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Mechanical properties are described as the relationship between forces (or stresses) acting on a material and the resistance of the material to deformation (i.e., strains) and fracture. This article briefly introduces the typical relationships between metallurgical features and the mechanical behavior of metals. It explains the deformation and fracture mechanisms of these metals. Typical properties measured during mechanical testing related to these deformation mechanisms and the microstructures of metals are discussed. The article reviews the various factors that affect the deformation response of the metal: strain rate, temperature, nature of loading, stress-corrosion cracking, and presence of notches.

This article reviews the fundamental relationships between microstructure and mechanical properties for major classes of nonmetallic engineering materials: metals, ceramics and glasses, intermetallic compounds, polymers, and composites. It details the structures of inorganic crystalline solids, inorganic noncrystalline solids, and polymers. The article describes the various strengthening mechanisms of crystalline solids, namely, work hardening, solid-solution hardening, particle/precipitation hardening, and grain size hardening. Deformation and strengthening of composite materials, polymers, and glasses are reviewed. The article concludes with information on the two important aspects of the mechanical behavior of any class of engineering material: fatigue response and fracture resistance.

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