2.4.2 Experiment: Brittle or Ductile?

Course subject(s) Module 2. Materials and Manufacturing Methods

We learned earlier that composites tend to be brittle and that metals are generally ductile. How does that affect the production and design process? Hannah Hypothesis investigates.


  • A thin strip of metal
  • A piece of composite material. For instance, a well dried out papier mache creation made with tissue paper and glue, or wetted and then dried Plaster of Paris tape. If you use a piece of carbon fiber, please wear gloves as the carbon fiber splinters and getting them out of your skin is not a pleasant experience!
  • Rubber hammer


  1. Try and bend the each material into a 90 degree angle, for instance, by bending it over the edge of a work bench using a rubber hammer.
  2. The metal should easily bend, but the composite material should break or shatter.
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