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Metals and Alloys - Bulk Modulus Elasticity

The Bulk Modulus - resistance to uniform compression - for some common metals and alloys.

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The Bulk Modulus Elasticity - or Volume Modulus - is a measure of the substance's resistance to uniform compression. Bulk Modulus of Elasticity is the ratio of stress to change in volume of a material subjected to axial loading.

MaterialBulk Modulus
- K -
(106 psi)(GPa)
Aluminum, various alloys 9.9 - 10.2 68 - 70
Brass, 70-30 15.7 108
Brass, cast 16.8 116
Copper 17.9 123
Iron, cast 8.4 - 15.5 58 - 107
Iron, malleable 17.2 119
Magnesium alloy 4.8 33.1
Monel metal 22.5 155
Phosphor bronze 16.3 112
Stainless Steels 18-8 23.6 163
Steel, cast 20.2 139
Steel, cold rolled 23.1 159
Steel, various 22.6 - 24.0 156 - 165
  • 1 GPa = 109 Pa (N/m2)

Stainless steel with Bulk Modulus 163 109 Pa is approximate 80 times harder to compress than water with Bulk Modulus 2.15 109 Pa.

Bulk Modulus is related to Modulus of Elasticity and Poisson's Ratio as

K = E / 3 (1 - 2 r)                                                (1)


K = Bulk Modulus (Pa (N/m2), psi (lbf/in2)

E = Modulus of Elasticity (Pa (N/m2), psi (lbf/in2)

r = Poisson's Ratio

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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2008). Metals and Alloys - Bulk Modulus Elasticity. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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