Flexible materials stand out through their mechanical properties. Tensile strength is a value indicating how materials behave when put under pressure.
Several types of tensile strength can be measured. We could for example measure the force needed to break a certain material. To do so, we exert an increasing amount of pressure on a material to the point where it breaks. This will tell us something about the amount of force a material can withstand, but nothing about flexibility or elasticity.
We can also measure the amount of force needed to tear a certain material. To do so, we do more or less the same test as the previous tensile strength test, with the only difference being a small nick we put in beforehand. That way, we can look at a material’s ‘tearing’ properties.
Furthermore, we look at the resistance a material offers when stretched. This value is called the elastic modulus, and is measured at various elasticity values, such as 50%, 100% or 300% elasticity.
Some materials are initially tough to stretch, but weaken as they are stretched further. Other materials behave in the opposite manner.
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