Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-dkqnh Total loading time: 0.517 Render date: 2021-10-23T02:56:41.755Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

6 - Compressive Testing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2021

T. W. Clyne
University of Cambridge
J. E. Campbell
Plastometrex, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge
Get access


Testing in (uniaxial) compression is sometimes an attractive alternative to tensile testing. Specimens can be simpler in shape and smaller, since there is no gripping requirement. The key question is whether corresponding information can be obtained. In general, it can, but there is sometimes a perception that at least some materials behave differently under compression – i.e. that there is tensile-compressive asymmetry in their response. In fact, this is largely a myth: at least in the majority of cases, the underlying plasticity response is symmetrical (and indeed the von Mises (deviatoric) stress, which is normally taken to be the determinant of the response, is identical in the two cases). However, there are important caveats to append to this statement. For example, if the material response is indeed dependent on the hydrostatic component of the stress, as it might be for porous materials and for those in which a phase transformation occurs during loading, then asymmetry is possible. Also, while the underlying plasticity response is usually the same, the compressive stress–strain curve is often affected by friction between sample and platen (leading to barreling). Conversely, the necking that is likely to affect the tensile curve cannot occur in compression, although some kind of buckling or shearing instability is possible. It’s also important to distinguish the concept of tension/compression asymmetry from that of the Bauschinger effect (a sample pre-loaded in tension exhibiting a different response if then loaded in compression).

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Mizuno, T and Okamoto, M, Effects of lubricant viscosity at pressure and sliding velocity on lubricating conditions in the compression-friction test on sheet metals. Journal of Lubrication Technology: Transactions of the ASME, 1982. 104(1): 5359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li, LX, Peng, DS, Liu, JA and Liu, ZQ, An experiment study of the lubrication behavior of graphite in hot compression tests of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 2001. 112(1): 15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li, P, Siviour, CR and Petrinic, N, The effect of strain rate, specimen geometry and lubrication on responses of aluminium AA2024 in uniaxial compression experiments. Experimental Mechanics, 2009. 49(4): 587593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frick, CP, Clark, BG, Orso, S, Schneider, AS and Arzt, E, Size effect on strength and strain hardening of small-scale 111 nickel compression pillars. Materials Science and Engineering A: Structural Materials Properties Microstructure and Processing, 2008. 489(1–2): 319329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fei, HY, Abraham, A, Chawla, N and Jiang, HQ, Evaluation of micro-pillar compression tests for accurate determination of elastic–plastic constitutive relations. Journal of Applied Mechanics: Transactions of the ASME, 2012. 79(6).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chen, R, Sandlobes, S, Zehnder, C, Zeng, XQ, Korte-Kerzel, S and Raabe, D, Deformation mechanisms, activated slip systems and critical resolved shear stresses in an Mg-LPSO alloy studied by micro-pillar compression. Materials & Design, 2018. 154: 203216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ying, SQ, Ma, LF, Sui, T, Papadaki, C, Salvati, E, Brandt, LR, Zhang, HJ and Korsunsky, AM, Nanoscale origins of the size effect in the compression response of single crystal Ni-base superalloy micro-pillars. Materials, 2018. 11(4).CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Campbell, JE, Thompson, RP, Dean, J and Clyne, TW, Comparison between stress–strain plots obtained from indentation plastometry, based on residual indent profiles, and from uniaxial testing. Acta Materialia, 2019. 168: 8799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li, YP, Onodera, E and Chiba, A, Friction coefficient in hot compression of cylindrical sample. Materials Transactions, 2010. 51(7): 12101215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yao, ZH, Mei, DQ, Shen, H and Chen, ZC, A friction evaluation method based on barrel compression test. Tribology Letters, 2013. 51(3): 525535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zhou, J, He, P, Yu, JF, Lee, LJ, Shen, LG and Yi, AY, Investigation on the friction coefficient between graphene-coated silicon and glass using barrel compression test. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, 2015. 33(3).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Duran, D and Karadogan, C, Determination of Coulomb’s friction coefficient directly from cylinder compression tests. Strojniski Vestnik – Journal of Mechanical Engineering, 2016. 62(4): 243251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wang, X, Li, H, Chandrashekhara, K, Rummel, SA, Lekakh, S, Van Aken, DC and O’Malley, RJ, Inverse finite element modeling of the barreling effect on experimental stress–strain curve for high temperature steel compression test. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 2017. 243: 465473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Torrente, G, Numerical and experimental studies of compression-tested copper: proposal for a new friction correction. Materials Research – Ibero – American Journal of Materials, 2018. 21(4).Google Scholar
Fardi, M, Abraham, R, Hodgson, PD and Khoddam, S, A new horizon for barreling compression test: exponential profile modeling. Advanced Engineering Materials, 2017. 19(11).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bol, M, Kruse, R and Ehret, AE, On a staggered iFEM approach to account for friction in compression testing of soft materials. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 2013. 27: 204213.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fan, XG, Dong, YD, Yang, H, Gao, PF and Zhan, M, Friction assessment in uniaxial compression test: a new evaluation method based on local bulge profile. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 2017. 243: 282290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Deng, X, Piotrowski, GB, Williams, JJ and Chawla, N, Effect of porosity and tension–compression asymmetry on the Bauschinger effect in porous sintered steels. International Journal of Fatigue, 2005. 27(10–12): 12331243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stewart, JB and Cazacu, O, Analytical yield criterion for an anisotropic material containing spherical voids and exhibiting tension–compression asymmetry. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 2011. 48(2): 357373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Alves, JL, Oliveira, MC, Menezes, LF and Cazacu, O, The role of tension–compression asymmetry of the plastic flow on ductility and damage accumulation of porous polycrystals. Ciencia & Tecnologia dos Materiais, 2017. 29(1): E234E238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gall, K and Sehitoglu, H, The role of texture in tension–compression asymmetry in polycrystalline NiTi. International Journal of Plasticity, 1999. 15: 6992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gall, K, Sehitoglu, H, Chumlyakov, YI and Kireeva, IV, Tension–compression asymmetry of the stress–strain response in aged single crystal and polycrystalline NiTi. Acta Materialia, 1999. 47: 12031217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Adharapurapu, RR, Jiang, F, Vecchio, KS and GT Gray III, Response of NiTi shape memory alloy at high strain rate: a systematic investigation of temperature effects on tension–compression asymmetry. Acta Materialia, 2006. 54(17): 46094620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grolleau, V, Louche, H, Delobelle, V, Penin, A, Rio, G, Liu, Y and Favier, D, assessment of tension–compression asymmetry of NiTi using circular bulge testing of thin plates. Scripta Materialia, 2011. 65(4): 347350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ma, J, Kockar, B, Evirgen, A, Karaman, I, Luo, ZP and Chumlyakov, YI, Shape memory behavior and tension–compression asymmetry of a FeNiCoAlTa single-crystalline shape memory alloy. Acta Materialia, 2012. 60(5): 21862195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bucsek, AN, Paranjape, HM and Stebner, AP, Myths and truths of nitinol mechanics: elasticity and tension–compression asymmetry. Shape Memory and Superelasticity, 2016. 2(3): 264271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sugimoto, K, Usui, N, Kobayashi, M and Hashimoto, S, Effects of volume fraction and stability of retained austenite on ductility of trip-aided dual phase steels. ISIJ International, 1992. 32(12): 13111318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Cooman, BC, Structure-properties relationship in trip steels containing carbide-free bainite. Current Opinion in Solid State & Materials Science, 2004. 8(3–4): 285303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim, H, Park, J, Ha, Y, Kim, W, Sohn, SS, Kim, HS, Lee, BJ, Kim, NJ and Lee, S, Dynamic tension–compression asymmetry of martensitic transformation in austenitic Fe-(0.4,1.0)C-18Mn steels for cryogenic applications. Acta Materialia, 2015. 96: 3746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Joo, G and Huh, H, Rate-dependent isotropic–kinematic hardening model in tension–compression of TRIP and TWIP steel sheets. International Journal of Mechanical Sciences, 2018. 146: 432444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Adler, PH, Olson, GB and Owen, WS, Strain hardening of Hadfield manganese steel. Metallurgical Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science, 1986. 17(10): 17251737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cheng, S, Spencer, JA and Milligan, WW, Strength and tension/compression asymmetry in nanostructured and ultrafine-grain metals. Acta Materialia, 2003. 51(15): 45054518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Luo, H, Shaw, L, Zhang, LC and Miracle, D, On tension/compression asymmetry of an extruded nanocrystalline Al-Fe-Cr-Ti alloy. Materials Science and Engineering: A Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processing, 2005. 409(1–2): 249256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yapici, GG, Beyerlein, IJ, Karaman, I and Tome, CN, Tension–compression asymmetry in severely deformed pure copper. Acta Materialia, 2007. 55(14): 46034613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lv, CL, Liu, TM, Liu, DJ, Jiang, S and Zeng, W, Effect of heat treatment on tension–compression yield asymmetry of AZ80 magnesium alloy. Materials & Design, 2012. 33: 529533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Park, SH, Lee, JH, Moon, BG and You, BS, Tension–compression yield asymmetry in as-cast magnesium alloy. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 2014. 617: 277280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shoji, H, The Bauschinger effect. Zeitschrift fur Physik, 1928. 51(9–10): 728729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sowerby, R, Uko, DK and Tomita, Y, Review of certain aspects of the Bauschinger effect in metals. Materials Science and Engineering, 1979. 41(1): 4358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pedersen, OB, Brown, LM and Stobbs, WM, The Bauschinger effect in copper. Acta Metallurgica, 1981. 29(11): 18431850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bate, PS and Wilson, DV, Analysis of the Bauschinger effect. Acta Metallurgica, 1986. 34(6): 10971105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levine, LE, Stoudt, MR, Creuziger, A, Phan, TQ, Xu, RQ and Kassner, ME, Basis for the Bauschinger effect in copper single crystals: changes in the long-range internal stress with reverse deformation. Journal of Materials Science, 2019. 54(8): 65796585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abel, A and Muir, H, Bauschinger effect and discontinuous yielding. Philosophical Magazine, 1972. 26(2): 489504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Male, AT and Cockcroft, MG, Method for determination of coefficient of friction of metals under conditions of bulk plastic deformation. Journal of the Institute of Metals, 1964. 93(2): 3846.Google Scholar
Sofuoglu, H and Rasty, J, On the measurement of friction coefficient utilizing the ring compression test. Tribology International, 1999. 32(6): 327335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Robinson, T, Ou, H and Armstrong, CG, Study on ring compression test using physical modelling and Fe simulation. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 2004. 153: 5459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zhu, YC, Zeng, WD, Ma, X, Tai, QG, Li, ZH and Li, XG, Determination of the friction factor of Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy in hot forging by means of ring-compression test using FEM. Tribology International, 2011. 44(12): 20742080.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cristino, VAM, Rosa, PAR and Martins, PAF, The role of interfaces in the evaluation of friction by ring compression testing. Experimental Techniques, 2015. 39(4): 4756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats