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How to choose Engineering materials smartly ?

How to choose Engineering materials smartly ?

(OP)
I would like to know what are all the generic aspects that has to be taken into account while choosing materials? Specifically steels. There are thousands of material available in the market now with varying capabilities who's property vary from each other in one or the other way.
So, how can i choose a material specifically for my application?
It would have been great if someone could guide me through this.

RE: How to choose Engineering materials smartly ?

If there's a book that mention all aspect on material selection, definitely i would love to have that ultimate guidance.
Unfortunately, so far i've never seen a reference that gives us complete guidance
regarding material selection, including pro-con, benefit-weakness.

On general aspect that i can share with you:
1. you need to know for what application the steel shall be used for.
2. what environment the steel shall be exposed to.
3. how the steel being loaded
4. cross check with additional specs / rules in case you have narrow down one type of steel and those steel are prohibit in certain area/application.

Another aspect, experience and research at the same field also plays an important role as a guidance.
That also become what differentiate between people who expert in material or people who merely follow the rules without knowing 'why'
or 'marketing-type' guy who can say this material is better than others without technical sound.


RE: How to choose Engineering materials smartly ?

I'm not sure I understand your question. You have a set of requirements that have to be met; only a small subset of all possible steels will meet all the requirements. After that, it's typically a matter of availability, cost, ease of use, ease of machining, etc.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: How to choose Engineering materials smartly ?

as IR says, you have a list of criteria, in most cases 6-10 items long.
Then you prioritize them (is corrosion resistance more important than weldability?)
This shortens the list greatly.
A few trials examining existing designs can act as a good exercise.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, Plymouth Tube

RE: How to choose Engineering materials smartly ?

Provide a list of requirements for your "specific application" and we'll try to guide you thru the selection process for the best steel candidates.

RE: How to choose Engineering materials smartly ?

ASM Materials Handbooks provide examples of numerous materials applications.

RE: How to choose Engineering materials smartly ?

Selecting materials is always an optimization among various competing properties, and of course price/availability.

RE: How to choose Engineering materials smartly ?

One thing that has always impressed me is the ability of manufacturing engineers to extract every last bit of cost and performance from a mass produced component. Before selecting a particular material, it helps to decide what manufacturing processes might work best to produce the component.

RE: How to choose Engineering materials smartly ?

(OP)
Thanks for the suggestions, it helped me a lot in selection of the material.

RE: How to choose Engineering materials smartly ?

There's one more resource available:
Call your local Steel Service Center.
They want you to be happy with what you buy.

Many years ago, my local Ryerson office sent over a guy who really knew his stuff.
He helped us figure out what forms to buy, and found people to weld the pieces together,
and other people to machine the welded assemblies, all at no charge beyond what we paid for the steel.

Ryerson used to give away a Stock List and an Engineering Guide, both of which were very helpful throughout my career. The last time I checked, they were selling the paperbound books for $10 each, which was probably still worth the money.

Other steel distributors can offer similar help.

They never stock everything in the Stock List, but it gives you an idea of what they might have or might be able to get.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

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