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Mechanical & Thermal Properties of materials

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Properties of Materials
focus for Machine Design.
2. Physical response of a material due to interaction with various forms of energy (i.e. thermal magnetic, etc).
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Mechanical response of a material due to an applied force. Main


Chemical relate to structure of material, atomic bonds, etc.

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Mechanical properties

Important Mechanical Properties

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Mechanical Properties of Metals

The mechanical properties of the metals are those, which are associated with the ability of the material to resist mechanical forces/load or failure. These mechanical properties of the metal include strength, stiffness, elasticity, plasticity, ductility, brittleness, malleability, toughness, resilience, creep and hardness.
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Ability of a material to resist the externally applied forces without

breaking or yielding.

The internal resistance offered by a part to an externally applied force is

called stress.

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Ability of a material to resist deformation under stress.

The modulus of elasticity is the measure of stiffness.

Stiffness of metal is of great importance while selecting it for a component of machine. Used in spring balances & spring controlled instruments.

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The property of a material to regain its original shape after deformation

when the external forces are removed.

In nature, no material is perfectly elastic, over the entire range of stress This property is desirable for materials used in tools and machines.

Steel & other materials have wide range over which they appear to be

It is property of a material, which retains the deformation permanently
(without fracture), produced under external load. Plasticity of metal depends upon its nature & the environmental conditions,
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i.e. cold or hot working

This property of the material is necessary for forming or shaping of materials in forgings, drawing, bending, extrusion, rolling, in stamping images on

coins and in ornamental work etc.

Pb has good plasticity at room temp, while cast iron does not possess any plasticity, even when it is red hot

It is the property of a material enabling it to be drawn into wire with the
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application of a tensile force.

A ductile material must be both strong and plastic.

The ductility is usually measured by the terms, percentage elongation and

percentage reduction in area.

Mild steel, copper etc are ductile materials, which are commonly used in engineering practice.

It is the property of a material opposite to ductility. It is the property of breaking of a material with little or no permanent distortion / deformation. Brittle materials when subjected to tensile loads snap off without giving any sensible elongation. Cast iron / glass are examples of brittle materials.
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Important for designing of machine tools which are subjected to sudden loads

It is a special case of ductility, which permits materials to be rolled or hammered into thin sheets. A malleable material should be plastic but it is not essential to be so strong. The malleable materials commonly used in engineering practice are lead, soft steel, wrought iron, copper and aluminum etc
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It is the property of a material to resist fracture due to high impact loads,
like hammer blows. The toughness of the material decreases when it is heated.
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It is measured by the amount of energy that a unit volume of the material

has absorbed after being subjected to sudden loads upto the point of fracture.

This property is desirable in parts subjected to shock and impact loads.

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It is the property of a material to absorb energy and to resist shock and

impact loads.
It is measured by the amount of energy absorbed per unit volume within elastic limit.

This property is essential for spring materials.

The property of metal by virtue of which it deforms continuously under
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steady load OR When a part is subjected to a constant stress at high temperature for a long period of time, it will undergo a slow and permanent deformation, called

Occurs in steel at high temp. This property is considered in designing internal combustion engines,

boilers and turbines.

Creep is important in the following cases: Soft metals used at room temp such as lead pipes & whit metal (lead & tin alloy) bearings etc Steam & chemical plants operating at 450 to 550C Gas turbines working at higher temp Rockets, missiles, supersonic jets Nuclear reactor field
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When a material is subjected to repeated stresses, it fails at stresses below the yield point. Such type of failure of a material is known as fatigue. The failure is caused by means of a progressive crack formation, which are usually fine, and of microscopic size. This property is considered in design & production of reciprocating machines & components subjected to vibrations such as shafts, connecting rods, springs, gears, etc.
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It is a very important property of the metals and has a wide variety of
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It embraces many different properties such as resistance to indentation,

wear, scratching, deformation and machinability etc. It also means the ability of a metal to cut another metal.

The hardness is usually expressed in numbers, which are dependent on the

method of making the test.

The hardness of a metal may be determined by the following tests: (a) Brinell hardness test, (b) Rockwell hardness test, (c) Vickers hardness (also called Diamond Pyramid) test, and (d) Shore scleroscope.
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Mechanical Property Summary

Property Strength Stiffness Ductility Interpretation
Ability to resist breaking Ability to resist deformation

Common or Related Measure

Yield stress Modulus of elasticity
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Permanent deformation before breaking

% Elongation & or % Reduction in area

Hardness Creep

Energy or work Ability to withstand impact or necessary to fracture resist breaking material Ability to resist indentation abrasion/scratching Gradual, continuing deformation under an applied constant stress Scores on hardness tests Creep strength

Compressive strength : Maximum stress a material can withstand before compressive failure (MPa) Density : Mass per unit volume (kg/m^3) Ductility : Ability of a material to deform under tensile load (% elongation) Fatigue limit : Maximum stress a material can withstand under repeated loading (MPa) Flexural modulus Flexural strength Fracture toughness : Energy absorbed by unit area before the fracture of material (J/m^2) Hardness : Ability to withstand surface indentation (e.g. Brinell hardness number) Plasticity (physics) : Ability of a material to undergo irreversible deformations (-) Poisson's ratio : Ratio of lateral strain to axial strain (no units) Shear modulus : Ratio of shear stress to shear strain (MPa) Shear strain : Change in the angle between two perpendicular lines in a plane Shear strength : Maximum shear stress a material can withstand Specific modulus : Modulus per unit volume (MPa/ m^3) Specific weight : Weight per

unit volume (N/m^3) Tensile strength : Maximum tensile stress a material can withstand before
failure (MPa) Yield strength : The stress at which a material starts to yield (MPa) Young's modulus : Ratio of linear stress to linear strain (MPa) Coefficient of friction (also depends on surface finish)

Physical properties
include the thermal, electrical, magnetic & optical

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Physical / Thermal Properties

Properties of particular interest in manufacturing are: density melting point specific heat thermal conductivity and expansion electrical and magnetic properties resistance to oxidation and corrosion
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Density depends on weight, radius and packing of the atoms.
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Melting point

Higher melting point, more difficult the operation.

Melting points are also related to the rate of material removal and tool wear.

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Depends on the energy required to separate its atoms.

Specific heat
Specific heat is the amount of energy that must be added to or removed from a given mass of material to produce a 1C change in material. It is important in casting or heat treatment High temperature will affect the product quality by a) affecting surface finish and dimensional accuracy b) causing tool and die wear c) resulting in metallurgical changes in the material
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Thermal conductivity
Thermal conductivity indicates the rate at which heat flows within and through the material. It is directly proportional to electrical conductivity, metals like Al, Cu Au have good thermal conductivity Alloying elements with difference in thermal conductivities will have effect on thermal conductivity of alloys.
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Thermal expansion
Thermal expansion is the tendency of matter to change in volume in response to a change in temperature Coefficient of thermal expansion Materials expand upon heating & contract on cooling, but the amount vary with materials. Thermal stresses results from expansion and contraction of components. Thermal stresses may also be caused by anisotropy of thermal expansion of the material. Thermal fatigue results from thermal cycling. Thermal shock is the development of cracks after a single thermal cycle.
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Electrical and magnetic properties

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Electrical conductivity is a measure of how well the material conducts electric current, e.g., Cu, Al

Electrical resistivity is the inverse of conductivity, and materials with high resistivity (insulators).

These properties vary not only with material, but also with temp & the way the material has been processed

Superconductivity is where zero electrical resistivity occurs below a

critical temperature.

Resistance to corrosion
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Corrosion is the deterioration of metals and ceramics with their

environments, while degradation is a term used in plastics.

Corrosion can occur over an entire surface or localized such as in pitting.

Stress-corrosion cracking is the effect of a corrosive environment.

It is the property of a material, which refers to a relative ease with which a
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material can be cut by machining operation such as turning, drilling, milling

It depends upon mechanical & physical properties, chemical composition & microstructure of metal & cutting conditions

The machinability of a material can be measured in a number of ways such as

comparing the tool life for cutting different materials or thrust required to remove the material at some given rate or the energy required to remove a unit volume of the material. It may be noted that brass can be easily machined than steel.