“How can we learn about the compressive strength of a material without destroying it?”
In engineering, knowing the compressive strength of the materials that you are working with is vital for all forms of analysis work. However, many testing methods are very expensive, and involve actually deforming some of the material. So what if we were to have a material that is both expensive and irreplaceable? Well, luckily for us, engineers are a very clever people, and have invented a device known as a Schmidt hammer to solve this problem. The schmidt hammer is comprised of three main parts, a solid chassis, a cylinder going through the center of, and a spring in the inside of the cylinder. When held vertical and pressed against a solid surface, the cylinder will stand in place, causing the chassis to move downwards, compressing the spring. When the cylinder moves all the way down, the user can press a button on the chassis, which in turn will release the compressed spring, and the resulting rebound will give a reading on the body of the chassis which corresponds to compressive strength.