The Top 10 Toughest Materials. The Last One Is Not What You Think.

It’s actually really difficult to come up with a definitive list for the world’s strongest materials.

It depends on the type of strength we are talking about – is it tensile strength (the maximum stress a material can withstand while stretched)? Or just sheer toughness, as in ability not to rupture ? What about yield strength (the stress at which a material begins to deform)? And what about hardness (resistance to permanent shape change)?

As you can there is see single definition of strength. The list below however includes materials that can be said to have more then one properties of strength.



In terms of sheer hardness diamonds are unmatched, which is why it is nearly impossible to scratch. Diamond is a naturally occurring ceramic made of carbon atoms strongly bound together in a lattice. It is used in drill bits, sandpaper, and saws to cut, grind, and polish. However while it may be the hardest, a diamond is not tough—if you smash it with a hammer, it will fracture and break.



Spider silk has very high tensile strength. A thread of silk can withstand more pull before breaking than steel. It can also stretch quite a bit.  The strongest spider silk is that of  the Darwin’s bark spider from Madagascar, which builds one of the largest webs known. That silk is one of the the highest tensile strength and toughness known.