What Is the Difference Between Strength, Rigidity & Hardness?

Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by Marsh Fasteners

When it comes to different materials, you will likely have heard the terms ‘strength’, ‘rigidity’ and ‘hardness’. You will also probably have wondered what these terms really mean. We have the details and the facts:


  • What is Strength? 

Strength is what you think it is – a material’s ability to withstand stress, pressure, and impact. The stronger the material, the more capable it will be when it comes to resisting deformity and breakage.


Strength is generally measured in two different ways, namely tensile and yield.


  1. Tensile strength refers to the amount of force that a material can cope with without breaking when pulled from opposite sides.
  2. Yield strength refers to how much force a material can cope with without becoming deformed when pulled from opposite sides.


  • What is Rigidity? 

Rigidity refers to the stiffness vs. the flexibility of a material. It is closely related to strength, however, just because a material is flexible does not mean that it won’t be strong. Ultimately, rigidity refers to a material’s resistance to bending. The more resistant to bending it is, the more rigid it is.


  • What is Hardness? 

Hardness refers to how much weight a material can support without deforming or breaking. The hardness of a material can be measured in a variety of ways and using various scales. The most common scales include the Vickers scale, Brinell scale, Rockwell scale, and Shore Durometer scale.


At the end of the day, there is no material that is considered ‘the best’. The best material to use will depend entirely on what it will be used for. For example, some materials will need to be strong and hard, but not rigid. Or rigid and strong, but not hard.


Regardless of your project and your needs, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for here at Marsh Fasteners. Contact us today to learn more.


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