Ductile materials

The ductile materials are those capable of plastic deformation and sustainably, without breaking or distorting its structure, facing the sustained action of a force. In fact, a characteristic of them is that through sustained longitudinal tension smaller fibers or threads are obtained but the same nature.

Ductile materials are precisely the opposite of brittle materials . But they should not be confused with malleable materials either .

This does not mean that ductile materials cannot break; in fact, they do, but after having suffered noticeable deformations. Nor does it mean that ductile materials are soft; the force necessary for its deformation is considerable, and in the face of weak forces, its shape change will also be, generally elastic and reversible.

The deformation of ductile materials can also be increased in the presence of heat, without reaching the melt margins , and is measured indirectly through resilience, especially in metals. The latter are the most common ductile materials, since their atoms are configured in such a way that they can slide over each other, thus allowing the obtaining of wires and threads of different thicknesses.

Ductile materials are valued in the metallurgical and tool manufacturing industry as they can take specific shapes before breaking. However, repeated and insistent deformation will lead to metal fatigue and breakage, further evidenced by the increase in temperature of the area on which the deformation force falls.

Examples of ductile materials


  1. The iron. Also called iron and represented by the chemical symbol Fe, it is the fourth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, and the most abundant in planetary mass because the planet’s core is made up of iron and nickel in a liquid state, which when moved generate a powerful magnetic field. It is a malleable, gray metal with magnetic properties and extreme hardness and density. Therefore, in the pure state the latter prevents it from being useful, so it is alloyed with carbon to obtain the family of steels, which according to the proportion of this element present may be more or less ductile and more or less resistant.
  2. Wood . It is a moderately ductile organic material, depending on its nature and the percentage of moisture present in it, as well as the location of the knots it contains. However, being fibrous, it can be easily opened by forces perpendicular to its grain.
  3. The steel. mixture of iron and carbon (up to 2.14%) is called by this name, yielding a hard and relatively ductile material, especially combined with boron to form wires of superficial hardness and very high ductility, or in corrugated steel which is used in the construction sector. This makes it ideal to resist weights without fracturing the concrete, but allowing minimal deformations according to the weight dimension.
  4. Zinc Zinc (Zn), an essential element for life, in its pure state enjoys high ductility and malleability, making it possible to roll it into sheets, tighten and deform it, but the presence of minimal contaminants from other elements is enough to make it brittle. and fragile. It is essential in alloys such as that produced by brass.
  5. The Lead. This metallic element on the periodic table, symbolized Pb, was not recognized at the time as metallic due to its enormous molecular elasticity. It is a heavy, greyish, flexible and easily meltable metal. It is used today as a cable cover, since its unique ductility makes it extremely appropriate, as it can be stretched to the needs of the cover.
  6. Brass. Alloy of copper (70%) and zinc (30%), characterized by its high ductility which makes it an ideal material for the manufacture of containers and containers, as well as tools that do not require extreme hardness. Combined with tin, it is resistant to rust and nitrate, as well as being very malleable.
  7. Plasticine. Extremely ductile, this plastic substance composed of calcium, vaseline and aliphatic compounds, was invented in 1880. Usually made of colors and associated with the world of children’s learning, it is characterized by its ability to be deformed without breaking, allowing its simple work with the hands. , instruments or any type of surface.
  8. Copper. Copper (Cu) is a bright reddish-colored transition metal, which together with gold and silver are the best metallic conductors of electricity. Therefore, it is the preferred metal when it comes to building electrical cables and both electrical and electronic components, since it is also economical, malleable and ductile.
  9. Platinum. This grayish white, heavy, malleable and ductile transition metal is valued in jewelry and laboratories as being corrosion resistant and precious in nature. Platinum (Pt) is also frequently found in catalytic additives for automobiles, electrical contacts and other types of applications that take advantage of its resistance.
  10. The aluminum. Aluminum (Al) is a non-ferromagnetic metal element and the third most common in the Earth’s crust. It is widely used in the materials industry, despite the fact that it can only be extracted as metal from bauxite, due to its properties as low density, high conduction of heat and electricity, high resistance to corrosion, economic cost and alloyability. That is why it has been the most used metal, along with steel, in the 20th century. Although its natural ductility does not seem to be extreme, in cast iron alloys this character is reinforced, as well as its resistance to stress and corrosion, usually through the incorporation of Silicon (5 to 12%) and magnesium.

They can serve you

  • Examples of Natural and Artificial Materials
  • Examples of Elastic Materials
  • Recyclable Materials Examples
  • Examples of Insulating Materials
  • Examples of Semiconductor Materials
  • Examples of Superconducting Materials


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