malleability, property of a metal describing the ease with which it can be hammered, forged, pressed, or rolled into thin sheets. Metals vary in this respect; pure gold is the most malleable. Silver, copper, aluminum, lead, tin, zinc, and iron are also very malleable. Some heating usually increases malleability. Zinc, for example, at ordinary temperatures is very brittle, but is malleable in the temperature range from about 120°C. to 150°C. Impurities adversely affect the malleability of metals.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.