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Daily Concept Booster Civil Engineering: BASIC PROPERTIES OF MATERIAL


It is the property under which a material deformed under the load is enabled to return to its original dimension when the load is removed.

  • If the body regains completely its original shape it is called a perfectly elastic body.
  • Elastic limit marks the partial breakdown of elasticity beyond which removal of load results in a degree of permanent deformation.
  • Steel, aluminum, copper, concrete may be considered to be perfectly elastic within a certain limit.


The characteristics of the material by which it undergoes inelastic strain beyond those at the elastic limit are known as plasticity.

  • This property is particularly useful in the operation of pressing and forging.
  • When large deformation occurs in a ductile material loaded in the plastic region, the material is said to undergo plastic flow.


It is the property that permits a material to be drawn out longitudinally to a reduced section, under the action of tensile force.

  • A ductile material must possess a high degree of plasticity and strength.
  • Ductile material must have a low degree of elasticity.
  • This is useful in wire drawing


It is a lack of ductility. Brittleness implies that it cannot be drawn out by tension to a smaller section

  • In brittle material, failure take place under load without significant deformation
  • Ordinary Glass is a nearly ideal brittle material.
  • Cast iron, concrete, and ceramic material are brittle materials.


It is the property of a material that permits the material to be extended in all directions without rupture.

  • A malleable material possesses a high degree of plasticity, but not necessarily great strength.


It is the property of the material that enables it to absorb energy without fracture.

  • It is desirable in the material which is subject to cyclic or shock loading.
  • It is represented by the area under the stress-strain curve for material up to fracture.
  • Bend test used for common comparative test for toughness.


A material can resist indentation or surface abrasion.

  • Brinell hardness test is used to check the hardness
  • Brinell hardness number

Here, P = Standard load

D = Diameter of steel ball (mm)

D = diameter of indent (mm)


This property enables the material to resist fracture under load

  • This is the most important property from the design point of view.
  • Load at ultimate point divided by area of a test specimen is termed as ultimate strength.

Strain Energy

Material can absorb energy when it is strained

=  P × δ =  T × θ

Where, P = Applied load;               δ = Elongation due to applied load

T = Applied torque;                         θ = Angle of twist due to applied torque


The ability of a material to absorb energy in the elastic region when it is strained.

The area under P-δ curve = P × δ

Proof Resilience

The maximum energy absorbing capacity of a material in the elastic region is called proof resilience.

The area under P – δ curve =   ×

Where,  = Load at the elastic limit;

= Elongation up to an elastic limit

Modulus of resilience =

Where = Strain at the elastic limit; E = Modulus of elasticity

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Daily Concept Booster Civil Engineering: BASIC PROPERTIES OF MATERIAL_40.1


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