Properties of material – When studying materials and especially when selecting materials for a project / design, it is important to understand key properties.

materials property – may be a constant or may be a function of one or more independent variables, such as temperature. Frequently used aiding in materials selection comparing benefits of one material versus another

Polysytrene composed of carbon and hydrogen atoms only. a long-chain hydrocarbon, and its chemical formula is C8H8)n

  • physical – density, amorphous, viscosity
  • mechanical – strength, elongation, modulus, impact strength, and toughness
  • optical – transparent, opaque, refractive Index
  • thermal – heat distortion temperature, glass transition temperature, thermal conductivity, rigid, transparent thermoplastic
  • electrical – dielectric strength
  • chemical – inert, organic solvents, flammable, oxidation
Waterproof zipper on a dry suit

More Waterproof

most waterproof material ever (video) – inspired by nasturtium leaves and butterfly wings. The new “super-hydrophobic” surface could keep clothes dry and stop aircraft engines icing over. Adding tiny ridges to a silicon surface made water bounce off it 40% faster than the previous “limit”.

  • Ask – There are many places where waterproofing is important. Often just keeping the rain off is fine. But for some situations, any water at all is too much, such as in equipment or electrical components.
  • Imagine – There are example of waterproofing in nature that challenge the best that engineers have been striving to replicate – lotus leaves, wings of the Morpho butterfly and the veins of nasturtium leaves
  • Plan, Create – Adding tiny ridges to a silicon surface made water bounce off it 40% faster than the previous “limit”.
  • Improve – By applying these patterns to metals, fabrics and ceramics, inspiring a new generation of moisture-resistant products – from tents to wind turbines.

Engineering ideas

  • properties, physical, mechanical, optical, thermal, electrical, chemical, density, amorphous, viscosity, molding, extrusion, brittle, tensile strength, elasticity, waterproof, thermal insulator, thermoplastic, biodegradable, recycle, super-hydrophobicity

Do it
Here are some challenges for you to work on…

  • see how you do at Properties of Materials games
  • Design a trophy to support a tennis, soccer, or bowling ball – Explore such concepts as material properties, varied shape strengths, center of gravity, and structural design by building a “trophy” that can support either a tennis, soccer, or bowling ball. With only limited materials to work with, build a tall trophy that is strong enough to balance your ball. Test and redesign your trophy as often as you like until you achieve your ultimate design.

Learn more…

  • An Introduction to Materials
  • List of Materials Properties – comprehensive lists. Materials properties are most reliably measured by standardized test methods. Many such test methods have been documented by their respective user communities and published through ASTM International.