Elastic Limit

Definition - What does Elastic Limit mean?

Elastic limit refers to the maximum value of stress or force for which a material shows elastic behaviors. This is the highest limit before plastic deformation of the material takes place. After reaching its elastic limit, a material or metal becomes deformed with the exertion of more force or stress. Elastic limit marks the end of elastic behavior and the beginning of a material's plastic behavior. Creating stresses beyond the elastic limit results in fracture for most brittle materials.

Corrosionpedia explains Elastic Limit

Elastic limit is the largest stress or force per unit area within which materials behave elastically. Most materials are more or less elastic, including steel, glass and other popular materials. Rubber is considered to be a very elastic substance.

Stresses beyond the elastic limit makes a material yield or flow. A material will start to deform plastically beyond its elastic limit. This is marked by the breakage of bonds. The permanent change of the shape or size of a material is known as plastic deformation.

Stress beyond the elastic limit also causes the fracture or breakage of some materials. Others change their shape permanently; for example, a nail permanently bent by the excessive shear stress of a hammer blow.

There are other terms relevant to "elastic limit." For example, the ability of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically, and release that energy upon unloading, is known as "resilience." The maximum energy that can be absorbed within the elastic limit is known as "proof resilience." Therefore, proof resilience is the quantity of strain energy stored in a body when strained up to its elastic limit. The material behaves elastically and linearly as long as the stress is kept below the yield point, i.e. the point when a material begins to deform plastically.

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