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Why does a nail gets heated when hammered

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Long time since physics classes, but I'm agreeing with Answer_Otter.
There is a bit of friction, but mostly it's from the kinetic energy of the hammer getting converted to thermal energy, I do believe. Both nail and hammer will eventually get warmer as the kinetic energy of the hammer swing rebounds between them.
Then there is also the slight compression of metal molecules which would also release heat, if I remember rightly. This compression would emit some heat.
For another example of heat from compression, I know that in an air compressor in an air conditioner, the air is compressed and so it throws off heat (which is then carried away by some mechanism). When that compressed air is then released and expands again, it is much much cooler.
Compression would do the same to liquid (pressure cooker) or metal, but metal takes a lot more energy to compress.
I think that's it, but feel free to educate me if I'm wrong... :)

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The main reason why the nail gets heated when hammered is because of friction. The friction is between the nail head and the hammerhead as well as the material that is being nailed.

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Friction and the motion that causes energy

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As the others said, friction likely plays a part. However, there's something kind of complicated going on at a molecular level that the term friction may not adequately describe. When you hit a nail with a hammer, even if the nail doesn't seem to move, the large quantity of kinetic energy being transferred to it by the hammer has to take some form. Some of that will be movement, some will be sound (vibration at a frequency that you can hear), but a lot will be heat (in a sense, also vibration). I don't exactly know the mechanism by which the compressed/distorted metal gives off heat, but I think a term other than friction is likely appropriate.

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I do believe you nailed it.
(Sorry, couldn't resist it!)
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