Malleability, Brittlenes and Ductility

Plastic deformation properties


  • whereby a material can be plastic deformed and shaped when cold

A malleable material can be plastic shaped with hammering or rolling without fracture.

Typical malleable materials:

  • mild steel, gold, lead


  • whereby a material will fracture without appreciable prior plastic deformation

Brittleness is lack of ductility and for a brittle material there is no plastic deformation. The elastic stage is followed by immediate fracture.

Typical brittle materials:

  • glass, concrete, ceramics, stone, cast iron


  • whereby a material can be plastic deformed by elongation without fracture

Ductile materials can typically be plastic elongated with more than 15% before they fracture.

Typical ductile materials:

  • copper, mild steel, thermoplastics

Related Topics

  • Material Properties - Material properties for gases, fluids and solids - densities, specific heats, viscosities and more

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