Tenacity (mineralogy)

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In mineralogy, tenacity is a mineral's behavior when deformed or broken.

Common terms[1][edit]

Brittle:
The mineral breaks or powders easily. Most ionic-bonded minerals are brittle.

Malleable:
The mineral may be pounded out into thin sheets. Metallic-bonded minerals may be malleable.

Ductile:
The mineral may be drawn into a wire. Obviously not easy to test. Malleable materials also may be ductile.

Sectile:
May be cut smoothly with a knife. Relatively few minerals are sectile.

Elastic:
If bent, will spring back to its original position when the stress is released.

Plasticity:
If bent, will not spring back to its original position when the stress is released. It stays bent. In contrast, flexibility is the ability of a material to deform elastically and return to its original shape when the applied stress is removed.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nesse, William D. "Physical Properties of Minerals." Introduction to Mineralogy. New York: Oxford UP, 2000. 122. Print.