A material's property (or material property) is an intensive, often quantitative, property of some material. Quantitative properties may be used as a metric by which the benefits of one material versus another can be assessed, thereby aiding in materials selection.
A property may be a constant or may be a function of one or more independent variables, such as temperature. Materials properties often vary to some degree according to the direction in the material in which they are measured, a condition referred to as anisotropy. Materials properties that relate to different physical phenomena often behave linearly (or approximately so) in a given operating range. Modeling them as linear can significantly simplify the differential constitutive equations that the property describes.
Some materials properties are used in relevant equations to predict the attributes of a system a priori. For example, if a material of a known specific heat gains or loses a known amount of heat, the temperature change of that material can be determined. Materials properties are most reliably measured by standardized test methods. Many such methods have been documented by their respective user communities and published through ASTM International.
- Brittleness: Ability of a material to break or shatter without significant deformation when under stress; opposite of plasticity
- Bulk modulus: Ratio of pressure to volumetric compression (GPa)
- Coefficient of restitution
- Compressive strength: Maximum stress a material can withstand before compressive failure (MPa)
- Creep: The slow and gradual deformation of an object with respect to time
- Ductility: Ability of a material to deform under tensile load (% elongation)
- Durability: Ability to withstand wear, pressure, or damage; hard-wearing.
- Elasticity: Ability of a body to resist a distorting influence or stress and to return to its original size and shape when the stress is removed
- Fatigue limit: Maximum stress a material can withstand under repeated loading (MPa)
- Flexibility: Ability of an object to bend or deform in response to an applied force; pliability; complementary to stiffness
- Flexural modulus
- Flexural strength : The stresses in a material just before it yields.
- Fracture toughness: Ability of a material containing a crack to resist fracture (J/m^2)
- Hardness: Ability to withstand surface indentation and scratching (e.g. Brinnell hardness number)
- Plasticity: Ability of a material to undergo irreversible or permanent deformations without breaking or rupturing; opposite of brittleness
- Poisson's ratio: Ratio of lateral strain to axial strain (no units)
- Resilience: Ability of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically (MPa); combination of strength and elasticity
- Shear modulus: Ratio of shear stress to shear strain (MPa)
- Shear strength: Maximum shear stress a material can withstand
- Specific modulus: Modulus per unit volume (MPa/m^3)
- Specific strength: Strength per unit density (Nm/kg)
- Specific weight: Weight per unit volume (N/m^3)
- Stiffness: Ability of an object to resist deformation in response to an applied force; rigidity; complementary to flexibility
- Surface roughness
- Tensile strength: Maximum tensile stress of a material can withstand before failure (MPa)
- Toughness: Ability of a material to absorb energy (or withstand shock) and plastically deform without fracturing (or rupturing); a material's resistance to fracture when stressed; combination of strength and plasticity
- Viscosity: A fluid's resistance to gradual deformation by tensile or shear stress; thickness
- Yield strength: The stress at which a material starts to yield plastically (MPa)
- Young's modulus: Ratio of linear stress to linear strain (MPa)
- Strength of materials (relation of various strengths)