The use of improved materials enables engineers to design new and better products and processes. Benefits include increased sales of improved products and, where new materials are used in manufacturing, reduced plant cost. Society benefits through the use of improved products that use these new materials.
Sophisticated new materials save lives (artificial hearts, shatterproof glass, bulletproof vests), conserve energy (lightweight cars) and expand human horizons (aircraft, spacecraft, computers through the World Wide Web). In the twentyfirst century a new generation of materials promises to again reshape our world and solve some of the planet’s most pressing problems. Although there is a tremendous array of materials, this book focuses on so-called advanced materials, especially those offering the latest advancements in properties. They are materials of construction with exceptional properties enabling improvement in the engineering components or final products in which they are used. They are also the latest in revolutionary materials and the latest improvement in more traditional advanced materials.
As a designer of “hardware,” you may be tempted to assume that the best material for your use is the one you have been using. If so, you will find that this book includes many common materials of construction that have seen recent improvements. For the more adventuresome, we include revolutionary materials whose use may result in great benefit, enabling unique and cost-effective product design.
This handbook presents the most recently introduced advanced materials in an effort to inform you as soon as possible of materials that may improve your product or process. Each chapter describes material characteristics from which materials can be tentatively selected for further exploration. Additional information is available from the references, engineering societies, and trade associations. Examples include The Composite Fabricators Association, The United States Advanced Ceramic Association, ASM International, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, The Aluminum Association, The American Iron & Steel Institute, The Steel Manufacturers Association, International Titanium Association, and others. All are available through their websites.