Degree to which a material under stress irreversibly deforms before failure / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Ductility is a mechanical property commonly described as a material's amenability to drawing (e.g. into wire). In materials science, ductility is defined by the degree to which a material can sustain plastic deformation under tensile stress before failure. Ductility is an important consideration in engineering and manufacturing. It defines a material's suitability for certain manufacturing operations (such as cold working) and its capacity to absorb mechanical overload. Some metals that are generally described as ductile include gold and copper, while platinum is the most ductile of all metals in pure form. However, not all metals experience ductile failure as some can be characterized with brittle failure like cast iron. Polymers generally can be viewed as ductile materials as they typically allow for plastic deformation.
Malleability, a similar mechanical property, is characterized by a material's ability to deform plastically without failure under compressive stress. Historically, materials were considered malleable if they were amenable to forming by hammering or rolling. Lead is an example of a material which is relatively malleable but not ductile.