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Stress-strain diagram : brittle failure in red, deformation failure in gray

The brittleness indicates the extent to which a material can be elastically deformed before it breaks . In contrast to brittleness, toughness or ductility describes the behavior in the event of plastic deformation.

These material properties can be determined in the tensile test :

Most materials become brittle as the temperature drops . Face-centered cubic metals or austenitic steels are an exception .

The fracture mechanics of brittle materials applies to brittle metals .


Various factors can cause a material to become more brittle than when it was new, due to the process of embrittlement .

See also

Wiktionary: brittleness  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Reactors under constant fire. In: FAZ , September 22, 2010