18 Mechanical Properties Which Every Mechanical Engineer Should Know

Mechanical properties of the material:

There are mainly two types of materials. The first one is metal and the other one is nonmetals. Metals are classified into two types: Ferrous metals and Non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals mainly consist of iron with a comparatively small addition of other materials. It includes iron and its alloy such as cast iron, steel, HSS, etc. Ferrous metals are widely used in mechanical industries for its various advantages.

Nonferrous metals contain little or no iron. It includes aluminum, magnesium, copper, zinc, etc.

Most Mechanical properties are associated with metals. These are

1. Strength:

The ability of a material to withstand load without failure is known as strength. If a material can bear more load, it means it has more strength. The strength of any material mainly depends on the type of loading and deformation before fracture. According to loading types, strength can be classified into three types.

a. Tensile strength:
b. Compressive strength:
3. Shear strength:

According to the deformation before fracture, strength can be classified into three types.

a. Elastic strength
b. Yield strength
c. Ultimate strength

2. Homogeneity:

If a material has the same properties throughout its geometry, known as homogeneous material and the property is known as homogeneity. It is an ideal situation but practically no material is homogeneous.

3. Isotropy:

A material that has the same elastic properties along its all loading direction known as isotropic material.

4. Anisotropy:

A material which exhibits different elastic properties in different loading direction known as an-isotropic material.

5. Elasticity:

If a material regains its original dimension after removal of load, it is known as elastic material and the property by virtue of which it regains its original shape is known as elasticity.

Every material possesses some elasticity. It is measure as the ratio of stress to strain under the elastic limit.

6. Plasticity:

The ability of a material to undergo some degree of permanent deformation without failure after removal of load is known as plasticity. This property is used for shaping material by metalworking. It mainly depends on temperature and elastic strength of the material.

7. Ductility:

Ductility is a property by virtue of which metal can be drawn into wires. It can also define as a property which permits permanent deformation before fracture under tensile loading. The amount of permanent deformation (measure in percentage elongation) decides either the material is ductile or not.

Percentage elongation = (Final Gauge Length – Original Gauge Length )*100/ Original Gauge Length
If the percentage elongation is greater than 5% in a gauge length 50 mm, the material is ductile, and if it less than 5% it is not.

8. Brittleness:

Brittleness is a property by virtue of which, a material will fail under loading without significant change in dimension. Glass and cast iron are well known brittle materials.

9. Stiffness:

The ability of a material to resist elastic deformation or deflection during loading, known as stiffness.  A material that offers a small change in dimension during loading is stiffer. For example, steel is stiffer than aluminum.

10. Hardness:

The property of a material to resist penetration is known as hardness. It is an ability to resist scratching, abrasion, or cutting.  It is also defined as an ability to resist fracture under point loading.

11. Toughness:

Toughness is defined as an ability to withstand plastic or elastic deformation without failure. It is defined as the amount of energy absorbed before actual fracture.

12. Malleability:

A property by virtue of which a metal can flatten into thin sheets, known as malleability. It is also defined as a property that permits plastic deformation under compression loading.

13. Machinability:

A property by virtue of which a material can be cut easily.

14. Damping:

The ability of a metal to dissipate the energy of vibration or cyclic stress is called damping. Cast iron has good damping property, that’s
why most of the machines' body made by cast iron.

15. Creep:

The slow and progressive change in the dimension of a material under the influence of its safe working stress for a long time is known as creep. Creep is mainly dependent on time and temperature. The maximum amount of stress under which a material withstand during infinite time is known as creep strength.

16. Resilience:

The amount of energy absorb under the elastic limit during loading is called resilience. The maximum amount of energy absorb under the elastic limit is called proof resilience.

17. Fatigue Strength:

The failure of a workpiece under cyclic load or repeated load below its ultimate limit is known as fatigue. The maximum amount of cyclic load which a workpiece can bear for an infinite number of cycle is called fatigue strength. Fatigue strength also depends on workpiece shape, geometry, surface finish, etc.

18. Embrittlement:

The loss of ductility of a metal caused by physical or chemical changes, which make it brittle, is called embrittlement.

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