ASTM E132 Test Method for Poisson’s Ratio at Room Temperature

In ASTM E132 test method, uniaxial force is applied to a solid. It deforms in the direction of the applied force, but al so expands or contracts laterally depending on whether the force is tensile or compressive. If the solid is homogeneous and isotropic, and the material remains elastic under the action of the applied force, the lateral strain bears a constant relationship to the axial strain. This constant, called Poisson's ratio, is an intrinsic material property just like Young's modulus and Shear modulus. In this test method, the value of Poisson's ratio is obtained from strains resulting from uniaxial stress only.... Read More

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    ASTM E132 test method covers the determination of Poisson’s ratio from tension tests of structural materials at room temperature. This test method is limited to specimens of rectangular sections and materials in which strain is produced immediately during the test.

    Test Procedure:

    In ASTM E132, the width and thickness of the sample are measured and recorded.  The average cross-sectional area of the specimen gauge section is calculated. The specimen is placed in the grip. The deflectometer and the optical extensometer are attached to the gauge section of the sample. The two measurement devices are placed on the specimen with a free distance of at least one specimen width between any extensometer and the nearest filet, and at least two specimen widths between any extensometer and the nearest grip. The load is applied. The speed of testing is low enough to make the thermal effects of adiabatic expansion or contraction negligible. 

    The precision of the value of Poisson’s ratio obtained in the ASTM E132 test depends on the number of data pairs of longitudinal and transverse strain taken. For ductile materials, the test is continued until the yield strength or yield point, and sometimes the strength at a strain greater than the yield strain is determined. For brittle materials, the extensometer is removed and the test is continued until failure. The graph is plotted for the average longitudinal strain and the average transverse strain, against the applied force.

    Video 01: The Poisson’s ratio experiment

    Figure 01: Pictorial representation of Poisson’s ratio calculation

    Specimen size:

    In ASTM E132, the specimen width and thickness shall be parallel within 0.001 in. (0.025 mm) and 0.0001 in. (0.0025 mm) respectively. Specimen thickness shall be measured to within 0.001 in. (0.025 mm) and width is measured to within 0.0001 in. (0.0025mm) at three locations and an average is determined.


    The formula for Poisson’s ratio is,

    ϵt is the Lateral or Transverse Strain.

    ϵl is the Longitudinal or Axial Strain.


    ASTM E132 test method covers the determination of Poisson’s ratio from tension tests of structural materials at room temperature.


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