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# High and Low Modulus of Elasticity: What are the Differences?

June 8, 2016 A design engineer’s job is to fabricate substances for specific applications and ensure the properties of the substance match a job at hand. Now, of all these material attributes, the high and low modulus of elasticity is tougher than most to quantify because substance elasticity is a dynamic property. In measuring elasticity, we need to describe how a substance will deform under strain, illustrate the relationship between the deformations and changes in applied stress, and quantify these measurements as an absolute number. That’s a difficult task because substance elasticity is an ever-shifting attribute, which is why a factor or modulus is employed. In essence, complex engineering mathematics condense dynamic processes into a ratio, a value based on the deformation characteristics of the substance.

What is the Modulus of Elasticity?

A modulus is an absolute number. It’s derived from complex equations and higher-level mathematics but always resolves into a relatable figure. In the case of elasticity, it’s a ratio that expresses the relationship between an applied force and a material’s deformation characteristics.

High and Low Modulus of Elasticity

In defining the upper and lower boundaries of the modulus, we determine how well a substance can resist deformation. This is an essential feature for foam-based products, a factor that references how efficiently a dense foam responds to different stress/strain situations.

• High elasticity modulus – Material stiffness is strong but permanent deformations are likely
• Lower modulus of elasticity – A pliable substance that exhibits versatile mechanical characteristics

All this mathematics talk can be a bit distracting, serving only to obscure real world functions. A softer material with a lower modulus of elasticity is rubber-like. It deforms quickly but recovers its shape just as fast. Conversely, a higher modulus imbues the substance with stiffer characteristics, a denser form that can absorb heavy loads. The form remains essentially the same when a heavy weight is applied. Now, on considering the high and low modulus of elasticity as it relates to foams and sealants, we can make some informed conclusions.

A superior sealant balances these two mathematically derived material properties. The substance will deform and incorporate optimized flexibility, but this feature will always be balanced by the inclusion of a toughened denseness, an ability to retain overall shape, no matter how heavy the load or how tight the seal. Also, all other product features remain effective when deformations take place, meaning the foam continues to insulate rooms and isolate sound.

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