When comparing different materials, we often compare them on the basis of stiffness,
strength, hardness and toughness. We refer to these properties as the mechanical
properties of the material because they relate to the structural (ie. mechanical)
But what exactly are these properties? We can get a good understanding by looking
at how they are measured. When we do this we also know they differ for different
types of material.
The simplest way to measure these mechanical properties of materials is using
the tensile test.