Software tools for a materials testing curriculum

Christoph Leser, Frank Kelso, Ali P. Gordon, Sherri Ohnsted

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Instructors of both undergraduate and graduate courses of materials science with a laboratory section employ hands-on sessions to further students' understanding of key materials behavior principles. A typical solid mechanics laboratory session exposes students to topics such as: tensile, torsion, hardness, fatigue, and fracture testing procedures as well as associated properties and the like. Even though observing the different modes of material deformation and rupture response firsthand fosters a better mastery of the course content, limitations in available "face time" with students, course budget, availability of test devices, etc., are obstacles. Integrating software tools that simulate mechanical testing represents an alternative approach that can potentially transform and enhance the students learning outcomes. The identical graphical user interface is used for conducting both virtual and physical testing of materials. The software tools will aid in the classroom, laboratory, and student self-study for the subjects of a material's plastic yielding, stress-strain relationships, fatigue, crack growth, and fracture. These same tools are then used in the laboratory to perform physical testing. This integrated virtual/physical curriculum prepares the student in test setup, execution and data analysis and makes the laboratory experience more efficient. It is also instructive for gaining an understanding of the value and limitations of modeling approaches in describing material behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationApplication of Automation Technology in Fatigue and Fracture Testing and Analysis
Subtitle of host publication6th Volume
EditorsArthur A. Braun, Peter C. McKeighan
PublisherASTM International
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780803175877
StatePublished - 2014
Event6th Symposium on Application of Automation Technology in Fatigue and Fracture Testing and Analysis - Indianapolis, United States
Duration: May 22 2013 → …

Publication series

NameASTM Special Technical Publication
VolumeSTP 1571
ISSN (Print)0066-0558


Other6th Symposium on Application of Automation Technology in Fatigue and Fracture Testing and Analysis
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Period5/22/13 → …

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2014 by ASTM International.


  • Console emulator
  • Simulated data
  • Strength of materials
  • Universal testing machine


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