Properties of Material

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Properties of Materials: Materials are probably more deep-seated in our culture than most folks realize. Each section of our everyday lives is influenced to one degree or another by materials. In order to pick appropriate materials, and process techniques for specific applications, you need to have information about the properties of materials and perceive how the structure affects the properties of materials.

Throughout history, material advancement has gone hand-in-hand with socio-economic advancements. The Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age were all vital materials and socio-economic periods in humankind’s development. Before we tend to get into the properties of materials, let’s perceive what’s material.

Download Formulas for GATE Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

What is Material?

Objects are made up of matter, referred to as Material. Materials are classified primarily based upon their properties like heat capacity, strength, Toughness, Hardness, Brittleness, malleability, ductility, Resilience, Fatigue, and thermal conductivity, etc.

Materials have a broad range of use. So, materials are also classified on the basis of their industrial uses. The science dealing with the study of material is termed materials science and therefore The process used for determining Materials for a selected application is termed Material Selection.

What is Meant By Properties of Material?

Properties of materials are vital to ensure correct design and give us insight into the material’s mechanical performance beneath specific conditions. Understanding the basics is the key to choosing the correct material and Properties like shape and mass may be different for different objects, even when they are made of the same material.

Materials have a wide range of properties. However, scientifically the physical and chemical properties are considered. Physical properties might additionally be classified into electrical, magnetic, thermal, and mechanical properties.

Physical Properties of Material

Some of the key physical and mechanical properties of materials are as follows-

  • Elasticity: Ability of the material to resume its original form after removal of external force.
  • Thermal Conductivity: The ability to conduct heat is termed the thermal conductivity of a material. Materials having high thermal conductivity can effectively transfer and take up heat from the surroundings.
  • Density: It is described as the mass of the material per unit volume. It is an intensive property of a material.
  • Ductility: Ability of a material to be drawn into thin wires. The ductility of steel varies depending on the types and levels of alloying elements present.
  • Malleability: Ability to be drawn into thin sheets once rolled. Examples of malleable metals are zinc, iron, aluminum, copper, gold, and silver.
  • Conductivity
  • Corrosion Resistance
  • Stiffness
  • Fracture Toughness
  • Hardness
  • Plasticity

Classification of Materials Based on Properties of Material

Materials can be classified into several categories based on the various properties of materials. Classification of materials helps us in ascertaining which two materials are similar in nature. It additionally helps in dividing the materials based on their composition and their properties.


  • Metals: The materials belonging to this group are stiff, strong, fusible, and ductile in nature like gold, iron, copper, nickel, etc.
  • Ceramics: This group of materials has metallic and non-metallic compounds, largely oxides, nitrides, and carbides. Ceramics are relatively stiff and strong but also brittle and susceptible to fracture.
  • Polymers: This group of materials includes plastic and rubber materials such as polyethene, polyvinyl chloride, etc. polymers are not as stiff and strong as metals or ceramics and have low densities. The main limitation of polymers is that polymers chemically decompose once exposed to sunlight or harsh environments for a longer period of time.
  • Composites: Composite materials are a combination of two materials with totally different physical and chemical properties. Most of these are man-made and have a high strength to weight quantitative relation.
Important Topics for Gate Exam
Non-Newtonian Fluids Open Loop Control System
Pattern Allowances Poissons Ratio
Pressure Measurement Prestressed Concrete
Prestressing Systems Principle of Conservation of Energy
Properties of Aggregate Properties of Concrete


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