What properties influence the way a material functions?

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some of the properties that influence how a material functions include thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, strain rate, density, reactivity (with water, acids, bases and other chemicals), etc. This is not an exhaustive list and there are a number of other properties that may affect how a material functions. A conductive material may work as a conductor (of heat or electricity), while an insulator may be used for other applications. A conductor is capable of passing the heat and electricity to another body in contact (or without contact in case of heat radiation). A material with better mechanical properties is capable of withstanding more loads without deformation and may function better under extreme conditions. A denser material will sink, while a lighter one will float. Chemical reactivity is another property that influences how a material functions. A reactive material may react in the presence of another reacting species, while a non-reacting material will be conserved.

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