Intro to Material Elasticity

Material properties describe how a material reacts or behaves under specific conditions or stimuli. We as designers and engineers use these properties to understand how a material will behave in our final designed product.

Our minds are often first drawn to how a material behaves under a mechanical load, or it's mechanical properties. Can this chair support the weight of me and my dog in my lap? Is this shelf stable enough to hold my favorite family photos?

You might think mechanical properties = the strength of a material. But it's more complex than that. How a material reacts to elastic (or reversible) shape change is also important — this is a material's stiffness. But what is an elastic material in terms of physics, materials science or design?

This course will:
  • Define relevant terminology related to material elasticity, including Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio.
  • Identify stress-strain curves and their importance in understanding a material’s elastic response.
  • Describe the impact of atomic bonding on elastic behavior.
  • Show how to compute stress-strain values given the relevant physical information.
  • Highlight the impact elasticity has in real-world design.

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