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The specific strength is a material strength divided by its density. It is expressed in newton metres per kilogram, and is used for tensile strength as for compressive strength. It is sometimes known as the strength-to-weight ratio. Materials with very high specific strengths are widely used in aerospace applications where weight savings are more important than material costs. Materials such a titanium alloys and carbon fiber are widely used in these applications for this reason.
Additional recommended knowledge
Another way to quote specific strength is breaking length: the length of the material (in km) that could suspend its own weight (with a fixed cross-section). For this measurement, the definition of weight is the force of gravity at the earth's surface applying to the entire length of the material, not diminishing with height. (A space elevator would need a material capable of sustaining 4,960 kilometers of its own weight at sea level to reach a geostationary altitude of 36,000 km. Individual carbon nanotubes have achieved this strength, however only on a microscopic scale to date.)
The data of this table is from best cases, and has been established for giving a rough figure.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Specific_strength". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|