Universal testing machine

A universal testing machine
Test fixture for three point flex test

A universal testing machine (UTM), also known as a universal tester,[1] materials testing machine or materials test frame, is used to test the tensile strength and compressive strength of materials. The "universal" part of the name reflects that it can perform many standard tensile and compression tests on materials, components, and structures (in other words, that it is versatile).



The set-up and usage are detailed in a test method, often published by a standards organization. This specifies the sample preparation, fixturing, gauge length (the length which is under study or observation), analysis, etc.

The specimen is placed in the machine between the grips and an extensometer if required can automatically record the change in gauge length during the test. If an extensometer is not fitted, the machine itself can record the displacement between its cross heads on which the specimen is held. However, this method not only records the change in length of the specimen but also all other extending / elastic components of the testing machine and its drive systems including any slipping of the specimen in the grips.

Once the machine is started it begins to apply an increasing load on specimen. Throughout the tests the control system and its associated software record the load and extension or compression of the specimen.

Machines range from very small table top systems to ones with over 53 MN (12 million lbf) capacity.[2]

See also


  1. Davis, Joseph R. (2004), Tensile testing (2nd ed.), ASM International, p. 2, ISBN 978-0-87170-806-9.
  2. NIST, Large Scale Structure Testing Facility, retrieved 04-05-2010. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)


External links

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