Most of the materials used in engineering are metallic in nature. The prime reason
simply is the versatile nature of their properties those spread over a very broad range
compared with other kinds of materials. Many engineering materials are subjected to
forces both during processing/fabrication and in service. When a force is applied on a
solid material, it may result in translation, rotation, or deformation of that material.
Aspects of material translation and rotation are dealt by engineering dynamics. We
restrict ourselves here to the subject of material deformation under forces. Deformation
constitutes both change in shape, distortion, and change in size/volume, dilatation.
Solid material are defined such that change in their volume under applied forces in
very small, thus deformation is used as synonymous to distortion. The ability of
material to with stand the applied force without any deformation is expressed in two
ways, i.e. strength and hardness. Strength is defined in many ways as per the design
requirements, while the hardness may be defined as resistance to indentation of scratch.