When engineers design equipment and structures, they specify the required physical properties of the construction materials. Destructive materials testing is used to verify that material properties meet these design specifications, which in themselves usually reference the requirements of standards and regulatory bodies.
Testing may be carried out when materials are initially manufactured, for example at a steel mill. Further testing may also be required to verify that material properties have not changed during the fabrication of the equipment or structure.
A common application for materials testing is to look at the properties of welds. It is usually a requirement that welds have equal, or better, material properties than the pieces being joined. Destructive testing can be carried out on representative weld samples, known as coupons, to confirm the welds’ properties