Hardness vs. Toughness

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Hardness and Toughness is that the Hardness is a measure of how resistant solid matter is to various kinds of permanent shape change when a force is applied and Toughness is a ability of a material to absorb energy and plastically deform without fracturing

  • Hardness

    Hardness is a measure of the resistance to localized plastic deformation induced by either mechanical indentation or abrasion. In general, different materials differ in their hardness; for example hard metals such as titanium and beryllium are harder than soft metals such as sodium and metallic tin, or wood and common plastics. Macroscopic hardness is generally characterized by strong intermolecular bonds, but the behavior of solid materials under force is complex; therefore, there are different measurements of hardness: scratch hardness, indentation hardness, and rebound hardness.

    Hardness is dependent on ductility, elastic stiffness, plasticity, strain, strength, toughness, viscoelasticity, and viscosity.

    Common examples of hard matter are ceramics, concrete, certain metals, and superhard materials, which can be contrasted with soft matter.

  • Toughness

    In materials science and metallurgy, toughness is the ability of a material to absorb energy and plastically deform without fracturing. One definition of material toughness is the amount of energy per unit volume that a material can absorb before rupturing. This measure of toughness is different from that used for fracture toughness, which describes load bearing capabilities of materials with flaws. It is also defined as a material’s resistance to fracture when stressed.

    Toughness requires a balance of strength and ductility.

  • Hardness (noun)

    The quality of being hard.

  • Hardness (noun)

    An instance of this quality; hardship.

  • Hardness (noun)

    The quantity of calcium carbonate dissolved in water, usually expressed in parts per million (ppm).

  • Hardness (noun)

    The resistance to scratching, cutting, indentation or abrasion of a metal or other solid material.

  • Hardness (noun)

    The penetrating ability of electromagnetic radiation, such as x-rays; generally, the shorter the wavelength, the harder and more penetrating the radiation.

  • Hardness (noun)

    The measure of resistance to damage of a facility, equipment, installation, or telecommunications infrastructure when subjected to attack.

  • Toughness (noun)

    The state of being tough

  • Toughness (noun)

    Resistance to fracture when stressed

  • Toughness (noun)

    A formidable difficulty


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