extra information or a visual idea of how some of the components or parts look in action, have a watch of our short video with a handy overview of UTMs:

To get an even better idea of what universal testing machines are and wrap your head around some of the technical terms, check out our UTM glossary 

ASTM standards for modulus of elasticity testing

Applicable to such a wide range of materials and used throughout a number of industries, it won’t come as a surprise to find out that there are lots of different ASTM standards associated with modulus of elasticity testing. It’s important to be confident that no matter what material you’re testing, your test and inspect solution is capable of meeting industry standards.  

With Industrial Physics, you can rest assured that our solutions are designed to meet standards and our knowledgeable engineers are on hand to help you check you have the right machine for the job.  

ATSM standards include: 

  • ASTM A36/A36M – Standard Specification for Carbon Structural Steel 
  • ASTM C469 – Standard Test Method for Static Modulus of Elasticity and Poisson’s Ratio of Concrete in Compression 
  • ASTM C749 – Standard Test Method for Tensile Stress-Strain of Carbon and Graphite 
  • ASTM C947-03 – Standard Test Method for Flexural Properties of Thin-Section Glass-Fiber-Reinforced Concrete (Using Simple Beam With Third-Point Loading) 
  • ASTM D4761 – Standard Test Methods for Mechanical Properties of Lumber and Wood-Base Structural Material 
  • ASTM D638 – Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics 
  • ASTM D7205 – Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Fiber Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composite Bars 
  • ASTM D747 – Standard Test Method for Apparent Bending Modulus of Plastics by Means of a Cantilever Beam 
  • ASTM D8058 – Standard Test Method for Determining the Flexural Strength of a Geosynthetic Cementitious Composite Mat (GCCM) Using the Three-Point Bending Test 
  • ASTM D882 – Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Thin Plastic Sheeting 
  • ASTM E111 – Standard Test Method for Young’s Modulus, Tangent Modulus, and Chord Modulus 
  • ASTM E21-17 – Standard Test Methods for Elevated Temperature Tension Tests of Metallic Materials 
  • ASTM E2769 – Standard Test Method for Elastic Modulus by Thermomechanical Analysis Using Three-Point Bending and Controlled Rate of Loading 
  • C469/C469M-14 – Standard Test Method for Static Modulus of Elasticity and Poisson’s Ratio of Concrete in Compression 
  • C580-02(2012) – Standard Test Method for Flexural Strength and Modulus of Elasticity of Chemical-Resistant Mortars, Grouts, Monolithic Surfacings, and Polymer Concretes 

Modulus of elasticity testing with Industrial Physics

Get all the support you need with all of your modulus elastic test and inspection needs with Industrial Physics. Our specialist testing brands, like United Testing and Ray-Ran, are leaders when it comes to fast and efficient testing solutions and our engineers have a huge range of knowledge. For efficient and high quality testing solutions for modulus of elasticity testing and much more, browse our UTM range.