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PROPERTIES OF MATERIAL Physical properties Luster

The luster of a mineral is the way its surface reflects light. Most terms used to describe luster are self-explanatory: metallic, earthy, waxy, greasy, vitreous (glassy), adamantine (or brilliant, as in a faceted diamond). It will be necessary, at least at first, only to distinguish between minerals with a metallic luster and those with one of the non-metallic lusters. A metallic luster is a shiny, opaque appearance similar to a bright chrome bumper on an automobile. Other shiny, but somewhat translucent or transparent lusters (glassy, adamantine), along with dull, earthy, waxy, and resinous lusters, are grouped as non-metallic.

Denisty is a physical property of matter, as each element and compound has a unique density associated with it. Density defined in a qualitative manner as the measure of the relative "heaviness" of objects with a constant volume. For example: A rock is obviously more dense than a crumpled piece of paper of the same size.

Melting point
The Melting point of a solid is the temperature at which it changes state from solid to liquid. At the melting point the solid and liquid phase exist in equilibrium. The melting point of a substance depends (usually slightly) on pressure and is usually specified at standard atmospheric pressure. When considered as the temperature of the reverse change from liquid to solid, it is referred to as the freezing point or crystallization point.

Boiling point
The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which it can change its state from a liquid to a gas throughout the bulk of the liquid A liquid may change to a gas at temperatures below the boiling point through the process of evaporation. Any change of state from a liquid to a gas at boiling point is considered vaporization.

Thermal properties Specific Heat

The specific heat is the amount of heat per unit mass required to raise the temperature by one degree Celsius. The relationship between heat and temperature change is usually expressed in the form shown below where c is the specific heat. The relationship does not apply if a phase change is encountered, because the heat added or removed during a phase change does not change the temperature.

Heat capacity
The heat capacity C of a substance is the amount of heat required to change its temperature by one degree, and has units of energy per degree. The heat capacity is therefore an extensive variable since a large quantity of matter will have a proportionally large heat capacity.

Thermal expansion coeficent

Thermal expansion is the tendency of matter to change in volume in response to a change in temperature.When a substance is heated, its particles begin moving more and thus usually maintain a greater average separation. Materials which contract with increasing temperature are rare; this effect is limited in size, and only occurs within limited temperature ranges. The degree of expansion divided by the change in temperature is called the material's coefficient of thermal expansion and generally varies with temperature.

Thermal Conductivity
Thermal conductivity is defined as the quantity of heat (Q) transmitted through a unit thickness (L) in a direction normal to a surface of unit area (A) due to a unit temperature gradient (T) under steady state conditions and when the heat transfer is dependent only on the temperature gradient. In equation form this becomes the following: Thermal Conductivity = heat distance / (area temperature gradient) = Q L / (A T)

Thermal diffusivity
A measure of the rate at which atemperature disturbance at one point in a body travels to another point. It is expressed by the relationship K/dCp, where K is the coefficient of thermal conductivity, d is the density, and Cp is the specific heat at constant pressure.


The ability of a material to resist electrical conduction. It is the inverse of conductivity and is measured in ohm-m. The resistivity is a property of the material, whereas the resistance also depends on the volume measured. The two are related by a system constant, which in simple cases is the length between the measurement electrodes divided by the area. In the general case, the resistivity is the electric field divided by the current density and depends on the frequency of the applied signal.

Conductivity is a measure of the ability of water to pass an electrical current. Conductivity in water is affected by the presence of inorganic dissolved solids such as chloride, nitrate, sulfate, and phosphate anions (ions that carry a negative charge) or sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and aluminum cations (ions that carry a positive charge).

Dielectric Strength
Dielectric Strength is a measure of the electrical strength of a material as an insulator. Dielectric strength is defined as the maximum voltage required to produce a dielectric breakdown through the material and is expressed as Volts per unit thickness. The higher the dielectric strength of a material the better its quality as an insulator.

Magnetic permeability
The ability of a substance to acquire high magnetization in relatively weak magnetic fields. In electromagnetism, permeability is the measure of the ability of a material to support the formation of a magnetic field within itself. In other words, it is the degree of magnetization that a material obtains in response to an applied magnetic field. Magnetic permeability is typically represented by the Greek letter .

Mechanical properties
Elasticity is the physical property of a material that returns to its original shape after the stress (e.g. external forces) that made it deform is removed. The relative amount of deformation is called the strain.

Ability of material to retain the shape given to it under the action of force even after removal of force.

Strength of a material is its ability to withstand an applied stress without failure. The applied stress may be tensile, compressive, or shear. Strength of materials is a subject which deals with loads, deformations and the forces acting on the material. A load applied to a mechanical member will induce internal forces within the member called stresses. Those stresses acting on the material cause deformations of the material. Deformation of the material is called strain, while the intensity of the internal forces are called stress.

Ductility is a solid 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 property, is 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.

That property of a material manifested by fracture without appreciable prior plastic deformation. That characteristic of a material that is manifested by sudden or abrupt failure without appreciable prior ductile or plastic deformation.

It can be defined as the property of a metal to be deformed by compression without cracking or rupturing. The load may be applied slowly or suddenly and will determine whether the material will be suitable for forging or rolling into thin sheet.

Hardness is the resistance of a material to localized deformation. The term can apply to deformation from indentation, scratching, cutting or bending. In metals, ceramics and most polymers, the deformation considered is plastic deformation of the surface.

The ability of a metal to deform plastically and to absorb energy in the process before fracture is termed toughness. The emphasis of this definition should be placed on the ability to absorb energy before fracture.

Resilience is the property of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically and then, upon unloading to have this energy recovered. In other words, it is the maximum energy per unit volume that can be elastically stored.

Stiffness is the resistance of an elastic body to deformation by an applied force along a given degree of freedom (DOF) when a set of loading points and boundary conditions are prescribed on the elastic body. It is an extensive material property.

Creep strength
The ability of a metal to withstand a constant weight or force at elevated temperatures.

Fatigue Strength
The maximum cyclic stress a material can withstand for a given number of cycles before failure occurs.


Oxidation is defined as the interaction between oxygen molecules and all the different substances they may contact, from metal to living tissue. Technically, however, with the discovery of electrons, oxidation came to be more precisely defined as the loss of at least one electron when two or more substances interact.

Corrosion is the disintegration of an engineered material into its constituent atoms due to chemical reactions with its surroundings. In the most common use of the word, this means electrochemical oxidation of metals in reaction with an oxidant such as oxygen. Formation of an oxide of iron due to oxidation of the iron atoms in solid solution is a well-known example of electrochemical corrosion, commonly known as rusting. This type of damage typically produces oxide(s) and/or salt(s) of the original metal. Corrosion can also refer to other materials than metals, such as ceramics or polymers, although in this context, the term degradation is more common.


In ordinary usage, price is the quantity of payment or compensation given by one party to another in return for goods or services.

The degree to which a system, subsystem, or equipment is in a specified operable and committable state at the start of a mission, when the mission is called for at an unknown, i.e., a random, time. Simply put, availability is the proportion of time a system is in a functioning condition. This is often described as a mission capable rate.