Product Design (Material Testing)

Overview of Material Testing

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Properties of Materials – Physical Properties

Fusibility – ability to change into a liquid so it can be moulded, cast or welded

Density – the amount of mass for its volume

Electrical resistance  -  conductors & insulators

Thermal conductivity  -  again conductors & insulators but this time of heat

Corrosion resistance  -  ability to withstand the elements

 Optical properties  - ability to transmit or reflect light


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Mechanical Properties 1

Malleability  -  can be hammered or compressed into a shape

Ductility  -  ability to bend, twist or stretch (draw)

Toughness  -  ability to take sudden impact shocks & knocks

Elasticity  - bending & flexing under stress & return to its original shape

Plasticity  -  ability to change shape without cracking or breaking

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Properties of Materials – Mechanical Properties 2

Hardness  -  resistance to abrasion & indentation

Durability  -  ability to withstand corrosive or weather attack

Stability  -  ability to keep its shape & size

Strength  -  ability not to break or bend under stress

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Testing the mechanical properties of Hardness

Testing the hardness of


Copper &

Mild steel

- Using a hammer & punch on each metal

- Using the same force blow on each metal

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Testing the mechanical properties of Ductility

- Testing the ductility of mild steel

- Cold bending of the sample metal in a vice

- A ductile metal will not show any cracks

- Mild steel will have some cracking

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Testing the mechanical properties of Toughness

- Testing for toughness by fixing one end in a vice then striking with a hammer

- Comparing materials by repeating the test on samples of equal sizes

- Safety note care must be taken to avoid flying materials

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Testing the properties of Tensile Strength

- Measuring the deflection of the sample metal when one end is fixed in a vice

- Comparison of metals must use material samples of the same size

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