You are on page 1of 14


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For ductility in Earth science, see Ductility (Earth science).
"Malleability" redirects here. For the property in cryptography, see Malleability (cryptography).

Tensile test of an AlMgSi alloy. The local necking and the cup and cone fracture surfaces are typical for ductile

This tensile test of a nodular cast iron demonstrates low ductility.
In materials science, ductility is a solid material's ability to deform under tensilestress; this is often
characterized by the material's ability to be stretched into a wire.Malleability, a similar property, is a
material's ability to deform under compressivestress; this is often characterized by the material's
ability to form a thin sheet by hammering or rolling. Both of these mechanical properties are aspects
of plasticity, the extent to which a solid material can be plastically deformed without fracture. Also,
these material properties are dependent on temperature and pressure (investigated by Percy
Williams Bridgman as part of his Nobel Prize winning work on high pressures).
Ductility and malleability are not always coextensive for instance, while gold has high ductility and
malleability, lead has low ductility but high malleability.
The word ductilityis sometimes used to
embrace both types of plasticity.

1 Materials science
2 Ductilebrittle transition temperature
3 See also
4 References
5 External links
Materials science[edit]

This section
requires expansion.(June 2011)

Gold leaf is possible due to gold's malleability.
Ductility is especially important in metalworking, as materials that crack, break or shatter under
stress cannot be manipulated using metal forming processes, such ashammering, rolling,
and drawing. Malleable materials can be formed using stamping orpressing, whereas brittle metals
and plastics must be molded.
High degrees of ductility occur due to metallic bonds, which are found predominantly in metals and
leads to the common perception that metals are ductile in general. In metallic bonds valence
shell electrons are delocalized and shared between many atoms. The delocalized electrons allow
metal atoms to slide past one another without being subjected to strong repulsive forces that would
cause other materials to shatter.
Ductility can be quantified by the fracture strain , which is the engineering strain at which a test
specimen fractures during a uniaxial tensile test. Another commonly used measure is the reduction
of area at fracture .
The ductility of steel varies depending on the alloying constituents. Increasing
levels of carbon decreases ductility. Many plastics and amorphous solids, such as Play-Doh, are
also malleable. The most ductile metal isplatinum and the most malleable metal is gold

Ductilebrittle transition temperature[edit]

Schematic appearance of round metal bars after tensile testing.
(a) Brittle fracture
(b) Ductile fracture
(c) Completely ductile fracture
The ductilebrittle transition temperature (DBTT), nil ductility temperature (NDT), or nil ductility
transition temperature of a metal represents the point at which the fracture energy passes below a
pre-determined point (for steels typically 40 J
for a standardCharpy impact test). DBTT is important
since, once a material is cooled below the DBTT, it has a much greater tendency to shatter on
impact instead of bending or deforming. For example,zamak 3 exhibits good ductility at room
temperature but shatters at sub-zero temperatures when impacted. DBTT is a very important
consideration in materials selection when the material in question is subject to mechanical stresses.
A similar phenomenon, the glass transition temperature, occurs with glasses and polymers, although
the mechanism is different in these amorphous materials.
In some materials this transition is sharper than others. For example, the transition is generally
sharper in materials with a body-centered cubic (BCC) lattice than those with a face-centered
cubic (FCC) lattice. DBTT can also be influenced by external factors such as neutron radiation,
which leads to an increase in internal lattice defects and a corresponding decrease in ductility and
increase in DBTT.
The most accurate method of measuring the BDT or DBT temperature of a material is by fracture
testing. Typically, four point bend testing at a range of temperatures is performed on pre-cracked
bars of polished material. For experiments conducted at higher temperatures, dislocation activity
increases. At a certain temperature, dislocations shield the crack tip to such an extent the applied
deformation rate is not sufficient for the stress intensity at the crack-tip to reach the critical value for
fracture (K
). The temperature at which this occurs is the ductilebrittle transition temperature. If
experiments are performed at a higher strain rate, more dislocation shielding is required to prevent
brittle fracture and the transition temperature is raised.
See also[edit]
Work hardening, which reduces ductility
Strength of materials
1. Jump up^ Rich, Jack C. (1988). The Materials and Methods of Sculpture. Courier Dover
Publications. p. 129. ISBN 0-486-25742-8.
2. Jump up^ "Ductile". Farlex. Retrieved January 30, 2011. Includes
definitions from American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Collins English
Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged, American Heritage Science Dictionary, andWordNet 3.0.
3. Jump up^ G. Dieter, Mechanical Metallurgy, McGraw-Hill, 1986, ISBN 978-0-07-016893-0
4. Jump up^ Materials handbook,Mc Graw-Hill handbooks, by John Vaccaro, fifteenth edition,
5. Jump up^ CRC encyclopedia of materials parts and finishes, second edition, 2002, M.Schwartz
6. Jump up^ John, Vernon. Introduction to Engineering Materials, 3rd ed.(?) New York: Industrial
Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8311-3043-1.

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this
article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged
and removed. (October 2008)
What are the differences between malleable and ductile
i am doing a project and need to know the meaning of malleable and ductile, and explain the differences.
I also need some examples
Best Answer

? answered 7 years ago

Most metals that are ductile are also malleable, and vice versa, although there are some that would be
considered exceptions to this.

Ductility, as it is typically defined and reported as a property, refers to a metal's capacity for elongation
and/or reduction of cross-sectional area under uniaxial tension, i.e., pulling in one direction. (As a side
note, "formability" is the capacity for plastic deformation under biaxial tension, i.e., pulling in two directions
at once.) It should be noted that this so-called "property" is not independent of specimen geometry,
mainly because of a tensile instability known as "necking," which localizes plastic deformation over a
small portion of the specified gage length.

Malleability, on the other hand, refers to a metal's capacity for thinning and lateral expansion under
uniaxial compression, i.e., "flattening." This property is even less rigorously defined than ductility, and is
probably more accurately described as a fabrication characteristic.

Both of these "properties" (to use the term loosely) rely on a metal's capacity for plastic deformation,
which /always/ occurs due to the action of shear stresses. The latter can be induced, to varying degree,
under a variety of loading conditions, including uniaxial (or biaxial, or even unbalanced triaxial) tension or
compression. Some of the more fundamental underlying properties that determine a metal's capacity for
tensile or compressive plasticity include strain hardening rate, number of active slip systems, and grain

Some of these properties (and other characteristics) affect ductility more than malleability. For example:
- Strain hardening rate. Metals that exhibit a high rate of strain hardening are more resistant to the onset
of necking during tensile testing. This enables them to achieve greater elongations to failure (a common
ductility measure), but definitely does not make them more malleable. In fact, it would have just the
opposite effect. (Example: austenitic stainless steels.)
- Grain size. Coarse grains degrade tensile ductility to a greater extent than they do malleability.
- Inclusion count / distribution / orientation. The "dirtiness" of a metal can have a major effect on its tensile
ductility, but to a much lesser extent on its malleability.

Gold and lead are classic examples of high malleability. Both can be pounded into very thin foils without
Fine-grained, low-carbon steel (e.g., SAE 1006) is a good example of high ductility (as well as high

I think that's about all I'm going to contribute here, but you're welcome to email if you have further
questions on this topic

Materials science
Ductility is especially important in metalworking, as materials that crack or break
under stress cannot be manipulated using metal forming processes, such
ashammering, rolling, and drawing. Malleable materials can be formed
using stamping or pressing, whereas brittle metals and plastics must be molded.
High degrees of ductility occur due to metallic bonds, which are found
predominantly in metals and leads to the common perception that metals are ductile
in general. In metallic bonds valence shell electrons are delocalized and shared
between many atoms. Thedelocalized electrons allow metal atoms to slide past one
another without being subjected to strong repulsive forces that would cause other
materials to shatter.
Ductility is a mechanical property that describes the extent in which solid materials
can be plasticallydeformed without fracture.
In materials science, ductility specifically refers to a material's ability to deform
under tensile stress; this is often characterized by the material's ability to be
stretched into a wire. Malleability, a similar concept, refers to a material's ability to
deform under compressive stress; this is often characterized by the material's ability
to form a thin sheet by hammering or rolling. Ductility and malleability do not always
correlate with each other; for instance, gold is both ductile and malleable, but lead is
only malleable.
Commonly, the term "ductility" is used to refer to both concepts, as
they are very similar.
Definition: Ductility is a measure of how much strain a material can take before rupturing. A material
with high ductility will be able to be drawn into long, thin wires without breaking. A material with low
ductility is instead brittle, and though it may be strong, once it deforms enough, it will simply rupture.
Another example of ductility is the property of malleability, which is the ability of a metal to be
pounded into thin, flat sheets.

Malleability is a physical property of metals that defines the ability to be hammered, pressed or rolled
into thin sheets without breaking. In other words, it is the property of a metal to deform under
A metal's malleability can be measured by how much pressure (compressive stress) it can withstand
without breaking.
Differences in malleability amongst metals are due to variances in their crystal structures.
Compression stress forces atoms to roll over each other into new positions without breaking their
metallic bond. When a large amount of stress is put on a malleable metal, the atoms roll over each
other, permanently staying in their new position.
Examples of malleable metals are:
Examples of products demonstrating malleability include gold leaf, lithium foil and indium shot.
Malleability and Hardness:
The crystal structure of harder metals, such as antimony and bismuth, makes it more difficult to press
atoms into new positions without breaking. This is because the rows of atoms in the metal don't line-
up, that is, more grain boundaries exist.
Metals tend to fracture at grain boundaries - areas where atoms are not as strongly connected. So the
more grain boundaries a metal has, the harder, more brittle and, therefore, less malleable it will be.
Malleability vs. Ductility:
While malleability is the property of a metal deforming under compression, ductility is the property of a
metal allowing it to stretch without damage.
Copper has both good ductility - it can be stretched into wires - and good malleability - it can also be
rolled into sheets.
Most malleable metals are also ductile, but the two properties can be exclusive. Lead and tin, for
example, are malleable and ductile while cold, but become increasingly brittle as temperatures rise
towards their melting points.
Most metals, however, become more malleable when heated. This is due to the effect of temperature
on the crystal grains within metals.
Controlling Crystal Grains:
Temperature has a direct affect on the behavior of atoms, and in most metals heat results in atoms
having a more regular arrangement. This reduces the number of grain boundaries, thereby, making
the metal softer or more malleable.
An example of temperature's affect on metals can be seen with zinc, which is a brittle metal below
300F (149C). Yet when heated above this temperature, zinc can become so malleable that it can be
rolled into sheets.
In contrast to the affect of heat treatment, cold working - a process that involves working (rolling, drawing
or pressing causing plastic deformation) a cold metal - tends to result in smaller grains, making the
metal harder.
Alloying is another common method of controlling grain sizes to make metals more workable. Brass,
an alloy of copper and zinc, is harder than both individual metals because its grain structure is more
resistant to compression stress attempting to forces the rows of atoms from shifting into new

Strength is a measure of how well a material can resist being deformed from its original shape.
Typically, metals are specified for their tensile strength, or their resistance to being pulled apart, but
compressive strength is also a legitimate material property describing resistance to being squeezed.
Strength is measured in units of pressure, and is typically reported in units of ksi, or "thousands of
pounds per square inch."

A typical tensile testing setup - the metal bar will be pulled apart, and the amount of force required to do so will be
recorded by a computer throughout the test.
Photo &copy
Properties of Steel
(Tabulated in accordance with the Unified Numbering System for Metals and Alloys (UNS), Society of Automotive
Engineers, Warrendale, Pa., 1975. This reference contains the cross reference numbers for AISI, ASTM, FED, MIL
SPEC, and SAE specifications. The values shown for hot-rolled (HR) and cold drawn (CD) steels are estimated
minimum values which can usually be expected in the size range of 3/4 to 1-1/4 in. A minimum value is roughly
several standard deviations below the arithmetic mean. The values shown for heat-treated steels are so-called typical
values. A typical value is neither the mean nor the minimum. It can be obtained by careful control of the purchase
specifications and the heat-treatment, together with continuous inspection and testing. The properties shown in this
table are from a variety of sources and are believed to be representative. There are so many variables which affect
these properties, however, that their approximate nature must be clearly recognized. Multiply strength in kpsi by
6.89 to get strength in MPa.)
Properties of Steel
in 2 in.
in Area
26 47 179 324 28 50 95
44 53 303 365 20 40 105
27 50 186 345 28 50 101
47 56 324 386 18 40 111
32 58 220 400 25 50 116
54 64 372 441 15 40 126
39 72 269 496 18 40 143
67 80 462 551 12 35 163
800 F
81 110 558 758 18 51 220
1000 F
72 103 496 710 23 59 201
1200 F
62 91 427 627 27 66 180
42 76 289 524 18 40 149
71 85 489 586 12 35 170
1000 F
86 113 593 779 23 62 235
49 90 338 620 15 35 179
84 100 579 689 10 30 197
600 F
180 220 1240 1516 10 30 450
900 F
130 155 896 1068 18 55 310
1200 F
80 105 551 723 28 65 210
G15216 Hot 81 100 558 689 25 57 192
60 90 413 620 30 45 183
87 98 599 675 21 52 201
1000 F
133 146 916 1006 17 60 293
63 90 434 620 27 58 187
90 102 620 703 18 50 223
1000 F
131 153 903 1054 16 45 302
69 101 475 696 21 45 207
99 111 682 765 16 42 223
600 F
234 260 1612 1791 12 43 498
1000 F
162 182 1116 1254 15 40 363
89 120 613 827 22 55 248
800 F
94 130 648 896 23 66 256
58 91 400 627 22 53 183
1000 F
132 155 909 1068 15 44 302
64 95 441 655 25 55 190
96 107 661 737 17 48 223
1000 F
129 152 889 1047 15 44 302
78 115 537 792 22 45 223
G92550 Drawn 160 180 1102 1240 15 32 352
1000 F
The strength of a metal is its ability to withstand the action of external forces without breaking. Tensile strength, also
called ultimate strength, is the maximum strength developed in a metal in a tension test. The tension test is a method
for determining the behavior of a metal under an actual stretch loading. This test provides the elastic limit, elongation,
yield point, yield strength, tensile strength, and the reduction in area. Tensile tests are normally taken at standardized
room temperatures but may also be made at elevated temperatures.

Many tensile testing machines are equipped to plot a curve which shows the load or stress and the strain or
movement that occurs during the test operation. In the testing operation the load is increased gradually and the
specimen will stretch or elongate in proportion to the tensile load.
The specimen will elongate in direct proportion to the load during the elastic portion of the curve to point A. At this
point, the specimen will continue to elongate but without an increase in the load. This is known as the yield point of
the steel and is the end of the elastic portion. At any point up to point A if the load is eliminated, the specimen will
come back to its original dimension.
Yielding occurs from point A to point B and this is the area of plastic deformation. If the load were eliminated at point
B the specimen would not go back to its original dimension but instead take a permanent set. Beyond point B the load
will have to be increased to further stretch the specimen.
The load will increase to point C, which is the ultimate strength of the material. At point C the specimen will break and
the load is no longer carried. The ultimate tensile strength of the material is obtained by dividing the ultimate load by
the cross-sectional area of the original specimen. This provides the ultimate tensile strength in Newtons per square
millimeter (Mega Pascals, MPa) or pounds per square inch.
The yield stress or yield point is obtained by dividing the load at yield or at point A by the original area. This provides
a figure in pounds per square inch or MPa. Extremely ductile metals do not have a yield point. They stretch or yield at
low loads. For these metals the yield point is determined by the change in elongation. Two tenths of one percent
elongation is arbitrarily set as the yield point. The yield point is the limit upon which designs are calculated.
The ductility of a metal is the property that allows it to be stretched or otherwise changed in shape without breaking
and to retain the changed shape after the load has been removed.
The ductility of a metal can be determined from the tensile test. This is done by determining the percent of elongation.
Gauge marks are made two inches apart across the point where fracture will occur. The increase in gauge length
related to the original length times 100 is the percentage of elongation. This is done by making center punch marks
two inches apart at the reduced section of the test coupon, testing the coupon, tightly holding the two pieces together
and re-measuring the distance between the center punch marks. The original two inches is subtracted from the
measured length and the difference is divided by two and multiplied by 100 to obtain percentage of elongation.
Reduction of Area
Reduction of area is another measure of ductility and is obtained from the tensile test by measuring the original cross-
sectional area of the specimen and relating it to the cross-sectional area after failure.
For a round specimen the diameter is measured and the cross-sectional area is calculated. After the test bar is
broken the diameter is measured at the smallest point. The cross-sectional area is again calculated. The difference in
area is divided by the original area and multiplied by 100 to give the percentage reduction of area. This figure is of
less importance than the elongation but is usually reported when the mechanical properties of a metal are given.
The tensile test specimen also provides another property of metal known as its modulus of elasticity, also called
Young`s modulus. This is the ratio of the stress to the elastic strain. It relates to the slope of the curve to the yield
point. The modulus of elasticity is important to the designers and is incorporated in many design formulas.
The hardness of a metal is defined as the resistance of a metal to local penetration by harder substance. The
hardness of metals is measured by forcing a hardened steel ball or diamond into the surface of the specimen, under
a definite weight, in a hardness testing machine.
The Brinell is one of the more popular types of machines for measuring hardness. It provides a Brinell hardness
number (BHN), which is in kilograms per square millimeter based on the load applied to the hardened ball in
kilograms and divided by the area of the impression left by the ball in square millimeters.
There is several other hardness measuring systems. A popular machine is the Rockwell hardness tester, which
utilizes a diamond that is forced into the surface of the specimen. Different loads are used to provide different scaled.
Smaller loads are used for softer materials. Another method is by means of the Vickers hardness machine, which
reads directly, as a diamond is pressed into the surface of the metal. Another way is the Shore scleroscope, which
utilizes a small dropped weight which will bounce from the surface of the metal providing a hardness measure.
Impact Resistance
Resistance of a metal to impacts is evaluated in terms of impact strength. A metal may possess satisfactory ductility
under static loads but may fail under dynamic loads or impact.
Impact strength is most often determined by the Charpy test. It is sometimes measured by the Izode test. Both types
of tests use the same type of pendulum-testing machine. The Charpy test specimen is a beam supported at both
ends and contains a notch in the center. The specimen is placed on supports and struck with a pendulum on the side
opposite the notch. The accuracy and location of the notch is of extreme importance. There are several types of
Charpy specimens; the V-notch type is the most popular.
The impact strength of a metal is determined by measuring the energy absorbed in the fracture. This is equal to the
weight of the pendulum times the height at which the pendulum is released and the height to which the pendulum
swings after it has struck the specimen. In standard metric practice, impact resistance is measured two ways. One, in
Joules based on energy absorbed and, two, in Joules per square centimeter of the area of the fractured surface or
the cross-sectional area under the notch. In Anglo-Saxon terms the impact strength is the foot pounds of energy
Mechanical Properties of Materials Tensile,
Compressive, Shear, Torsional and Yield Strength
Topics Covered
Tensile Strength
Compressive Strength
Shear Strength
Torsional Strength
Yield Strength
Stress is defined as the force per unit area. Thus, the formula for calculating stress is:

Where denotes stress, F is load and A is the cross sectional area. The most commonly
used units for stress are the SI units, or Pascals (or N/m
), although other units like psi
(pounds per square inch) are sometimes used.
Forces may be applied in different directions such as:
Tensile or stretching
Compressive or squashing/crushing
Shear or tearing/cutting
Torsional or twisting
This gives rise to numerous corresponding types of stresses and hence measure/quoted
strengths. While data sheets often quote values for strength (e.g compressive strength),
these values are purely uniaxial, and it should be noted that in real life several different
stresses may be acting.
Tensile Strength
The tensile strength is defined as the maximum tensile load a body can withstand before
failure divided by its cross sectional area. This property is also sometimes referred to
Ultimate Tensile Stress or UTS.

Typically, ceramics perform poorly in tension, while metals are quite good. Fibres such as
glass, Kevlar and carbon fibre are often added polymeric materials in the direction of the
tensile force to reinforce or improve their tensile strength.
Compressive Strength
Compressive strength is defined as the maximum compressive load a body can bear prior to
failure, divided by its cross sectional area.

Ceramics typically have good tensile strengths and are used under compression e.g.
Shear Strength
Shear strength is the maximum shear load a body can withstand before failure occurs
divided by its cross sectional area.

This property is relevant to adhesives and fasteners as well as in operations like the
guillotining of sheet metals.
Torsional Strength
Torsional strength is the maximum amount of torsional stress a body can withstand before
it fails, divided by its cross sectional area.

This property is relevant for components such as shafts.
Yield Strength
Yield strength is defined as the stress at which a material changes from elastic deformation
to plastic deformation. Once the this point, known as the yield point is exceeded, the
materials will no longer return to its original dimensions after the removal of the stress.