LORD Corporation

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Poisson Ratio

What is Poisson's Ratio? How does the Poisson Ratio relate to a material's modulus?

Poisson’s ratio, put very simply, is the measure of how much the width or diameter of a material will change whenever it is pulled lengthwise. Or, in more technical terms, it is the measure of the change in lateral (transverse) strain over the change in linear (axial) strain. The simplest example of this is seen when pulling a rubber band. As the rubber band is stretched in one direction, its width gets noticeably thinner. That is evidence of a large Poisson’s ratio.

Since Poisson’s ratio is a measure of one strain divided by another strain, it is a unitless number. Very flexible, low-modulus materials, like rubber, typically have Poisson’s ratios as high as 0.5, whereas very stiff, high-modulus materials, like concrete, typically have Poisson’s ratios very close to 0. Some materials, however, even have Poisson’s ratios as low as -1, meaning that as they are pulled lengthwise, the width or diameter of the material will increase. The most relatable example of this is a Hoberman sphere, which can be found in any toy store.

Featured Products


For more than half a century we have been developing and manufacturing high-performance adhesive products. Our adhesive product lines offer a wide range of modulus options, from adhesives that allow for more flexibility to high modulus adhesives that are mechanically rigid.

Electronic Materials

We specialize in developing world-class thermal management, potting and encapsulation, gap filling, semiconductor packing, adhesive and thick film materials for demanding applications. Our Electronic Materials product line includes low modulus solutions that help to protect sensitive electronics from shock and vibration.

Vibration & Motion Control

For over 90 years, we have led the way in developing solutions to manage motion and minimize noise, vibration and shock. Our vibration isolation solutions are designed with specially formulated elastomers, with different modulus characteristics available to achieve high performance across a variety of applications.

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