Hardness is an intensive property. 1 It does not depend on the size or quantity of the material being measured; it is a characteristic of the substance itself. Whether you have a small or large sample of a material, its hardness remains the same.
Well, this was just a simple answer. But there are few more things to know about this topic which will make your concept super clear.
So let’s dive right into it.
Key Takeaways: Is Hardness Intensive or Extensive Property?
- Hardness is an intensive property because it remains constant regardless of the size or quantity of the material being measured.
- Intensive properties, like hardness, provide information about the fundamental nature and composition of a substance.
- Extensive properties, such as mass and volume, depend on the amount of material present and change as substances are combined or divided.
Why is hardness an intensive property?
Hardness is considered an intensive property because it does not depend on the amount or size of the material being measured. Intensive properties are inherent characteristics of a substance that remain constant regardless of the quantity or mass of the material. 2
When we talk about the hardness of a material, we are referring to its resistance to deformation or scratching. This property is determined by the material’s atomic and molecular structure, bonding, and crystalline arrangement.
Since these characteristics do not change with the amount of material present, hardness remains constant regardless of the sample’s size or shape.
For example, if you have a small piece of metal and a larger piece of the same metal, both will have the same hardness value. This is because the hardness is related to the internal structure and composition of the material, which remains unchanged regardless of how much of the material you have.
In contrast, extensive properties, such as mass, volume, and energy, do depend on the amount of material present. These properties change as you change the size or quantity of the substance under consideration.
Intensive properties, on the other hand, are more useful when comparing and characterizing materials because they provide information about the material’s fundamental nature and composition.
Why is hardness not an extensive property?
Hardness is not an extensive property because it does not depend on the amount or quantity of the material being measured. Extensive properties are additive and scale with the size or amount of the substance, whereas intensive properties remain constant regardless of the sample’s size or quantity.
For example, if we have two blocks of the same material, one with a mass of 1 kilogram and the other with a mass of 2 kilograms, their masses are extensive properties. If we add these two blocks together, the total mass will be 3 kilograms. Extensive properties increase or decrease as we combine or divide the substances.
However, if we measure the hardness of both these blocks, the hardness values will be the same for both blocks, assuming they are made of the same material. The hardness is not affected by how much of the material is present. Therefore, hardness is an intensive property because it remains constant per unit of material regardless of the overall quantity.
Is HCl a Strong or Weak Acid?
Is HNO3 (Nitric Acid) a Strong or Weak Acid?
Is H3PO4 (Phosphoric Acid) a Strong or Weak Acid?
Is Acetic Acid (CH3COOH) a Strong or Weak Acid?
Is H2CO3 (Carbonic Acid) a Strong or Weak Acid?
Jay is an educator and has helped more than 100,000 students in their studies by providing simple and easy explanations on different science-related topics. He is a founder of Pediabay and is passionate about helping students through his easily digestible explanations.
Read more about our Editorial process.
- Study.com https://homework.study.com/explanation/color-hardness-solubility-mass-density-volume-and-melting-point-are-all-examples-of-what-type-of-property-of-substances-a-physical-b-chemical-c-intensive-d-extensive.html
- Wacowich-Sgarbi, S., & Department, L. C. (n.d.). 1.3 Physical and Chemical Properties – CHEM 1114 – Introduction to Chemistry. 1.3 Physical and Chemical Properties – CHEM 1114 – Introduction to Chemistry. https://pressbooks.bccampus.ca/chem1114langaracollege/chapter/1-3-physical-and-chemical-properties/