Materials Selection for Engineering Design. Materials Selection. The designer of any product, other than software must get involved with material selection. Only occasionally will the exact grade of material be specified by the customer.
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So many materials, so much information.
How do we decide?
How do we begin to choose?
First we need to look at the function of the product – product analysis
Is it one component or a system of components working together?
A spanner is a component, a cordless screwdriver is a system.
The bike breaks down (we hope not!) into various parts:
We now need to look at the following for each part:
We have to actually make it!
This is a key question which has a massive influence on materials selection.
e.g. The frame, what materials could we use?
Strong, stiff, heavy, but cheap
weaker, lighter, more expensive than steel
strong, stiff, very light, but expensive to buy and to fabricate
Strength, modulus etc.
Density, melting point.
Appearance, texture, colour
Cost, cost, cost!
Steps 2 & 3 may be iterative. Don’t forget the ……………
Is the product performance driven or cost driven?
This makes a huge difference when choosing materials.
Although we usually choose materials first sometimes it is the shape and process which is the limiting factor.