Introduction to Physical Properties 101

"Introduction to Physical Properties" provides an overview of manufacturing materials and their physical properties, including thermal, electrical, and magnetic properties. This class also introduces users to volumetric characteristics, such as mass, weight, and density. Physical properties determine how a material will react to moisture, heat, electricity, and other factors. In order to choose the best tooling or raw material for an application, manufacturers must understand the physical properties of key metals, plastics, and other materials. After taking this course, users will be able to identify and describe key physical properties and their value in a manufacturing setting.

Class Details

Class Name:
Introduction to Physical Properties 101
Difficulty:
Beginner
Number of Lessons:
14

Class Outline

  • Manufacturing Materials
  • Materials and Properties
  • Physical and Mechanical Properties
  • Internal Structures of Materials
  • Review: Materials and Properties
  • The Role of Physical Properties
  • Mass and Density
  • Electrical Properties
  • Review: Volumetric and Electrical Properties
  • Magnetic Properties
  • Thermal Properties
  • Thermal Expansion and Thermal Stress
  • Chemical Properties and Weathering
  • Review: Thermal and Chemical Properties

Objectives

  • List the four types of manufacturing materials.
  • Describe metals, plastics, ceramics, and composites.
  • Define physical properties and mechanical properties.
  • Describe the atomic structure of materials.
  • Describe how physical properties relate to manufacturing applications.
  • Describe volumetric properties.
  • Describe electrical properties.
  • Describe magnetic properties.
  • Describe thermal properties.
  • Describe thermal expansion and thermal stress.
  • Describe corrosion and thermal degradation.

Job Roles

Certifications

Glossary

Vocabulary Term Definition
abrasives A material made of hard, sharp particles used for cutting chips from a workpiece surface. Abrasives are often used in finishing operations that clean, polish, or otherwise prepare the surface of a part.
aluminum oxide A chemical compound of aluminum and oxygen that is used as a conventional abrasive. Aluminum oxide is extremely durable.
atom The smallest unit of an element. An atom consists of protons and neutrons in a center nucleus and orbiting electrons.
carbon fiber A material made from slender, thread-like strands of carbon, a strong nonmetallic element. Carbon fiber is a rigid material with good tensile strength, chemical resistance, and temperature tolerance.
ceramic A hard, brittle material that can withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion. Ceramics include traditional materials such as brick and clay, as well as advanced ceramics used as abrasives, cutting tools, and electrical components.
ceramics A hard, brittle material that can withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion. Ceramics include traditional materials such as brick and clay, as well as advanced ceramics used as abrasives, cutting tools, and electrical components.
chemical resistance A material's ability to resist the gradual degradation caused by the atmosphere, moisture, or other substances. Several structural adhesives have strong chemical resistance.
composite A material made by combining materials from two or more of the following groups: metals, plastics, and ceramics. Composites are often used to make aircraft components and athletic equipment.
composites A material made by combining materials from two or more of the following groups: metals, plastics, and ceramics.Composites are often used to make aircraft components and athletic equipment.
conductor A material that allows free movement of electrons and therefore enables the easy flow of electricity. Most conductors are metals.
coolants A cutting fluid used to decrease the temperature of the tool and workpiece during machining. Metal cutting operations use coolants to counteract the high temperatures created during cutting.
corrosion The gradual deterioration of a material due to atmosphere, moisture, chemicals, or other agents. Corrosion often appears as rust.
corrosion resistance The ability of a material to resist deterioration and chemical breakdown due to surface exposure in a particular environment. Stainless steel has a high corrosion resistance.
corrosion resistant A material's ability to resist the gradual degradation caused by the atmosphere, moisture, or other substances. Corrosion resistant parts function properly for a longer period of time.
crucibles A ceramic container in which substances can be melted at high temperatures. Crucibles used in metallurgy are made of ceramics.
crystal structures The regular, repeating pattern of atoms in a material. Crystal structures in a metal develop as the metal drops below the recrystallization temperature and solidifies.
density The amount of mass within a specific volume of a substance. Objects with greater density increase in mass and weight.
density The mass per unit of volume. Density is a physical property.
dielectric strength The voltage at which the insulating qualities of a material break down. Ceramics and plastics have a high dielectric strength.
ductility A material's ability to be drawn, stretched, or formed without breaking. Ductility generally increases as hardness decreases.
durability The ability of materials to withstand extended exposure to environmental wear and mechanical forces. Ceramics tend to have good durability.
electrical conductivity A material's ability to act as a medium for conveying electricity. Electrical conductivity depends on the material's structure.
electrical conductivity The ability of a material to act as a medium for conveying electricity. Most metals have high electrical conductivity.
electromagnet A magnet formed from electric current. An electromagnet is typically formed by wrapping wire around an iron core and electrically charging it.
electron A negatively charged particle that orbits the nucleus of an atom. Electrons are involved in chemical bonding and electrical conductivity.
electrons A negatively charged particle that orbits the nucleus of an atom. Electrons are involved in chemical bonding and electrical conductivity.
fiberglass A lightweight and strong material composed of fine glass fibers. Fiberglass is used as a reinforcement in many composites.
hardness A material's ability to resist indentation or scratching. An increase in hardness generally leads to a decrease in toughness, or ability to withstand fracture.
insulation A material that does not conduct electricity and is used to cover electrical conductors. Types of insulation include ceramics and plastics.
insulators A material or element that has little electrical conductivity and high resistance to electrical charges. Most insulators are plastics and ceramics.
iron A malleable, silver-gray metal that is highly magnetic. Iron is alloyed with carbon to make steel.
magnetic fields A detected force that exists around a magnet or electrical field. Magnetic forces work within a magnetic field.
magnetism The power of attraction and repulsion that exists in materials. Magnetism most often occurs between metals.
mass The amount of matter in an object. Mass gives an object weight when it is acted upon by gravity.
mechanical force A force that attempts to deform a material. A mechanical force may attempt to stretch, compress, bend, dent, scratch, or break a material.
mechanical properties A characteristic that describes how a material reacts when subjected to a force that attempts to stretch, compress, bend, dent, scratch, or break it.
melting point The temperature at which a material changes from a solid to a liquid. Melting point can be very low, like in some polymers, or very high, like in ceramics.
metal A naturally occurring material with high electric and thermal conductivity, luster, density, and strength. Examples of metal include copper, iron, nickel, and lead.
metals A naturally occurring material with high electric and thermal conductivity, luster, density, and strength. Examples of metal include copper, iron, nickel, and lead.
molecule Two or more atoms jointed together by chemical bonds. A molecule is the smallest unit into which a material can be divided without changing its properties.
molecules Two or more atoms jointed together by chemical bonds. A molecule is the smallest unit into which a material can be divided without changing its properties.
neutron A neutrally charged particle within the nucleus of an atom.
neutrons An atomic particle with no charge. Neutrons are located in the nucleus of an atom.
physical properties A characteristic that describes a material's volumetric, thermal, electrical, and magnetic qualities. Physical properties are a collection of characteristics that describe how a material responds to forces other than mechanical forces.
plastic A polymer material characterized by lightweight, high corrosion resistance, high strength-to-weight ratios, and low melting points. Most plastics are easily shaped and formed.
plastics A polymer material characterized by lightweight, high corrosion resistance, high strength-to-weight ratios, and low melting points. Most plastics are easily shaped and formed.
pole Either of two oppositely charged ends of a magnet field. Poles are either negative or positive.
polyester A plastic that can be manufactured as a foam or as a solid. Polyurethane can be used as a coating, in paints and varnishes, or in solid parts such as PPE equipment.
polystyrene A thermoplastic that is transparent and easily shaped. Polystyrene has elastic qualities.
proton A positively charged particle within the nucleus of an atom.
protons A positively charged particle within an atom. Protons are located in the nucleus of an atom.
resistor A material or device that has little electrical conductivity and high resistance to electrical charges. Most resistors are plastics and ceramics. Resistors are sometimes called insulators.
specific heat The amount of heat that is required to raise the temperature of a specific amount of material by one degree. Every material has its own unique specific heat.
steel A ferrous metal consisting of iron and carbon, usually with small amounts of manganese, phosphorus, sulfur, and silicon. Steel is the most common manufacturing metal.
strength A material's ability to resist forces that attempt to break or deform it. Strength is an important mechanical property.
thermal conductivity A physical property that indicates how well heat energy transfers through a material. Materials with low thermal conductivity make good heat insulators.
thermal degradation Deterioration of a material due to overexposure to heat or sun. Thermal degradation is usually associated with plastics and can be caused by ultraviolet radiation.
thermal expansion The tendency of a material to increase in size as it increases in temperature. Every material has its own rate of thermal expansion when subjected to increases in temperature.
thermal stress Damage to a material due to excessive or abrupt changes in temperature. Coolants can decrease the thermal stress on cutting tools.
titanium A nonferrous metal that is lightweight, corrosion resistant, and has a high strength-to-weight ratio. Titanium is often used in the aerospace industry.
toughness A material's ability to absorb energy without breaking or fracturing. Toughness is a key property that determines a material's ability to withstand a sudden stress.
ultraviolet degradation Deterioration of a plastic material due to overexposure to the ultraviolet radiation in sunlight.
volume A measurement of the amount of space contained within a three-dimensional shape. Volume is a physical property.
weight The degree of heaviness of an object that results from gravity. Weight is a physical property.