Materials Selection

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Design Practice ( PROD 20303 )
Materials & Manufacture

Materials Selection Exercise

In the lecture this week you were introduced to the idea of a systematic approach to materials selection. Within the discussion, a number of examples were provided of ways in which a short list of materials might be identified for a given type of product using key property criteria as the method of differentiating between possible selections. Final choice can then be made by grading the candidate materials against defined criteria. The processes described are known as screening and ranking.

For your first logbook entry, you are required to select a relatively simple product ( or component ) and carry out a materials ( and process ) selection exercise on it using the above approach. In reality, you may already know what the material choice is and how the product was manufactured, but this does not matter; the emphasis here will be on the process you adopt and the robustness of your decision making.

Remember, the start point for the exercise is understanding the key requirements of the product in question. Below is an outline product design specification with headers that may have relevance to aid your selection.

Shape ( Design ), Sizes, Weight
include dimensional drawings of your chosen product

Market / Volume of Production
existing or new market ?
typical product lifetime ?
batch, high volume or mass production ?

Competition
nature and extent of existing or likely competition ?

Environment
include all specific environmental conditions e.g. temperature range, humidity, corrosion, etc.

Performance
how long must it last ?
under what conditions is it to be used ? e.g. rotation
how will it be used ?

Materials Properties
list all the specific material properties required e.g. flexibility, rigidity, strength, ductility, hardness, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, fatigue resistance, etc.

Quality / Consistency / Tolerances
what level of...
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