A materials property is an intensive property of a material, i.e., a physical property that does not depend on the amount of the material. These quantitative properties may be used as a metric by which the benefits of one material versus another can be compared, thereby aiding in materials selection.
A property may be a constant or may be a function of one or more independent variables, such as temperature. Materials properties often vary to some degree according to the direction in the material in which they are measured, a condition referred to as anisotropy. Materials properties that relate to different physical phenomena often behave linearly (or approximately so) in a given operating range[further explanation needed]. Modeling them as linear functions can significantly simplify the differential constitutive equations that are used to describe the property.
Equations describing relevant materials properties are often used to predict the attributes of a system.
The properties are measured by standardized test methods. Many such methods have been documented by their respective user communities and published through the Internet; see ASTM International.
Main article: Chemical property
Main article: Optical properties