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Introduction to materials: density
The study of materials is important to inform decisions about
which materials to use for different things.

## It is important to consider properties of materials such as

density, and how materials react when forces are applied.

mass m
density = = units: kg m3
volume V

## The image shows equal

volumes of brass, balsa
wood and polystyrene. How
would their densities and
masses compare? What
could they be used for?

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Finding the density

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Calculating the density

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Introduction to springs
The behaviour of springs is important since they have many
uses, from car and bike suspension to clock-making.

are applied.

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Tensile and compressive forces

Restoring force

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Hookes law and the force constant
Hookes law states that the extension of a spring, x, is
directly proportional to the force applied to it, F.

F x or F = kx where k is a constant.

## k is called the force constant or the spring constant, or

sometimes the stiffness constant. The units of k are Nm-1.

original length x
F

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Finding the force constant

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Calculating the force constant

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Elastic limit for springs
If a spring is stretched far enough, it reaches the limit of
proportionality and then the elastic limit.

## The limit of proportionality is a point beyond which

behaviour no longer conforms to Hookes law.

## The elastic limit is a point

beyond which the spring
original shape when the
force

force is removed.

## Elasticity is the ability to

regain shape after deforming
extension forces are removed.
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What is elastic potential energy?
A stretched or compressed material, like
the spring in a jack-in-the-box when the lid
is closed, has elastic potential energy
(EPE) or elastic strain energy stored in it.

## EPE is the energy stored in a body

due to a load causing a deformation.

## According to the principal of conservation of energy, no

energy is created or destroyed when a spring is
compressed. Therefore the work done in compressing the
spring is equal to the EPE stored in it, plus any energy
released as heat and sound.

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Calculating elastic potential energy
Work is done when a
spring is stretched; for
example, in stretching
chest expanders.
If the conversion of mechanical energy into thermal energy is
ignored, work done is equal to EPE stored in the springs.

## EPE = work done

= average force distance moved
= Fd

## For a spring: EPE = work done

= average force extension
EPE = Fx
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Work done

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Match up the equations

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Stretching wires the variables
When using wires and
other materials, it is
important to know how
they will stretch if a
force acts on them.

## The following properties

must be considered:

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What is the Young modulus?

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Young modulus calculation: example

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Stressstrain graphs

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Finding the Young modulus from graphs
Which material, A or B, has the larger Young modulus and
how can you tell?
tensile stress (Nm2)

A
B

tensile strain
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Stiffness, strength and toughness
Stiffness, strength and toughness are all different properties
of materials.

## Stiffness reflects how difficult it is to change the shape

or size of a material. Greater stiffness means a greater
value for the force constant, k, and a steeper gradient of
stressstrain curve (representing the Young modulus).

## Strength refers to the ultimate tensile stress (UTS).

A greater UTS means a stronger material.

## Toughness is a measure of the energy needed to

break a material. Toughness is equal to the area
under the stressstrain curve.

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A strong material may also be brittle, though at first this
seems counterintuitive.

## tensile stress (Nm2)

high UTS
A strong but brittle material
would have a linear stressstrain breaking
curve, i.e. would break without point
any plastic deformation taking
place. However, it would only
break under high stress, so the
end-point of the line would be at
a high y-value on the graph. tensile strain
It is also possible for a plastic material to be tough. How
would such a material behave under tensile testing and what
would its stressstrain curve look like?

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Investigating stressstrain graphs

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Different types of material

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Measuring the Young modulus
The Young modulus of a wire can be measured in the
classroom without a tensile testing machine, using the set-up
below. How could the equipment could be used to find the
Young modulus? Remember the equation:
stress FL
Young modulus = =
strain Ax

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Young modulus calculations

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Glossary

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Whats the keyword?

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Multiple-choice quiz