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the smallest part of an element that can exist chemically


mixture that contains at least one metal. This can be a mixture of metals or a mixture of metals and non-metals


two or more atoms that are normally bonded together covalently


a mixture composed of two or more substances (materials) with one substance acting as the matrix or glue


the mass per unit volume of a material

electrical resistivity

this is a measure of a material's ability to conduct electricity. A material with a low resistivity will conduct electricity well

thermal conductivity

a measure of how fast heat is conducted through a slab of material with a given temperature difference across the slab.

thermal expansion

a measure of the degree of increase in dimensions when an object is heated. This can be measured by an increase in length, area or volume. The expansivity can be measured as the fractional increase in dimension per kelvin increase in temperature


the resistance a material offers to penetration or scratching

tensile strength

the ability of a material to withstand pulling forces


the ability of a material to resist the propagation of cracks


the ability of a material to be drawn or extruded into a wire or other extended shape

plastic deformation

the permanent deformation of a solid subjected to a stress


a class of materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to lengths of thread with a length to thickness ratio of at least 80

fibre structure

a filamentous material long in relation to its width/breadth

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