Many experimenters fail to appreciate the significance of test system alignment during a tensile test. Poor alignment can increase data scatter and significantly influence some of the test results. In this paper a comprehensive analytical study of the misalignment problem in the plastic strain range is presented and errors caused by misalignment estimated. The results show that the stress-strain curve is not significantly affected by misalignment. However, the strains at the outer most fibers of the specimen cross-section are stongly affected by misalignment. Therefore, the effect of misalignment is most important when properties sensitive to local strain concentrations are being investigated.

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