From my understanding, ionic compounds are brittle due to the alternating cations and anions within their lattice. Hence when stress is applied, similarly charged ions will repel causing the structure to shatter. However, by this logic, shouldn't ionic compounds also be able to come back together this way? Consider grains of table salt, why can't they join together via electrostatic forces?

Edit: I don't think the links answer my question.

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    $\begingroup$ Why are so many ionic compounds brittle? $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ I think these textbook stories of ionic repulsion and the answers in the linked question are partial stories (looking at one side of a coin). Perhaps a material scientist here can give a better picture rather than handwaving answers. Why is ordinary sulfur brittle? Why are certain plastics brittle? $\endgroup$
    – ACR
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/174002/… $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ You logic is thoroughly wrong. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Malleability and Ductility Origins $\endgroup$ Commented May 31, 2023 at 18:30


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