The main aim of these short case studies is to introduce the use of material selection charts for analysis of a range of different products.
Each study discusses the key design requirements for the products, identifies the relevant material properties, and shows how a selection chart can help to rationalise the materials that are used. Other factors such as manufacturing, aesthetics and cost are brought into the analysis as appropriate. The case studies span all classes of engineering material - textiles, metals, polymers, woods and paper, composites and ceramics.
These case studies are intended particularly for those who are new to the concept of a material selection chart. While the core of the approach is the charts, different products are treated in different ways - you should of course be flexible in your approach to product analysis, when products themselves are so diverse. Some studies concentrate on performance and properties, others on market developments including historical product evolution, while others have a stronger manufacturing angle.
The case studies include suggested "Questions" and "Try it Yourself" activities, to extend the study of each product. These require further resources - both supporting literature and practical apparatus. Devising simple material tests is an important aspect of appreciating which properties are important in a design, and the challenges in obtaining meaningful, relevant material data. Support information is provided in the section at the end of the case studies, for both "Questions" and "Try it Yourself" activities.
The case studies included are:
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