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How can you measure compressive strength?

  1. May 10, 2010 #1
    It's a really tricky one to work out, but does anyone have any suggestions of how to measure compressive strength?

    Thanks a lot.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2010 #2


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    Compressive strength of a material is measured experimentally. The apparatus plots a stress-strain curve and when the material crushes, the value of the stress is called the limit compressive strength. I'm not really sure what you are asking.
  4. May 10, 2010 #3
    How can you measure compressive strength, that's what I'm asking xD

    Not sure how else to put it :'(
  5. May 10, 2010 #4
    One of them would be a vice grip maybe. Any others?
  6. May 10, 2010 #5
    Well it rather depends upon the material.

    You can measure it directly by crushing a specimen in a in a calibrated press as Radou has described, or you can measure indirectly by testing a suitably shaped bending specimen to destruction.
  7. May 10, 2010 #6
    ASTM (American Society Testing Materials) has standards on how to test different materials. You can purchase the standards from their website. Basically you have a load cell attached to a motorized piston that simultaneously measures the force and compressive distance on a sample to failure. The samples must be a uniform size and composition.
  8. May 10, 2010 #7
    This might be a DIY approach. The difficult thing to measure is how far the specimen compresses before failure. Get a screw clamp and determine how far the screw end travels with every let's say 1/2 turn. You will still need a load cell to measure force but you should be able to equate force with displacement if the sample is not to brittle. It is worth a try.
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