- Price, most materials are priced by a standard volume or weight
- Amount of stuff in a certain space or more technically Grams per cubic centimeter or Pounds per cubic inch
- Will this blow up in my face?
- Should I be nervous about putting another material or liquid into or on my object?
- The amount of stress it takes to deform a material plastically, is this going to act like silly puddy when I jump on it?
- Standard term that usually refers to UTS or Ultimate Tensile Strength
- This is a term that relates directly to Young's Modulus or Modulus of elasticity, how much stress can I apply before my material begins to irreversibly deform.
Hardness (or hardenability)
- This can be tested using a machine next to the Instron.
- Basically the opposite of ducility is brittleness, cast iron is brittle and thus breaks in a very violent fashion. The main aspect of brittle materials is they usually have small Young's Moduli.
- Can I run and current through this material? And if I do what will the resistance be?
Chemical stability (resistance to corrosion)
- Most metals rust or Oxidize when exposed to normal air, and a lot of materials can be corroded, its always nice to know what you are working with especially if you are building something for outdoor use.
- Ease of machining, this usually refers to traditional methods of machining i.e. using a mill or lathe.
- Welding is a great tool in the arsenal of a machinist but some materials lack the correct properties to be welded.
- Temperature at which the material will begin to phase shift to liquid, usually measured in C or Kelvin.
- This is a tricky property that describes how smooth the flow of a material is, lead is loved for its high fluidity and low melting point making it great for soldering.
- Some materials are smoother than others, this is a property that is pretty obvious when inspecting materials, however some materials can polish better than others based on their molecular and atomic structure.
- The ability to either deflect of absorb compression waves in the air (sound) can either be a great property or an annoying one.
- I think you can figure this one out :)