Properties of Materials

Malleability is a property of a material that describes the ease with which its shape can be changed by hammering, rolling, forging or pressing. Gold  ( ) is the most malleable material followed by aluminium. Copper, lead, tin and iron are also very malleable. Heating a material causes an increase in its malleability. Impurities however can cause a degradation in the malleability of some materials.


Ductility this is an ability of a material of being plastically stretched (flow) without breaking or fracturing. Steel and copper are highly ductile. The ductility of a material is measured by a tensile test on a testing machine. Samples of the material are held at both ends and a stretching force is applied until the sample breaks.


Elasticity is the ability of a material to regain its shape after being deformed. A rubber band is very elastic as it regains its shape when tension is removed.


Hardness is the ability of a material to resist being scratched or cut.


Brittleness extremely hard and therefore breaks easily. ex glass.


Toughness is a measure of a material's ability to absorb energy before fracture.


Conductivity ability to conduct heat, electricity sound radiation etc. The material acts as a medium of transport.