[Physics] Penetration of human skin


I recently found an answer for the "toughness" of steel https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/16821 and was hoping to get a similar answer regarding human flesh.

How much pressure is required to penetrate human skin? to break bone? I have tried to google this and it seems surprisingly difficult to find. perhaps you know?

Best Answer

I don't think that toughness is a particularly relevant materials property for describing human skin. The property of toughness arose out of the need of engineers to describe how rigid materials such as steel components may behave differently when subjected to sudden, sharp impacts. Some steel alloys may be able to absorb considerable impact energy before they break or shatter, and those alloys are said to have high toughness. Other steel alloys of the same yield strength may be more brittle and may fail when subjected to even small impact energies. Such alloys would be said to have low toughness.

It might help if you described why you are interested in the "toughness" of skin, because there is probably a more appropriate engineering parameter to use than toughness. If what you are really interested is puncture resistance, there are probably engineering parameters to describe that.