ductility, ability of a metal to plastically deform without breaking or fracturing, with the cohesion between the molecules remaining sufficient to hold them together (see adhesion and cohesion). Ductility is important in wire drawing and sheet stamping. The metal must neither break nor be scraped off during these processes. Platinum, steel, copper, and tungsten have high ductility. Ductility is a focus of rheology, the study of how materials deform and flow in response to force.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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