Properties of materials

Different materials exhibit different working properties. Often a plastic being designed for a specific purpose will have desirable properties.

Listed below are some of the key properties which determine how materials behave:

  • Conductivity is the ability of a material to conduct heat or electrical energy.
  • Strength is the ability of a material to withstand a force without breaking or bending.
  • Elasticity is the ability of a material to bend and then to return to its original shape and size.
  • Malleability is the ability of a material to be moulded into a shape without cracking.
  • Ductility is the ability of a material to be pulled into long thin fibres.
  • Hardness is the ability of a material to resist wear, scratching and indentation.
  • Toughness is the ability of a material to withstand blows or sudden shocks without breaking.
  • Durability is the ability of a material to withstand wear, especially as a result of weathering.