Different materials have different strength. Image credit wisegeek.com

Different materials have different strength. Image credit wisegeek.com

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: The strength of Materials

  • A beam should be made of stronger material so that it can support a greater load
  • Different materials have different strength
  • Some material is greater when put under stress by compression forces
  • for example bricks and concrete
  • Some material is strong when put under tensile forces
  • For example metals e.g. copper, iron and steel
  • Some material is strong under shear forces
  • For example metal
  • The strength of a material thus depends on the way in which the force is applied
  • It is difficult to break materials such as bricks by applying compression forces
  • For example it is not easy to break wood with a hammer
  • Bricks can be easily broken apart if they are pulled (tensile forces)
  • Metals are not easily broken by pulling them apart.
  • Some metals such as copper can also handle shear forces

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.

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