Young's modulus: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In solid mechanics, Young's modulus (E) is a measure of the stiffness of an isotropic elastic material. It is also known as the Young modulus, modulus of elasticity, elastic modulus (though Young's modulus is actually one of several elastic moduli such as the bulk modulus and the shear modulus) or tensile modulus. It is defined as the ratio of the uniaxial stress over the uniaxial strain in the range of stress in which Hooke's Law holds.[1] This can be experimentally determined from the slope of a stress-strain curve created during tensile tests conducted on a sample of the material.

Young's modulus is named after Thomas Young, the 19th century British scientist. However, the concept was developed in 1727 by Leonhard Euler, and the first experiments that used the concept of Young's modulus in its current form were performed by the Italian scientist Giordano Riccati in 1782 — predating Young's work by 25 years.[2]



Young's modulus is the ratio of stress, which has units of pressure, to strain, which is dimensionless; therefore Young's modulus itself has units of pressure.

The SI unit of modulus of elasticity (E, or less commonly Y) is the pascal (Pa or N/m²); the practical units are megapascals (MPa or N/mm²) or gigapascals (GPa or kN/mm²). In United States customary units, it is expressed as pounds (force) per square inch (psi).


The Young's modulus allows the behavior of a bar made of an isotropic elastic material to be calculated under tensile or compressive loads. For instance, it can be used to predict the amount a wire will extend under tension or buckle under compression. Some calculations also require the use of other material properties, such as the shear modulus, density, or Poisson's ratio.


Linear versus non-linear

For many materials, Young's modulus is essentially constant over a range of strains. Such materials are called linear, and are said to obey Hooke's law. Examples of linear materials include steel, carbon fiber, and glass. Rubber and soils (except at very small strains) are non-linear materials.

Directional materials

Young's modulus is not always the same in all orientations of a material. Most metals and ceramics, along with many other materials, are isotropic: Their mechanical properties are the same in all orientations. However, metals and ceramics can be treated with certain impurities, and metals can be mechanically worked to make their grain structures directional. These materials then become anisotropic, and Young's modulus will change depending on the direction from which the force is applied. Anisotropy can be seen in many composites as well. For example, carbon fiber has a much higher Young's modulus (is much stiffer) when force is loaded parallel to the fibers (along the grain). Other such materials include wood and reinforced concrete. Engineers can use this directional phenomenon to their advantage in creating structures.


Young's modulus, E, can be calculated by dividing the tensile stress by the tensile strain:

 E \equiv \frac{\mbox {tensile stress}}{\mbox {tensile strain}} = \frac{\sigma}{\varepsilon}= \frac{F/A_0}{\Delta L/L_0} = \frac{F L_0} {A_0 \Delta L}


E is the Young's modulus (modulus of elasticity)
F is the force applied to the object;
A0 is the original cross-sectional area through which the force is applied;
ΔL is the amount by which the length of the object changes;
L0 is the original length of the object.

Force exerted by stretched or compressed material

The Young's modulus of a material can be used to calculate the force it exerts under a specific strain.

F = \frac{E A_0 \Delta L} {L_0}

where F is the force exerted by the material when compressed or stretched by ΔL.

Hooke's law can be derived from this formula, which describes the stiffness of an ideal spring:

F = \left( \frac{E A_0} {L_0} \right) \Delta L = k x \,


k = \begin{matrix} \frac {E A_0} {L_0} \end{matrix} \,
x = \Delta L. \,

Elastic potential energy

The elastic potential energy stored is given by the integral of this expression with respect to L:

U_e = \int {\frac{E A_0 \Delta L} {L_0}}\, dL = \frac {E A_0} {L_0} \int { \Delta L }\, dL = \frac {E A_0 {\Delta L}^2} {2 L_0}

where Ue is the elastic potential energy.

The elastic potential energy per unit volume is given by:

\frac{U_e} {A_0 L_0} = \frac {E {\Delta L}^2} {2 L_0^2} = \frac {1} {2} E {\varepsilon}^2, where \varepsilon = \frac {\Delta L} {L_0} is the strain in the material.

This formula can also be expressed as the integral of Hooke's law:

U_e = \int {k x}\, dx = \frac {1} {2} k x^2.

Relation among elastic constants

For homogeneous isotropic materials simple relations exist between elastic constants (Young's modulus E, shear modulus G, bulk modulus K, and Poisson's ratio ν) that allow calculating them all as long as two are known:

E = 2G(1+\nu) = 3K(1-2\nu).\,

Approximate values

Influences of selected glass component additions on Young's modulus of a specific base glass

Young's modulus can vary somewhat due to differences in sample composition and test method. The rate of deformation has the greatest impact on the data collected, especially in polymers. The values here are approximate and only meant for relative comparisons.

Approximate Young's modulus for various materials[3]
Material GPa lbf/in² (psi)
Rubber (small strain) 0.01-0.1 1,500-15,000
ZnO NWs[citation needed] 21-37 3,045,792-5,366,396
PTFE (Teflon)[citation needed] 0.5 75,000
Low density polyethylene[citation needed] 0.2 30,000
HDPE 0.8
Polypropylene 1.5-2 217,000-290,000
Bacteriophage capsids[4] 1-3 150,000-435,000
Polyethylene terephthalate 2-2.7
Polystyrene 3-3.5 435,000-505,000
Nylon 2-4 290,000-580,000
Diatom frustules (largely silicic acid)[5] 0.35-2.77 50,000-400,000
Medium-density fibreboard[6] 4 580,000
Pine wood (along grain)[citation needed] 8.963 1,300,000
Oak wood (along grain) 11 1,600,000
High-strength concrete (under compression) 30 4,350,000
Magnesium metal (Mg) 45 6,500,000
Aluminium 69 10,000,000
Glass (see chart) 50-90
Kevlar[7] 70.5-112.4
Mother-of-pearl (nacre, largely calcium carbonate) [8] 70 10,000,000
Tooth enamel (largely calcium phosphate)[9] 83 12,000,000
Brass and bronze 100-125 17,000,000
Titanium (Ti) 16,000,000
Titanium alloys 105-120 15,000,000-17,500,000
Copper (Cu) 117 17,000,000
Glass fiber reinforced plastic (70/30 by weight fibre/matrix, unidirectional, along grain)[citation needed] 40-45 5,800,000-6,500,000
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (50/50 fibre/matrix, unidirectional, along grain)[citation needed] 125-150 18,000,000-22,000,000
Wrought iron 190–210
Steel 200 29,000,000
polycrystalline Yttrium iron garnet (YIG)[10] 193 28,000,000
single-crystal Yttrium iron garnet (YIG)[11] 200 30,000,000
Beryllium (Be) 287 42,000,000
Tungsten (W) 400-410 58,000,000-59,500,000
Sapphire (Al2O3) along C-axis[citation needed] 435 63,000,000
Silicon carbide (SiC) 450 65,000,000
Osmium (Os) 550 79,800,000
Tungsten carbide (WC) 450-650 65,000,000-94,000,000
Single-walled carbon nanotube[12] 1,000+ 145,000,000+
Diamond (C)[13] 1220 150,000,000-175,000,000

See also


  1. ^ International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. "modulus of elasticity (Young's modulus), E". Compendium of Chemical Terminology Internet edition.
  2. ^ The Rational Mechanics of Flexible or Elastic Bodies, 1638-1788: Introduction to Leonhardi Euleri Opera Omnia, vol. X and XI, Seriei Secundae. Orell Fussli.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ivanovska IL, de Pablo PJ, Sgalari G, MacKintosh FC, Carrascosa JL, Schmidt CF, Wuite GJL (2004). "Bacteriophage capsids: Tough nanoshells with complex elastic properties". Proc Nat Acad Sci USA.. PMID 15133147. 
  5. ^ Subhash G, Yao S, Bellinger B, Gretz MR. (2005). "Investigation of mechanical properties of diatom frustules using nanoindentation". J Nanosci Nanotechnol.. PMID 15762160. 
  6. ^ Material Properties Data: Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
  7. ^ DuPont (2001), Kevlar Technical Guide, p. 9 
  8. ^ A. P. Jackson,J. F. V. Vincent and R. M. Turner (1988). "The Mechanical Design of Nacre". Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 234: 415–440. 
  9. ^ M. Staines, W. H. Robinson and J. A. A. Hood (1981). "Spherical indentation of tooth enamel". Journal of Materials Science. 
  10. ^ Chou, H. M.; Case, E. D. (November, 1988), "Characterization of some mechanical properties of polycrystalline yttrium iron garnet (YIG) by non-destructive methods", Journal of Materials Science Letters 7 (11): 1217–1220, doi:10.1007/BF00722341 .
  11. ^ YIG properties
  12. ^ "Electronic and mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes". 
  13. ^ Spear and Dismukes (1994). Synthetic Diamond - Emerging CVD Science and Technology. Wiley, NY. ISBN 9780471535898. 

External links

Conversion formulas
Homogeneous isotropic linear elastic materials have their elastic properties uniquely determined by any two moduli among these, thus given any two, any other of the elastic moduli can be calculated according to these formulas.
(\lambda,\,G) (E,\,G) (K,\,\lambda) (K,\,G) (\lambda,\,\nu) (G,\,\nu) (E,\,\nu) (K,\, \nu) (K,\,E) (M,\,G)
K=\, \lambda+ \frac{2G}{3} \frac{EG}{3(3G-E)} \lambda\frac{1+\nu}{3\nu} \frac{2G(1+\nu)}{3(1-2\nu)} \frac{E}{3(1-2\nu)} M - \frac{4G}{3}
E=\, G\frac{3\lambda + 2G}{\lambda + G} 9K\frac{K-\lambda}{3K-\lambda} \frac{9KG}{3K+G} \frac{\lambda(1+\nu)(1-2\nu)}{\nu} 2G(1+\nu)\, 3K(1-2\nu)\, G\frac{3M-4G}{M-G}
\lambda=\, G\frac{E-2G}{3G-E} K-\frac{2G}{3} \frac{2 G \nu}{1-2\nu} \frac{E\nu}{(1+\nu)(1-2\nu)} \frac{3K\nu}{1+\nu} \frac{3K(3K-E)}{9K-E} M - 2G\,
G=\, 3\frac{K-\lambda}{2} \lambda\frac{1-2\nu}{2\nu} \frac{E}{2(1+\nu)} 3K\frac{1-2\nu}{2(1+\nu)} \frac{3KE}{9K-E}
\nu=\, \frac{\lambda}{2(\lambda + G)} \frac{E}{2G}-1 \frac{\lambda}{3K-\lambda} \frac{3K-2G}{2(3K+G)} \frac{3K-E}{6K} \frac{M - 2G}{2M - 2G}
M=\, \lambda+2G\, G\frac{4G-E}{3G-E} 3K-2\lambda\, K+\frac{4G}{3} \lambda \frac{1-\nu}{\nu} G\frac{2-2\nu}{1-2\nu} E\frac{1-\nu}{(1+\nu)(1-2\nu)} 3K\frac{1-\nu}{1+\nu} 3K\frac{3K+E}{9K-E}


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




For Thomas Young, English scientist.


Wikipedia has an article on:


Young's modulus

Young's moduli

Young's modulus (plural Young's moduli)

  1. (physics) The coefficient of elasticity of a solid; the rate of change of stress with strain.



Simple English

Young's modulus is the measure of how much force is needed to stretch or compress a substance. Its most basic form is stress/strain. Stress is the measure of a force in a certain area. Strain is the amount the substance is deformed.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address