Malleable Definition (Malleability)

Chemistry Glossary Definition of Malleable

blacksmith shaping metal
Scott Sandars from Melbourne, Australia/Wikimedia Commons/CC 2.0

Malleability refers to a material's capacity to be shaped. The term is often used with reference to metals, as in the degree to which they can be shaped by pounding with a hammer or rolled into thin sheets.

Malleability vs Ductility

Both malleability and ductility are properties of plasticity. Plasticity is the ability of a material to experience plastic deformation without fracturing. Ductility is the material's ability to undergo plastic deformation without rupturing. It is the percent elongation or area reduction that may be experienced before breakage. While malleability and ductility are related, a material may be malleable without being ductile or vice versa. Gold is both highly malleable and highly ductile. Lead, on the other hand, is very malleable, but has low ductility.