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Engineering 7 Pages

Tensile Testing



Summarize each major section of the lab report--Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion--in 1 sentence each (two if a section is complex). Then string the summaries together in a paragraph in the order the sections come in the final report.

Here are some suggestions for what to include in each sentence of the Abstract:

Introduction: the main focus of the lab (scientific concept or lab procedure) and main objective(s) of the lab

Methods: a quick description of the how the lab was done

Results: statement of the overall findings

Discussion: statement explaining the findings of the lab and their relationship to the scientific concept or lab procedure

Put all these sentences together into one paragraph with the heading Abstract


Begin the opening paragraph of the Introduction by stating the main concept (principle, theory, law) or illustrated or examined in the lab. If you are having trouble writing a good opening sentence for the lab report, you can say something like: "This laboratory experiment focuses on X…"; "This laboratory experiment is about X…" ; "This lab is designed to help students learn about, observe, or investigate, X…."

Continue by stating all the details about the concept relevant to the lab that you can find in the lab manual, textbook, class notes, handouts, etc. This will often include the statement of equations relevant to the lab. Equations should be as shown on the attached document. Note that the attached document also contains keyboard shortcuts that make equation writing in Word much faster!

Write in sentence form the objectives for this lab--specific things you are being asked to do in the lab, such as measure, analyze, observe, test something, etc. Objectives are typically actions you are being asked to perform for the lab. Often the objectives are listed in the lab manual (do not copy/paste-- state the objectives in your own words!). Writing the objectives of the lab in your own words demonstrates your understanding of what you were supposed to accomplish in the lab.

Continue the paragraph by describing the purpose of the lab--how the achievement of these objectives are designed to help you learn about the scientific concept or procedure of the lab you discussed in step 1. You may choose to formulate this in terms of questions that describe issues that you did not understand or wanted to know more about before or during the lab. This shows what you may be able to learn by doing the lab. You will return to these issues in the Discussion.


Using your lab manual, handouts, and notes taken during the lab as a guide, describe in paragraph form how you did the lab. The point is to demonstrate that you have a solid grasp of the lab procedures, such as using specific laboratory equipment to determine an unknown. Provide enough detail of the materials you used and the methods you followed so that someone else with your level of knowledge and resources could repeat the procedure.

Begin by reviewing the directions in the lab manual and any notes you took as you did the lab. If it is a complex procedure, such as the procedure involved in bonding strain gages, you may present an outline of what you did and refer the reader to the strain gage bonding instruction document for further information.

Write the procedure in paragraph form. Describe what you actually did in your own experiment, even though it may be somewhat different from the ideal procedure in the manual. This may be important when you are writing the discussion portion of your report.

Use the proper past tense and passive voice. Methods are usually written in past tense because you are describing what you have already done. They are also typically written in passive voice ("Two ml. were pipetted into a test tube"). Note that the writing style of your methods section will be different from the instructions given in the lab handout. The lab handout is written as a list of instructions ("Bond the strain gage to the specimen..."); you are writing a summary of what you actually did ("The strain gage was bonded to the specimen...").

To make your description of the experimental procedure clear, use appropriate transitional or "sign post" words that indicate a sequence and help the reader follow the sequence: step 1, step 2, step 3; first, then, finally; first, second, third; after, next, later, following; etc.

Avoid putting any results of the lab in the Methods. Just describe what you did, not what you found. 


Create appropriate tables, graphs, and other figures to enable you to visualize your lab data. Use a spreadsheet program or table function in a word processing program. Remember that representing your data in a visual format will allow you to identify trends, relationships, and other patterns in your data more easily. Examples are attached.

Help on Excel can be found here:

  • Where tables are appropriate to present your data:
    • Every table should have a heading, including the sequential table number, and an appropriate short description of what is contained in the table
    • Every table column should have a clear heading description with appropriate units
    • Introduce the table in the text of the results section and reference it by number.
  • Where figures are appropriate to present your data:
    • Caption each figure with a sequential number, and provide a brief description of what is contained in the figure
    • Both axes of the figure should be clearly labeled with appropriate units. Provide a legend if appropriate.
    • Introduce the table in the text of the results section and reference it by number.
  • Once you have generated visual representations of your data, determine the best order for presenting the visuals. This may be chronological order, order of importance, or you may want to start with the most general representation of the data and continue to the more specific.

The opening sentence(s) of your Results section should summarize the main finding of this lab.

  • Look for a unifying feature among the data sets you collected. This is likely to be the dependent variable. The sentence will be a general statement that summarizes your findings about that variable or related variables.
  • You can start the sentence in several ways: "The results of the lab show that …"; "The data from the experiments demonstrate that…"; "The independent variable X increased as Y and Z were…."; "The observations show that...."

In separate paragraphs, summarize the general finding in each of your visuals--tables, graphs, drawings, or other figures. First, describe any relationship or interaction, which exists among variables for each visual. Then include any specific details from the visual(s) that are important for understanding the results. Refer to your tables, graphs, drawings, or other figures as figure or table 1, 2, 3, etc.

Where appropriate, give a percentage error calculation. Typically this will be the difference between the experimental and the expected result, divided by the expected result, multiplied by 100%. Repeat this calculation for all data sets where it is appropriate, and if there are several, you may want to create a table showing percentage error for different cases. You are reporting factual information-- remember that the Results only reports and describes what you observed and collected during your lab. The Results does not explain, discuss, or draw conclusions. 

The Results look like this:

  • Summary of overall findings of lab
  • Paragraph related to visual 1
    1. Sentence of overall finding from visual 1
    2. Sentence(s) with key details from the visual
  • Paragraph related to visual 2
    1. Sentence of overall finding from visual 2
    2. Sentence(s) with key details from the visual 2
  • (repeat as needed)
  • Present percentage error quantifications as appropriate


After having presented all factual information in the Results section, the Discussion section should discuss what this information means. What trends are evident in your results, or what relationships do you see between different sets of data? What is the nature of the plots you obtained (exponential, linear, sinusoidal, etc.) and what does this indicate about the relationship between the dependent and independent variable? Is this relationship expected? Perhaps your results verify a relationship contained in an equation that you presented in your introduction-- the Disucssion section is the place to draw this connection.

Explain what the findings mean in terms of the scientific concept or laboratory procedure of the lab, expressed in your Introduction. Discuss the connection between the evidence you collected and the theoretical concepts discussed in lab and lecture. As necessary, refer to graphs, drawings, tables, lists, or other visuals from the Results to support your explanation.

Note: If you are not sure of an answer, put in any qualifiers you think are appropriate. You can say that you think the answer is tentative.

Comment on the error in your lab results, including the percentage errors you found. If you have reason to be uncertain about some of your data (for example, if the percentage error is high, or it doesn’t match what you think you should have found, or if you had problems in your lab procedure) go back to the notes you took as you were setting up the lab and collecting and recording data. These notes might enable you to identify sources of uncertainty.

In scientific articles, the Discussion is where scientists typically compare their results to those from other scientific experiments. You may do something similar by comparing analytical (hand calculation) reults to experimental results. Or in the ANSYS labs, you may compare computational (software generated) results to analytical and/or experimental results. You may even compare your results to those of other students in the lab. In your Discussion, you should comment on any similarities or differences you find and offer possible explanations for the differences.

In the final part of your Discussion, you may note questions from the Introduction that remain unanswered, and indicate what further investigations you would do in order to gather more information.

  • Previously, you had identified questions from the Introduction that you could answer based on the lab research. Go back to the ones that you don’t have a satisfactory answer for. Restate those questions and talk about why they remain unanswered and speculate, if you can, on what it would take to answer them.

 You can also demonstrate your ability to provide productive critique of the lab by offering suggestions for further in


Title: Tensile Testing
Length: 7 pages (2153 Words)
Style: MLA


Tensile Testing


The focus of the lab experiment is to investigate the main concepts of the normal strain through axial loading and curves of stress strain. The experiment was carried out by first putting the specimen into a tensile load in an increasing sequence until the optimum condition was achieved. On the other hand, the Gages of the strains were attached to another specimen and a load applied before measuring the strain on both locations in order to determine the changes in the strain. It was discovered that as the specimen showed stretching characteristics as the load increased. Additionally, the yield point of the material was determined by the change due to stress of about 40,000 psi (Jackson 12). The yield stress depends on the load. This is approximated using the stress vs. strain graph. Additionally, the percentage error is essential in this case and can be calculated by comparing the data as published.


The main objective of the experiment is to find out the concepts of normal strain under the influence of loading and curves of stress strain. In characterizing the strength of the material used in the experiment, the first thing was to test the specimen, which was made using aluminum. A tensile test was undertaken using an MTS machine (Ferdnand. G 17). In the initial stages, the specimen was inserted below an increasing tensile load until it reached its breaking point. 


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