Listed below are property definitions related to charts on our material properties pages.
Glass Transition Temperature
The temperature range in which a material transitions from a true solid to a very viscous liquid. This definition applies to non-crystalline solids.
The temperature at which a material turns suddenly from solid to liquid.
The temperature at which a glass deforms at a specific rate under its own weight.
The amount of energy a body stores per unit mass for each degree increase in temperature (at constant pressure).
The temperature at which internal stresses in glass are substantially relieved in approximately 1 hour.
The rate at which heat flows through a unit area of homogeneous material for a given temperature difference.
The change in length per unit length of a material corresponding to a unit change in temperature.
A parameter that characterizes the material cracking resulting from the temperature gradients caused by rapid change in temperature. A reduction in temperature is usually used for brittle materials.
Wavelength range light will transmit through a unit length of optical material without significant optical attenuation.
Ratio of stress to change in volume of a material subjected to axial loading. It is related to the Modulus of Elasticity and Poisson’s Ratio by the following equation: Bulk Modulus = (Modulus of Elasticity)/(3x(1-2xPoisson’s Ratio)).
The maximum compressive stress a material can withstand before failure.
Mass per unit volume.
Greatest stress that can be applied to a material without causing permanent deformation.
Maximum stress developed in a specimen just before it cracks or breaks in a flexure test.
The resistance a material has to the propagation of a crack. The higher the fracture toughness, the more resistant a material will be to rapid crack growth.
The resistance a material surface offers to abrasion, scratching and indentation. Common measures of hardness are Mohs, Vickers, Brinell, and Knoop.
A hardness test that forces a pyramid-shaped diamond tip against the smooth surface of a material for a standard dwell time to create an indentation. This test differs from the Vickers test in that only a small indentation is made so that the test can be used with brittle materials or thin sheets. The hardness is expressed as a Knoop Hardness Number (HKN) computed by dividing the force by the projected area of indentation.
Scale of hardness that characterizes the scratch resistance of various materials through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. Mohs hardness is based on a scale of ten minerals that are all readily available. As the hardest known naturally occurring substance, diamond is at the top of the scale. Talc is at the bottom of the scale.
The negative ratio of the thickness decrease divided by the length increase resulting from a tensile stress applied to a material.
The proportion of the non-solid volume to the total volume of material.
The proportionality constant between elastic shear stress and elastic shear strain of a solid material subjected to shear loading.
Shore Durometer is a measure of hardness commonly used with rubbers, elastomers and polymers. Like all hardness testers, the Shore Durometer test measures the depth of an indentation under a given test force. There are no less than 12 Shore Durometer scales, with the two most common being the Durometer Shore A and D scales. The Shore A scale used for softer materials and the Shore D scale is for harder ones. The primary differences between the two scales are the force range and indenter shape used during the tests.
All scales range in numbers from 0 to 100, with higher numbers indicating harder materials. For reference, provided below are the Durometer values for a few common materials:
The maximum tensile stress a material can withstand before rupture.
The maximum torsional stress that a material can withstand before rupture.
A hardness test that forces a pyramid-shaped diamond tip against the smooth surface of a material for a standard dwell time to create an indentation. The size of the indentation determines the hardness value. The Vickers Number (HV) is then determined by the force applied to the diamond and the projected surface area of the resulting indentation.
Maximum stress that can be developed in a material without causing plastic deformation. It is the stress at which a material exhibits a specified permanent deformation and is a practical approximation of elastic limit. The amount of permanent deformation used depends on the material (for metals it is 0.2% strain).
The proportionality constant between elastic stress and elastic strain for a solid material subjected to uniaxial loading. This property describes the inherent stiffness of a material.
The minimum electric field that produces a breakdown of the insulating properties of a dielectric material.
A measure of a material’s resistance to electrical current per unit length for a uniform cross section.
Dielectric Loss Tangent
Product of the dielectric constant of a material and the tangent of its dielectric loss angle.
Dielectric Loss Angle
90 degrees minus dielectric phase angle.
Dielectric Phase Angle
Angular difference in phase between the sinusoidal alternating potential difference applied to a dielectric material and the component of the resulting alternating current having the same period as the potential difference.
Reference MIL-O-13830 Optical Components for Fire Control Instruments; General Specification Governing The Manufacturing, Assembly, and Inspection of Glass and BSR/OEOSC OP1.002 Optics and Electro-Optical Instruments – Optical Elements and Assemblies – Appearance Imperfections.
Scratch-Dig refers to the quality of optical surfaces. Owing to their relative complexity, many misconceptions exist about the meaning of scratch-dig specifications, and how they are applied. Conceptually, scratch-dig specifications attempt to set a limit on the amount of area surface defects occupy relative to the overall clear aperture of the optical element. Because assessments are made relative to the size of the part, a scratch that is unacceptable for a small part may be acceptable for a large part.
Much of the confusion about scratch/dig requirements finds its origins in the fact that there are actually two distinct standards – the “visibility method” and the “dimensional method”. These two standards differ only in the way scratch widths are categorized. The dimensional method, which is less prevalent, characterizes scratches by width measurements; whereas, the visibility method uses comparisons to commercially available visual references.
Scratch: Any marking or tearing of the part surface.
Dig: A small rough spot on the part surface similar to a pit in appearance. A bubble is considered a dig. Surface stains are also considered digs.
The second number of the Scratch-Dig specification refers to digs, and establishes a limit to the actual size (diameter) of the digs in hundredths of a millimeter. The dig part of the specifications includes the following three requirements:
The second letter of the Scratch-Dig specification refers to digs, and establishes a limit to the actual size (diameter) of the digs in hundredths of a millimeter. The dig part of the specifications includes the following three requirements:
(*) – Note that the length descriptor of the clear aperture is not always simple. MIL-O-13830 defines the length descriptor as the diameter of a circle with the same area as the clear aperture of the part being evaluated. Often times, however, optical industry prefers to use the smallest dimension of the clear aperture.
|Dig ID||Maximum Dig or Bubble Diameter||Dig or Bubble Separation Distance|
Surface roughness is a measure of the texture of a manufactured surface. Although there are many definitions of surface roughness, all of them are based on a statistical representation of the high frequency surface deviations (peaks and values) from the local mean surface height. Filtering is used to separate the high frequency texture data from lower frequency machining features.
Surface roughness can be measured using contact methods involving dragging a stylus across the part, or using non-contact optical methods. CiDRA® Precision Serivces, LLC uses both measurement methods.
Ra, the most commonly used surface roughness definition, is expressed mathematically by
where n is the total number of data points used in the calculation and Y is the vertical surface position measure from the average surface height. To be applied properly, this line measurement should be made perpendicular to machining lay marks. Visit Wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_roughness for a more in-depth explanation of surface roughness.
For a list of definitions of terms used in the material charts on each page, please visit our Material Property Definitions section above.
All ceramics start as a mixture of powdered base material (Zirconia, etc.), binders and stabilizers. This mixture is “formed” into shapes and then fired (sintered) at high temperature to create hard, dense materials. Forming is done using standard processes such as pressing, extruding, injection molding, tape casting or slip casting. Ceramics can also be machined prior to being fired using standard machine tools in a process known as “green machining.” Green machining is inexpensive because unfired material is soft. However, firing causes ceramics to lose 20% to 40% of their volume; therefore, green machining followed by firing is suitable only for those applications with loose tolerances (~1% of characteristic lengths). In contrast, tight tolerance parts must be machined using high speed, diamond tools after ceramics are fired.
Some of the better known ceramic manufacturing processes combine sintering with forming.