An idea is useless no matter how great it is if there is no physical material to support it. Therefore for any advancement of technology to take place, knowledge of materials and their behavior is necessary so as to know the best material suitable to the type of technology in question.
- By mentioning engineering material, one is referring to any physical substance that one can observe and measure.
- Most of the time the physical substances referred to as engineering materials are solids.
- Some properties of solids substances can be observed through any of the five senses while others are mentioned through the aid of instruments.
- The issue of measuring the properties of a solid is very important because it is from the measurement of these characteristics that one can conclude on the particular use to which the solid can be subjected to.
- Also it is from the measurement of the properties of engineering materials that one can know whether some ideas are practicable or not.
- The physical properties of substances are the ones one can perceive with any of the five human senses.
- These properties are color, size, shape, density, melting point, boiling point, and freezing point. Some of these properties can be observed with any of our five senses.
- Others are observed by measurements through the aid of simple instruments.
- Those properties that can be observed using any of the five senses are color, size, shape, sound, etc.
- The other properties that require simple measuring instruments are density, melting point, boiling point, and freezing point.
The important of these physical properties is that it helps one to identify any solid when we see one. A type of engineering substance can be known by observing its properties.
The mechanical properties of an engineering material are those characteristics or behavior that the material will show during usage when they are subjected to external forces. Mechanical properties include strength, elasticity, creep, etc. Mechanical properties determine whether a material is fit for a particular use or not as a result of the disturbances they are subjected to as a result of what they are used for.