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PROPERTIES OF MATERIALS - 2

V. Ryan © 2005 - 2008

 

When studying materials and especially when selecting materials for a project / design, it is important to understand key properties. The most important properties are outlined below.

 

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MALLEABILITY  

The ability of a material to be reshaped in all directions without cracking

Our technology technician demonstrates the ‘malleability’ of a material by heating a piece of mild steel until it is red hot. He then beats it with a large forging hammer to reshape it. Because of the high temperature it reaches while heating the steel becomes malleable, it can be reshaped permanently.

Ed often heats up steel, because he likes the colour and it matches his complexion after he has run up the stairs.

 

   
TOUGHNESS  

A characteristic of a material that does not break or shatter when receiving a blow or under a sudden shock.

Our technology technician demonstrates the ‘toughness’ of a material by hitting a piece or material to see if it will break or shatter.

Ed has been known to test authentic Chinese Ming Dynasty pottery with the same technique. This is why he is often arrested in Museums and has been banned from the local Antique dealers.

 

   
HARDNESS  

The ability of a material to resist scratching, wear and tear and indentation.

Our technology technician, dressed in a kilt, slides along the floor to see if it will scratch. It will be considered to hard wearing if it resists scratching.

Ed has been known to fall over. Not a sight for sore eyes.

 

   

 

   
CONDUCTIVITY  

The ability of a material to conduct electricity.

Our technology technician demonstrates ‘conductivity’ by pressing live wires against either side of his head (PLEASE NOTE - THIS WILL KILL NORMAL PEOPLE).

Ed survives because his skull is empty.

 

   
   

QUESTIONS:
1. Can you think of any more properties of materials?
2. Describe safe ways of testing materials for some of the properties described above/

   
 
   

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