Why is Steel More Elastic Than Rubber According to Physics
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Why is Steel More Elastic Than Rubber According to Physics

Elasticity is a very interesting word. It came into everyday vocabulary from science, and has acquired a meaning that is totally opposite to the original meaning.

Elasticity is a very interesting word. It came into everyday vocabulary from science, and has acquired a meaning that is totally opposite to the original meaning.

Elasticity According To Physics: Elasticity, as everyone understands, is the property of being stretched and restored. In physics they have discovered that almost all solids have this property. If they are stretched (with a certain limit, of course) they lengthen. On removing the force, they go back to their original shape.

In fact, stretching is not the only thing that can be done. One can stretch, shear, compress, and do many things with force to alter the shape of a solid body. Each time the body returns to the original shape and position after this force is removed. This property of materials to yield to deforming forces, only to come back to the normal shape after the forces are removed is called "elasticity".

Liquids and gases have no permanent shape, and they do not go back to the original shape because they have no shape of their own. However, they can be compressed to decrease their volume. As soon as the forces of compression are removed, they go back to their original volume. Thus even liquids and gases do exhibit what is called volume-elasticity.

The Value Of Elasticity: Physics tries to put everything into measurable quantities. This quantification helps accurate comparison of two things. For example, if the elasticity of different materials is quantified, just a look at those quantities will show which material is more elastic and which one is less.

To quantify elasticity, physics defines elasticity as "resistance to change". The greater the resistance to change, the greater is the elasticity of the material and the faster it comes back to its original shape or configuration when the deforming force is removed. By this definition, steel is more elastic than rubber because steel comes back to its original shape faster than rubber when the deforming forces are removed.

Elasticity In Physics And In Common Life: In common life we label a substance as more elastic if it can be stretched more than others. In physics a substance is labelled more elastic if it offers greater resistance to deformation than other bodies, so that it can be stretched less than others.

The fundamental difference between the definition in physics and definition in common life should always be kept in mind when one speaks of elasticity. Else one is likely to leave his listeners/readers totally confused. Please remember, the more a body can be stretched or deformed without breaking it, the more elastic it is called in common language. Coming to physics, the less a body can be stretched or deformed without breaking it, the more elastic it is considered in physics.

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Comments (27)

Very interesting article. I suppose steel has to be bendy to a certain extent to be able to take heat and cold, I learnt some interesting things here thanks, you have my vote

Great. I used to be scared of anything science when I was at school. But reading this article, I'm beginning to fall in love with Physics. You have my vote too.

It is something that I didn't know, informative

It is interesting that the mix steel and concrete together in buildings. Steel has the elasticity and tension strength. Concrete can take the compression. Together they do what they couldn't do seperately.

We can see that the meaning of words should be placed in context e.g elasticity.

I did not realize the difference between the scientific and everyday usage of the term.

you make phisisics soooo simple. God bless you dear

Wonderful article, it has enlightened me. Appreciate the article very much.

Ranked #4 in Physics


Dante Miclat

Wow, ....what an amazing observation about a steel being more elastic than rubber,bec when u think about elasticity the rubber is the first thing to come to your mind,yet you are right when u bend a steel and when you release it be ready you might be hit in an instant.

Dante Miclat

wow...what an amazing yet unnoticed phenomenon.

Dante Miclat

wow what an amazing studies.

Rahul Maurya

Why is Steel More Elastic Than Rubber ?

This is very interesting... Thanks for sharing this.

saira mukhtar

i didnot know about this intersting phenomenon . thanks for sharing with us

It is strange that we use the term elastic to describe an attribute opposite of it's true meaning.

Very good article on the concept of elasticity as used commonly compared to what it means scientifically.


it's ok.1.glass,2.steel,3.rubber,4.aluminium.of these 4 which possess more elasticity and why.

Very interesting article.

@ Bill Morgan We do not use an opposite concept. Rather, we use the word in an opposite meaning in normal life.

Heather Ann Witt

Interesting article I can use information like this in my science classes

Most interesting. It inspires one to wonder of ways to use such properties, even in ways as yet unthought of.

  i didn't know  this but it is interesting!

This is good information. thanks.

Dr.Johnson C.Philip explained the article very well proving that he a master in Physics and ready to teach and share his wisdom to the world.

Thanks to Dr.Johnson C Philip for this wonderful article.

This was a very informative article about steel.

Very interesting topic and article no wander steel are used to build cars.