Physical & Working Properties

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Physical Properties

All materials have physical or inherent properties.

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  • The material's ability to absorb or take on an element such as water, electricity, heat or light.
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  • How compact is the material.
  • The mass of the material per unit volume.
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  • The material's ability to be converted through heat to a liquid state and then fused (combined) with another before cooling down as one material.
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Electrical conductivity

  • The material's ability to conduct electricity.
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Thermal conductivity

  • The material's ability to conduct heat.

Working Properties

All materials respond to a certain environment or in a certain manner.

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  • The material's ability to withstand force such as tension, shear or pressure.
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  • The material's ability to resist abrasive wear and indentation through a sudden impact.
  • Very hard materials can become brittle and can crack, shatter or snap suddenly.
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  • The material's ability to absorb energy through shock without fracturing.
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  • The material's ability to deform (change shape) under compression without tearing, splitting or cracking.
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  • The material's ability to be stretched out or drawn out into a thin wire strand without breaking.
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  • The material's ability to return to its original shape after being compressed or stretched.

Jump to other topics

1Core Technical Principles

2Paper & Board: Specialist Technical Principles

3Timber: Specialist Technical Principles

4Metal: Specialist Technical Principles

5Polymers: Specialist Technical Principles

6Textiles: Specialist Technical Principles

7Designing & Making Principles

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