Samples & Shipping

Please include as much of the following information as possible with the sample:

Customer Info

Testing Info

Disposition of the sample:

Most of our testing is destructive. Please let us know if the sample cannot be destroyed or needs to be sampled in a specific area, and whether or not the sample should be returned. We normally hold samples for at least a year after testing.

Sampling for Chemical Analysis and Mechanical Properties Testing

Below are guidelines for preparing samples to send for chemical and mechanical properties testing. It is not always possible to send the optimum samples for testing and while we can often make do with much smaller samples, the accuracy may be reduced as the sample size is reduced. Also, some tests and specifications have very specific size requirements. We have equipment to cut specimens from larger samples if size and weight are not a shipping problem.

Aluminum, Steel, and Stainless Steel Tensile Specimens

For determining tensile strength, yield strength, and elongation from sheet and thin plate, flat specimens are generally machined and pulled. If possible, cut specimens 9 inches long and 1 inch wide. Add an inch to the length if chemical analysis is desired. Be sure the grain direction is correct for the test. Sawing is generally better than shearing or flame cutting because it does less damage to the material.

For tensile testing thicker materials, round specimens are often used, For these, six to seven inches of length is generally adequate. Once again a little extra length is helpful if chemical analysis of the material is desired. Small thin tubes can be pulled full section. A nine inch specimen is necessary for this. Specimens from larger diameters and wall thicknesses may need to be cut from the wall and machined as either flat or round specimens. Again nine inches will allow the most flexibility and accuracy.

Gray and Ductile Iron Tensile Specimens

We can machine gray iron specimens from samples poured for A, B, or C bars and ductile specimens from Y Blocks. We can also cut and machine gray and ductile iron tensile specimens from castings. Bear in mind that samples cut from castings will not necessarily exhibit the same strength as a sample poured specifically as a tensile specimen.

Chemical Analysis

Our methods allow us to use samples of almost any physical form. Drillings or small pieces from the material are generally used for the analysis. The ideal sample for chemical analysis is probably a one inch cube, but many other forms will work. Most alloys require about 10 grams (1/2 ounce) for complete analysis, although some alloys can be identified with less than 0.1 gram of sample. Drilling from a 3/8 inch diameter and 3/8 inch deep hole generally provide a sufficient sample.


Careful packing of heavy irregular samples is a necessity. Metal samples tend to destroy their packaging and labeling. Samples can be sent US mail, UPS, Fed Ex, or truck line.