Brittleness vs. Ductility

Difference Between Brittleness and Ductility

Brittleness and Ductility are the two of the most important physical properties of materials used in building engineering. The ability of a substance to deform when a force is applied at a stretch is its ductility. It is considered as the ability of a substance to resist the plastic deformation without undergoing failure. Brittleness is on the other hand exactly the opposite property of ductility, as is the ability of a material to break without first undergoing any kind of distortion on the application of force. There are many who can not understand the differences between brittleness and ductility, and this article is intended to explain the differences between these two important properties of substances.

We know the properties of materials in our daily lives. We refer to our nails as very brittle when they tend to break easily. Women are especially disturbed by the views of their brittle nails and hair treatments and try to improve the plasticity of their capital intensive. In physics, we say that the materials which deform and stretch up to 5% are ductile. Some examples of ductility and ductile materials are gold, silver and copper. Brittle materials, however, give the crack without anybody noticing and do get deformed e.g. Concrete, cast iron etc.

Ductile materials can be thought of as bendable and not easily break when applied with a force. Have you seen how ductile elastic can stretch prior to finally breaking as it cannot take the tensile strength you apply? On the other hand, the fragment of potato or a cookie that you eat is extremely brittle as it can not withstand the smaller forces. So it is safe to say that if a substance is ductile it is brittle. In the construction industry, if we must choose between two materials having the same strength as well as hardness, we are going for the one who has the highest ductility, as it will be more sustainable. Ductility is a property that is affected by temperature. We see that with increase in temperature the ductility also increases and with decrease in temperature the ductility reduces too and as a result a substance ,ay may even changeĀ  from a ductile material to a brittle one.

Impurities also tend to make a material brittle. If a fragile material is required then addition of impurities can make a material more brittle. Most of the glasses and the ceramic material are extremely brittle. That’s why scientists are trying to increase the hardness and strength of such materials to prevent them from breaking easily. The fracture is perhaps the most important concept in the field of material science and engineering. It is defined as the ability of a material to break into pieces when an external force is applied.


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