Mechanical Properties of Metals

The combination of properties offered by metals and alloys determine their usefulness while cost. or more accurately, ccst/ performance ratio normally determine their selection. There are hundreds of properties that are measured in laboratories for the purpose of comparing, evaluating and/or selecting candidate materials for a given application. These various properties are normally grouped into three major categories: namely; (a) mechanical properties (b) physical properties and (c) chemical properties. A fourth category – dimensional properties – although not a legitimate category from a scientist’s perspective, needs to be considered, as it plays an important role in the selection of suppliers, Finally, no selection process can be considered complete unless some attention is given to metallurgical structure. Knowledge of the structures and the manner in which they are achieved and/or altered enables one to more accurately predict the performance of the material. This paper is devoted mainly to a description of mechanical properties. However, since both the authors are practicing metallurgists, some space is also devoted to the effect of structure on properties. It is hoped that the reader will find these occasional but irresistible excursions into metallurgy beneficial.


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