Who has a good materials properties book? I am looked for the strongest
known material using the following idealized test. You have a plate that
is maybe 1 cm thick. The plate is arbitrarily large and is oriented
vertically. Along an otherwise straight vertical edge is a projection
which measures 1x1x1. The projection is loaded once uniformly across its
top surface and the load is increased until it breaks. What material
would the plate be made of to hold the greatest weight before the
projection breaks off?

The geometry of the projection can be changed to a more intelligent design if it helps in thinking about the problem, such as adding fillets at the corners, but all materials must be compared using a single fixed design. The material does not necessarily have to be metallic, but I suspect it will be. I guess one more criterion is that the material can actually be manufactured in macroscopic dimensions at the current time. So that while diamond might theoretically be the strongest, a large 1 cm thick plate of it can not be manufactured. I am not a structural engineer, but I assume the determining factor here is simply the ultimate tensile strength. If so, the winner I have found so far is AISI Grade 18Ni (350) Maraging Steel with an ultimate strength of 355 ksi. Can anyone beat this?

Douglas Lerner snipped-for-privacy@ion.com.au

The geometry of the projection can be changed to a more intelligent design if it helps in thinking about the problem, such as adding fillets at the corners, but all materials must be compared using a single fixed design. The material does not necessarily have to be metallic, but I suspect it will be. I guess one more criterion is that the material can actually be manufactured in macroscopic dimensions at the current time. So that while diamond might theoretically be the strongest, a large 1 cm thick plate of it can not be manufactured. I am not a structural engineer, but I assume the determining factor here is simply the ultimate tensile strength. If so, the winner I have found so far is AISI Grade 18Ni (350) Maraging Steel with an ultimate strength of 355 ksi. Can anyone beat this?

Douglas Lerner snipped-for-privacy@ion.com.au