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Kyle.k

Mechanical properties

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In short, if something is brittle, it will crack (or in some cases shatter) rather than deform.

Think of glass - a brittle material....it can be formed in certain circumstances, but it will shatter if impacted...this is due to its brittleness. this is the same for all other materials...some materials are more brittle than others...cast iron for example is very brittle, but pure iron the complete opposite...ie soft and ductile!  Materials can also can become so in certain environments - very cold weather on steel for example, or chemical embrittlement where chemical reactions cause a pseudo-brittle effect: hydrogen causes microcracking in steels which leads to brittle behaviour, salt in stainless steels has the same effect (although some grades of stainless steel are relatively safe in salt environments, care needs to be taken in selection.)

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I agree with most of what GB Reid has said. Brittleness is certainly the tendency to fracture rather than deform under load.

 

I would disagree with the example of glass, however. It is my understanding that glass is actually a supercooled fluid ( although materials is not really my area).

DrD

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Hi Dr D - I do hope you are well!

The glass is an example of easily relatable "brittleness" rather than a "material example" (everyone knows glass breaks when hit...).....that said...the "supercooled fluid" is still a philosophical argument that has never - IMHO - achieved a conclusion one way or the other.

Warmest wishes and Season's greetings to all!

May 2020 bring success and happiness to all!

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