Enter the shear modulus and the density of the material into the calculator to determine the material wave velocity.

Material Velocity Formula

The following equation is used to calculate the Material Velocity.

Vm = SQRT ( G/d) 
  • Where Vm is the material velocity (m/s)
  • G is the shear modulus (Pascals, Pa)
  • d is the density of the material (kg/m^3)’

To calculate the material velocity, take the square root of the ratio of shear modulus to the density of the material.

What is a Material Velocity?


A material velocity is the measure of the speed at which shear waves propagate through a material.

How to Calculate Material Velocity?

Example Problem:

The following example outlines the steps and information needed to calculate Material Velocity.

First, determine the shear modulus. In this example, the shear modulus is found to be 500,000 Pa.

Next, determine the density of the material. For this problem, the density of the material is found to be 1500 kg/m^3.

Finally, calculate the Material Velocity using the formula above:

Vm = SQRT ( G/d)

Vm = SQRT ( 500,000/1500)

Vm = 18.257 m/s


What factors can affect the shear modulus of a material?

The shear modulus of a material can be affected by several factors including temperature, material composition, and the presence of impurities or defects within the material. Generally, as temperature increases, the shear modulus decreases, making the material more susceptible to deformation under shear stress.

How does the density of a material influence its wave velocity?

The density of a material directly influences its wave velocity, as seen in the material velocity formula (Vm = SQRT(G/d)). A higher density typically means that the material’s particles are more closely packed, which can slow down the propagation of waves through the material. Conversely, a lower density can result in faster wave propagation.

Can material velocity be used to determine the quality of a material?

Yes, material velocity can be an indicator of the quality of a material, especially in terms of its homogeneity and the presence of flaws. For instance, variations in wave velocity measurements across a material can indicate inconsistencies in its composition or the presence of cracks and voids. Thus, material velocity measurements are often used in non-destructive testing methods for quality control.