Plasticity is the capacity to resist plastic deformation (dislocation movement of a solid material undergoing non-reversible changes of shape in response to applied forces), while toughness measures the ability of a material to resist crack propagation.

The rocks, subjected to external forces, are deformed continuously and permanently, without however being subjected to rupture phenomena and without returning to their original shape once the external stress has ceased. The field of plastic deformation is between the plasticity limit and the breaking one.

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