Hardening leads to a material being more brittle.However I can't understand what is strain hardening or strain hardening exponent.Please explain why hardening leads to brittleness also in this answer itself.I would be happy to get a detailed answer of this.

  • $\begingroup$ Try working copper - it works well when it is soft so you need to anneal it. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    May 24, 2018 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike.Explain me the annealing process and well.Would be happy if you elaborate. $\endgroup$
    – gateprep
    May 24, 2018 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ Annealing is heating and allowing to cool. A google search would enlighten you!!! $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    May 24, 2018 at 11:33
  • $\begingroup$ Ok but what about the strain hardening and strain hardening exponent@SolarMike $\endgroup$
    – gateprep
    May 24, 2018 at 11:43
  • $\begingroup$ Hardening does not always reduce the toughness of metals. The 17-4 PH stainless is notorious for having low toughness in the annealed condition. $\endgroup$ May 24, 2018 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


Some metals like steel go through a large range of hardening, while still ductile and under going plastic yield, before getting to the rupture point.

If you consider the entire area under the strain/stress curve up to fracture point it's called toughness module and in steell it is much larger the resilience (elastic) module. mild steel stress/ strain graph

Source of graph here.

  • $\begingroup$ A fine point of distinction; The "A" = yield strength , is actually the "yield point" . $\endgroup$ May 24, 2018 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ @blacksmith37 I want to know what it physically means. $\endgroup$
    – gateprep
    May 29, 2018 at 14:14

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