Flexible Object

A flexible pencil

What is a flexible object?

A flexible object is anything that can be bent, twisted, stretched, crushed, and generally deformed by applying force without causing the object to break, tear, or break.

Flexibility, which is the property of an object to be flexible, is of great importance for many applications. For example, the threads must be flexible in order to be woven to create fabrics.

Many materials and objects that we use every day are flexible. From the clothes we wear, the laces of our shoes, the leaves of a book and the branches of a tree, to electric cables, springs and sheets of acetate, there are countless flexible objects that are an important part of our lives.

Examples of flexible objects

Branches of a tree

The branches of a tree, especially the young branches that are not very woody, are usually very flexible and, in addition, in many cases they are elastic.


Springs are both flexible and elastic objects.

The cloth

Fabric is a good example of an object that is very flexible. In fact, it can be bent in any way without breaking. Some fabrics are more flexible and stronger than others, but all fabrics are flexible.

The bamboo

Most of us have ever seen a bamboo plant with its long, tall stems that move and twist without breaking under the influence of the wind or the weight of some panda who wants to eat its leaves.

A hose

Hoses are flexible objects. In fact, they are so flexible that they can be rolled up and unrolled without the risk of breaking.


If the ties were not flexible, it would be impossible to tie them with different knots around the neck. In fact, ties are made with fabrics which are flexible materials, as we saw earlier.

A nail

Anyone who has driven a lot of nails using a hammer has ever given a bad blow to a nail that ends up bending it instead of driving it into the wood or wherever it is trying to drive.

Copper wire

Besides being able to conduct electricity very well, flexibility is one of the most important properties of copper wires used for electrical wiring in a building. If it weren’t flexible, it would be impossible to put it through all the twists and turns that the wiring must go through when going from room to room.

A sheet of cardboard

Cardboard is flexible which allows it to be folded to make boxes.

Climbing ropes

Climbing ropes are both flexible and elastic. In addition, they are very resistant objects.

A fencing sword

The flexibility of the fencing epee is brought out when the fencer strikes his opponent. The sword bends in the shape of a bow, but does not break.


Rubber is another example of a flexible object that is also elastic.

A construction rod

The rods are used in construction as reinforcements to make columns and bases of reinforced concrete. One of the reasons they can be used for this is because they are flexible.

A stick of silicone

If we take a silicone bar and bend it with all our strength, it will bend, but it will not break, so it is a flexible object.

A plastic bag

As its name implies, plastic bags are flexible and plastic objects. In fact, they are made of a special type of material called thermoplastic, since when heated they can be more easily deformed into the desired shape.

A rubber band

Rubber bands like those used in slingshots are very flexible and also very elastic objects. Their elasticity is exactly what makes them useful for making slingshots.

The difference between flexible, elastic and plastic

It is important to make a distinction between other material properties that are often confused with flexibility. In addition to being flexible, an object can also be elastic or plastic.

In fact, elastic objects are also usually flexible, so many think they are the same. However, there is an important difference between flexibility and elasticity.

Flexible object and elastic object

An elastic object can also be deformed without breaking when a force is applied, just like flexible objects. However, what makes an object elastic is its ability to regain its shape once the force that deformed it is no longer applied.

Let’s take a spring as an example. A spring is a good example of an object that is both elastic and flexible. When we squash, stretch, or bend a spring, it gives way and becomes deformed.

This means that it becomes shorter (when we squish it), longer (when we stretch it) or it becomes curved (when we bend it). However, even though we may be applying a lot of force to it, the spring is not breaking.

Since the spring can be deformed without breaking, then the spring is a flexible object. But what happens when we release the spring? This quickly regains its original length and shape and looks as if we had never touched it. Since the spring recovers its shape after releasing it, then the spring is also an elastic object.

Flexible object and plastic object

Plastic objects are the opposite of elastic objects. These objects change their shape by stretching or squashing or twisting when we apply a force to them, but, unlike elastic objects, they do not regain their shape when we stop applying the force.

Many plastic objects like a nail, for example, can be deformed without breaking, making them flexible objects. But others, such as play dough, break when bent or crushed.

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