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Mechanical Properties of Materials

They are their behavior under action of external loads or forces or their ability to resist failure.

Most of mechanical properties are expressed in terms of stress, strain or both.

Types of Mechanical Properties of Materials:

1. Elasticity:

The ability of a metal to return to its original shape and size after removing loads.

Steel has a wide range of elasticity.

2. Plasticity:

The ability of a metal to undergo permanent deformation (without fracture) after removing loads.

Lead has good plasticity even at room temperature, while Cast iron does not possess any appreciable

plasticity even when red hot.

3. Ductility:

The ability of the materials to undergo cold plastic deformation by tension and can be drawn into wires

before rupture.

The following common metals have ductility in the decreasing order:

Gold, Platinum, Silver, Iron, Copper, Aluminum, Tin, Lead

4. Brittleness :

The ability of materials to fracture without plastic deformation. It is opposite to ductility.

Cast Iron, Glass and Concrete are example of brittle materials.

5. Hardness:

The ability of metal to resist abrasion, deformation, penetration scratching or indentation by harder

bodies, it is measured by the resistance of metal to scratching.

As Diamond, Quartz, Calcite and Gypsum.

6. Toughness :
The Capacity of material to withstand (absorb) shock loads without fracture (Toughness of most materials

falls with the rise in Temperature).

7. Stiffness :

The ability of a metal to resist deformation

Modulus of elasticity (stress/strain below elastic limit) is a measure of Stiffness.

8. Resilience:

The ability of a metal to store energy and resist shocks or Impacts.

9. Creep :

The ability of metal to deform continuously under steady loads. Creep occurs in steel at high


It is important in designing I.C Engines, Boilers, and Turbines.

10. Endurance :

The ability of a metal to withstand varying stresses (same or opposite nature).

Endurance limit is the maximum stress that can be applied for indefinite times without causing failures.

11. Strength:

The ability of the material to resist applications of forces without rupture.

Types of Strength:

a- Elastic Strength:

The value of load corresponding to transition from elastic to plastic range.

b- Plastic Strength:

The value of load corresponding to plastic range & rupture.

Factor of safety =
Ultimate Stress / Working Stress

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