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Mechanical testing is an evaluative tool used by the failure analyst to collect data regarding the macro- and micromechanical properties of the materials being examined. This article provides information on a few important considerations regarding mechanical testing that the failure analyst must keep in mind. These considerations include the test location and orientation, the use of raw material certifications, the certifications potentially not representing the hardware, and the determination of valid test results. The article introduces the concepts of various mechanical testing techniques and discusses the advantages and limitations of each technique when used in failure analysis. The focus is on various types of static load testing, hardness testing, and impact testing. The testing types covered include uniaxial tension testing, uniaxial compression testing, bend testing, hardness testing, macroindentation hardness, microindentation hardness, and the impact toughness test.

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