By Peter Polak (auth.)

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S. S. , as specified in makers' literature or metallurgy textbooks. S. of 1500 MN/m 2 in some cases; many varieties can be surface-hardened, leaving a softer, tougher core. S. 2500 MN/m 2 have been known for some time. Because the properties of steel are strongly influenced by small amounts of carbon (and also of nitrogen), the surface properties can be made very different from the main bulk. This has good effects as well as bad ones; the surface can be turned into a harder steel by exposure to a carbon-rich or nitrogen-rich environment in a furnace or salt-bath, usually followed by a heat-treatment cycle.

Oocks and electric bells supply this power input in a deliberate, organised manner by providing a driving force cyclically, in phase with the motion. Musical instruments also produce sustained oscillations; they take power from the player and use natural phenomena to ensure the phasing. The phenomenon used by stringed instruments is speed-dependent friction, or stick-slip to use an oversimplified but descriptive term. Wind instruments use vortex shedding; this also occurs very commonly in engineering - for example, suspension bridges, galloping power lines and swaying chimneys.

Components, like rules, are often better bent than broken. There are 40 exceptions to this, notably machine tools and measuring equipment which if distorted could result in defective work. This is one reason why machine tools are largely made of brittle grey flake cast-iron and one firm made its inspection gauges of glass. To assess toughness one can look at tensile elongation values and also impact values, that is, the energy required to break a standard specimen in a standardised way. An intermediate assessment is obtained by fracture toughness tests which involve fatigue-loading a notched specimen.

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