Decreased ductility, flexibility, or elasticity in a material due to physical or chemical changes. A metal may temporarily become embrittled at cold temperatures or permanently embrittled by corrosion. Paint and varnish may becomes brittle over long periods of time or with photochemical aging. The migration of plasticizer out of some adhesives and plastics leaves the film embrittled. Embrittled sheets of paper, parchment, or leather may crack or crumble when bent.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Versprödung (Deut.); fragilisation (Fr.);
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
- Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
- Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982