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Why Would Metal Get Stronger When You Bend It?

November 01, 2007

Author: Sarah Miller, Washington State University Materials Advantage Chapter

Publication history: Accepted from the Spring 2007 Materials Radio podcast contest (sponsored by the ASM K-12 Education Subcommittee)

Many metals can be strengthened through work hardening. To increase the strength in a metal, the piece is 'cold worked', meaning it is hardened by applying a force to it while the metal piece is cold. In most cases, work hardening is performed by rolling the metal, making it thinner, but larger in area, or drawing the metal through a small hole, a process called wire drawing.

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