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160 Things That Are Strong

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Strong things are things that can endure strong forces without breaking. These include natural materials such as diamonds and rocks and manufactured materials such as metals, ceramics and composites. The following are common types of material strength with things that are very strong in each category.

Hardness

Hardness is resistance to scratching. Diamonds were long thought to be the hardest natural material but scientists have discovered a substance called lonsdaleite that's harder. Both are made of carbon where diamonds have a cubic structure and lonsdaleite has a hexagonal structure. The following are very hard materials.
Ceramics such as boron carbide
Chemically strengthened glass used in smart phones
Chromium
Corundum
Diamonds
Emerald
Hardened steel
Lonsdaleite
Moissanite
Quartz
Ruby
Sapphire
Spinel
Teeth
Tungsten carbide

Toughness

Toughness is the amount of energy a material can absorb before rupturing. In some cases, soft materials such as rubber are stronger in this regard than very hard materials such as diamond. For example, it is possible to shatter a diamond with a hammer but rubber is difficult to damage in this way. The following are examples of tough materials.
Alloy of chromium, cobalt and nickel
Aluminum
Carbon fiber
Carbon nanotubes
Glass fiber reinforced polymer
Kevlar
Natural rubber
Nylon plastics
Polycarbonate
Spider silk
Titanium alloys

Compressive Strength

Compressive strength is the ability to withstand weight pushing down on a material such as the weight of a building pushing down on a foundation.
Basalt
Brass
Brick
Bronze
Carbon nanotubes
Ceramics
Concrete
Corundum
Diamond
Glass
Granite
Graphene
Iron alloys and steel
Marble
Titanium alloys
Tungsten alloys
Concrete is mentioned because it is often used for its compressive strength. However, its not as strong as most of the other materials on the list. For example, steel can have about 5 times the compressive strength of concrete. Diamond and other carbon materials such as graphene have the highest compressive strength.

Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is the ability to resist forces that are trying to pull a material apart. These would make a good rope for a tug of war.
Bamboo
Boron fiber
Carbon fiber
Carbon fiber reinforced polymer
Carbon nanotube
Diamond
Glass fiber reinforced polymer
Graphene
Kevlar
Metallic glasses
Silicon carbide
Spider silk
Steel
Thermoplastic polyethylene polymers
Titanium alloys
Tungsten alloys

Strongest Materials

If you look at the overall properties of materials considering hardness, toughness, compressive and tensile strength the following materials stand out as very strong overall.
Boron nitride nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes
Wurtzite boron nitride - a ceramic material

Generally Strong Everyday Things

Everyday things that are somewhat strong include products with high stress applications such as the mast of a sailboat. It is common for everyday things to be strong in one particularly way. For example, ceramic tiles that are very hard but aren't tough such that they can easily break if dropped.
Aircraft fuselages
Aircraft landing gear
Aircraft stabilizers and rudders
Aircraft tires
Aircraft wings
Aluminum
Amusement park attractions
Ash wood
Automotive parts
Bamboo
Baseball bats
Bathtubs
Bicycle frames
Boat parts
Bone
Brass
Bronze
Carbon fiber
Carbon steel
Ceramic tiles
Chains
Chairs
Chromium
Climbing carabiners
Climbing ropes
Coconut fiber
Composite materials
Concrete
Concrete foundations
Construction brackets and braces
Copper
Diamonds and gemstones
Drill bits
Emeralds
Engine components
Fishing rods
Flooring
Golf clubs
Granite
Helmets
Industrial fasteners
Industrial tires
Iron
Jade
Jewelry such as rings
Kevlar vests
Kitchen ceramics
Kitchen counters
Ladders
Mahogany
Manganese
Maple wood
Marble
Metal alloys
Nails
Nickel
Nuts and bolts
Nylon
Oak
Padlocks
Petrified wood
Plastics
Playground equipment
Pots and pans
Protective fabrics
Protective gear
Quartz
Rocks
Rubies
Safes
Safety glass
Sailboat masts
Sapphires
Saw blades
Security doors
Shells
Ship hulls
Ship rudders
Skis
Snowboards
Spider silk
Stainless steel
Steel beams
Steel cables
Teeth
Tennis rackets
Titanium
Tools
Tortoise shells
Tumblers
Tungsten
Walnut wood
Watches
Weightlifting bars
Weights
Wood
Wood furniture
Wooden beams and trusses
Work gloves
Next Read: Types of Material Strength

Materials

This is the complete list of articles we have written about materials.
Architectural Materials
Base Metal
Black Materials
Building Materials
Building Stones
Carbon Materials
Found Objects
Gemstones
Glass Things
Liquid Things
Material Quality
Mineral Products
Natural Fibers
Organic Materials
Pearls
Quartz
Safety Glass
Strong Materials
More ...
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References

Ayesha Rascoe, "Scientists have found a mineral stronger than diamond", NPR, September 18, 2022.

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