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When a material is stretched in one direction, it will usually shrink in the other perpendicular directions.

The Poisson’s ratio, , is the ratio of transverse strain, to axial strain , where an axial force has been applied.

(1)

The strain of a material is defined as:

(2)

Where = change in length, = original length.

Poisson’s ratio will typically be between 0 to 0.5 for most common materials.

Approximation for Very Small Strains

For very small changes in length, an approximation for Poisson’s ratio is:

(3)

Typical Poisson’s Ratios for Common Materials

Material |
Poisson’s Ratio |

Aluminium | 0.32 – 0.35 |

Aluminium Alloys | 0.32 – 0.35 |

Boron Carbide (B_{4}C) |
0.15 – 0.18 |

Brass | 0.34 |

Brick | 0.19 |

Bronze | 0.34 |

Carbon (Diamond) | 0.20 |

Concrete | 0.2 |

Copper | 0.33 – 0.35 |

Cork | 0 |

Glass | 0.2 – 0.22 |

Gold | 0.4 |

Iron | 0.22 – 0.3 |

Magnesium | 0.29 |

Nickel | 0.31 |

Nylon | 0.39 – 0.42 |

Platinum | 0.38 – 0.4 |

Rubber | 0.49 |

Silver | 0.37 |

Solder (Tin-Lead) | 0.4 |

Steel | 0.27 – 0.3 |

Stone (Granite) | 0.2 – 0.3 |

Stone (Limestone) | 0.2 – 0.3 |

Stone (Marble) | 0.2 – 0.3 |

Tin | 0.32 – 0.36 |

Titanium | 0.32 |

Tungsten | 0.28 |

Zinc | 0.25 |

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