Definition - What does Malleability mean?

Malleability describes the property of a metal's ability to be distorted below compression. It is a physical property of metals by which they can be hammered, shaped and rolled into a very thin sheet without rupturing. A malleable fabric could be planate by blow or rolling.

Malleability in metals are very important in the appliance and automotive industries. This property helps to construct refrigerators, microwaves and stoves, and also helps to construct flat and curved metal objects.

Corrosionpedia explains Malleability

Malleability is commonly characterized by a material's ability to create a skinny sheet by blow or rolling. This property isn't seen in non-metals. Malleable metals will bend and twist into numerous shapes when affected by a hammer, whereas non-malleable metals might break apart into pieces.

Examples of malleable metals are gold, iron, aluminum, copper, silver and lead.

Ductility and malleability don't invariably correlate with one another — as an example, gold is ductile and malleable, however lead is merely malleable. A metal's physical property is often measured by what proportion of pressure (compressive stress) it will face up to but not breaking. Variations in the physical properties of metals are due to variances in their crystalline structures.

Metals tend to fracture at grain boundaries — areas wherever atoms aren't as powerfully connected. Therefore, the metal will be harder when it possess many grain boundaries. On the other hand, it will be brittle and less malleable when it has fewer grain boundaries. Most metals become more malleable once heated due to the effects of the increased temperature on the crystal grains.

No metal is completely malleable, and all will break when under extreme stress.

This definition was written in the context of Material Science
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