UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Why glass breaks while tried to bend whereas an iron rod bends?
Question Date: 2013-06-02
Answer 1:

A large factor in how a material breaks has to do with how quickly the material can break/form bonds. Glass is known to be extremely slow to respond at a molecular level (in fact, it's somewhat of the definition of "glass"). This means that as you deform a glass, it is unable to change it's structure in time to heal the damage done and accommodate the new shape you're trying to put it in. This leads to the material failing. In metals, and other ductile materials, the atoms can break/form bonds much easier, which leads to the material being able to accommodate the strain you put on it when you bend it. Also, materials have different ways of spreading out the strain you put on them along them which lets them bend slightly and uniformly instead of sharply and in one place like glass.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use