Metal Tensile Strength

In the metal fabrication world, you will hear the words “tensile strength” get thrown around. Many times, customers of ours and those just learning about metal fabrication will always ask about it and how it is pertinent to manufacturing. So this blog post will be intended to close this gap.

Metal Tensile StrengthWhat is metal tensile strength?

First off, the word “tensile” means stretch or flex. Many different types of metal have some elasticity. So stretch strength or flex strength gives you a better idea of what it means. Simply put, tensile strength is the the amount of stretching that can be done to metal before it breaks. When manufacturing with various types of metals, it is important to be aware of a metal’s tensile strength since it is a measurement of how the metal will perform a certain application.

How is tensile strength determined?

According to Steel Forge, metals’ tensile strength is “calculated by dividing the area of the material tested (the cross section) by the stress placed on the material, generally expressed in terms of pounds or tons per square inch of material.” In order to measure a metal’s tensile strength, a test piece of metal is put under a stress test where the metal is stretched with gradual increased force until the metal breaks. The amount of forced used to break the metal determines the metal’s tensile strength in psi (pounds per square inch).

What are the tensile strengths of common metals?

Here is a list of common metals and their tensile strengths according to Material Property Data:


Tensile Strength (psi)

Aluminum Alloy 5052-H32 33068
Aluminum alloy 6063-T6 35969
Mild steel 1090 121976
Stainless steel AISI 302 – Cold Rolled 124732
Steel  AISI 4130 160991
Structural steel ASTM A36 steel 58015

Don’t see the metal you are looking for? Be sure to look at Material Property Data‘s data sheets for over 12,000 different metals. If you have questions or want to learn more about a specific type of metal, feel free to comment below.

Vista Industrial Products, Inc. specializes in precision sheet metal fabrication, CNC machining, welding fabrication, mechanical assembly, and metal finishing. If you require quality metal fabrication of your metal parts, please contact us today for quote.

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