Ductile Definition Chemistry

Have you ever thought that a glossy sheet of gold, a piece of gum or aluminum wire has the same property? If talking about chemistry, all are ductile materials. So, do you know anything about ductile definition chemistry? According to the chemistry glossary, ductility means that a metal’s property can be stretched without breaking.

It’s quite simple, but enough? Of course, not. That’s why we will give a detailed explanation of this definition in such a way that you can understand thoroughly.

Ductility Explained: Definition and Examples

Now, let’s continue bringing out the meaning of the ductility! It’s the measure of a material’s capacity to plastically contort without breaking when being put under a tensile stress that surpasses its yield power. High ductility points out that a material will become more suitable to contort and not break. Meanwhile, low ductility implies that a material is breakable and can fracture before contorting much under a tensile load.

It can be said that ductility depends mainly on the crystal structure and chemical composition of a material and the temp that the ductility is being measured.

One of the great examples of ductility is bridges, especially some constructed of steel. Suppose a seismic activity happens like aftershocks or earthquakes, what then? The bridge will withstand thanks to the metal’s ductility. To the concrete, stretching of the steel during the seism acts as a great prevention to prevent the bridge from incurring or breaking.

Ductility materials: Extra information

The use of metals, especially in metalworking, will give you a clear look at ductility in action. For instance, you might think about jewelers or goldsmiths when mentioning metalworking. Truly, it is just a process of working with metals to generate metal products. So, do you have any idea of the term for a material that is known to be the opposite of ductility? It’s brittleness. Instead of lengthening and stretching, the brittle materials such as cast iron, glass products or concrete can break when experiencing too much tensile stress.

It seems that metals keep the upper hand when talking about kinds of ductile materials, doesn’t it? Let’s see another example of a non-metal material that is ductile as well. Have you ever chewed gum? Yes, of course. Start chewing and try observing the gum when stretching it. It lengthens without breaking, doesn’t it? Moreover, the gum keeps at that length without turning back to its original shape.


Ductility vs Malleability

In some cases, some mistake ductility for malleability. Truly, they are not the same. As outlined above, ductility is a material’s property that can extend without getting broken. Meanwhile, malleability is a material’s property that can contort under compression. And the malleable metals can be beaten or rolled into sheets (e.g. aluminum foil).

In other words, ductility implies that a metal can be altered to another form by twisting, pulling or compressing. Meanwhile, malleability indicates that the metal can be changed in another form via hitting or beating it hard.

A common example of the difference between ductility and malleability is lead. This metal is highly malleability but not highly ductile because of its crystal structure. As you know, the crystal structure of the metals controls how they will contort under stress. And the atomic particles that take shape metals can contort under stress either by stretching away or slipping over each other. Besides, the crystal structure of the ductile metals permits the atoms of the metals to be stretched farther apart, called a “twinning” process.

Let’s take a look at the summary below!

  • The properties of ductility and malleability make the metals contort.
  • Ductility is known as the property of the material that might extend without getting broken. Meanwhile, malleability is known as the property of the material that can contort under compression.
  • The metal’s ductility is measured by checking its tensile power. And the bend test is the ordinarily used test for deciding the ductility of the metal.
  • The malleability of the metals is determined via checking whether or not it might endure without getting damaged.
  • Ductility mentions the capacity of the metal to turn into its form under tensile stress while malleability mentions the capacity of the metal to alter its form under compressive stress.
  • The ductile metals can be stretched into wires; meanwhile, the malleable ones can be beaten and rolled into sheets.



With all above information, we hope that you can understand ductile definition chemistry thoroughly. And don’t miss reading other articles related to this interesting field since you’re guaranteed to increase your knowledge of chemistry better than ever.