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This edition of MaterialEASE focuses on materials selection in general while paying particular attention to the increasing use of the computer in the selection process. Many of the commercial products associated Introduction

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COMPUTERAIDED MATERIALS SELECTION


with computer-aided materials selection are evaluated along with an analysis of the development trends. MaterialEASE is also available at AMPTIACs Web stie www.rome.iitri.com/amptiac.

Traditionally, materials selection has focused on taking a design, evaluating the performance requirements and searching for a material that satisfies those requirements. This does not allow much flexibility because once the design is frozen, changes are undesirable and as a result, there are limitations to the materials that can be used. The advent of computers has revolutionized the design process. It is now possible to make design changes and rapidly prototype components with very little effort. On the materials side, it is now possible to generate databases of properties that allow instant retrieval of desired properties which can in turn be integrated into the design process. As a result, materials selection has undergone radical transformation over the years. Figure 1 is illustrative of the flexibility of the design and manufacturing process afforded by the increasing use of computers through concurrent engineering. There has been a decisive shift
Sequential Approach to Manufacturing

from the sequential approach to a concurrent approach in manufacturing as cost-efficient computing power has grown exponentially. With the progressive decrease in financial resources for new materials development, the increase in availability of materials properties data, and the enhancement in properties through improved processing techniques, the general trend in materials application has been towards more efficient use of existing materials. As a result, the development of effective materials selection techniques has become extremely
Rapid Prototyping

Design

Performance Requirements

Materials Selection

Fabrication

Concurrent Approach to Manufacturing

important in recent years. This has spurred the evaluation of possible techniques by which the spectrum of existing materials could be presented so that the designer can take advantage of the

Design

superior performance of the many materials that have been developed but are not frequently used. An example of such an activity is the development of a materials selection methodology by
Materials Data Bases

Modeling

Fabrication

Prof. Michael Ashby of Cambridge University. In this approach, materials selection is well integrated into the design process. The constraints

Figure 1. Concurrent approach to manufacturing is superior to the sequential approach

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that are identified based on function and design are used to identify the class of potential materials from the broad spectrum of available materials. As the design is optimized and detailed, additional high precision data from this subset of materials is considered in order to narrow down the choice to a single material. Factors like cost and fabricability can also be introduced into the factor that represents design and functional constraints thus making it a rather powerful and cost effective method for materials selection. The following is a selection of computer aided materials selectors and database with brief comments on some of the more widely used, commercially available packages. The number and quality of computer based materials information systems has been growing rapidly in recent years and therefore, this is not an exhaustive list. It will be updated periodically to reflect developments in this area. It should be noted that, in addition to these packages, there are numerous materials databases and expert systems that are developed within organizations for their exclusive use. These are proprietary and therefore, not available for evaluation.

design investigation. MSC/MVISION Evaluator: This software package enables working with materials property data by way of a powerful search engine, complete materials record including tables, figures, images and pedigree information and sorting and graphing capability for effective comparison, evaluation and materials selection. All of these products can be readily integrated with MSC/NASTRAN and MSC/PATRAN software, allowing access to materials information in both the finite element analysis and the computer aided design and engineering environments. Overall, the MSC/MVISION is a powerful package which allow considerable flexibility in materials selection procedures. The images, figures, tables, footnotes and complete pedigree information are quite comprehensive, thus making this an invaluable tool for computer aided materials selection. CMS Cambridge Materials Selector Granta Design Ltd., 20 Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB@ 1QA, UK. Tel. No. 44-1223-334755. Worldwide Web http://www.granta.co.uk The CMS software package is based on a materials selection methodology that has been developed by Prof. Michael Ashby of Cambridge University. This methodology for design led materials selection begins by defining the objectives and constraints of a particular design. Materials - property charts that relate to specific design criteria are then examined. These charts present the broad classes of materials from which choices can be narrowed down to a specific class and then to a specific material from within that class of materials. This hierarchy of databases, with a generic database supported by detailed databases for ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, polymers and composites, ceramics and glasses, woods and foams are a unique feature of the CMS software. Incomplete data sets often preclude the consideration of specific materials during selection. A distinctive feature of this software is that well-established materials science principles are used to generate an estimated range of specific data in the absence of experimental data. Given its sound methodological basis, its Windows - based PC format and its modest price, the CMS software is a powerful materials selection tool for the design engineer. While all other materials selection software products concentrate on the comprehensiveness of their data bases, the CMS software includes a materials selection system in addition to the variety of available databases.

MSC/MVISION Materials Information System The MacNeal - Schwendler Corporation, 815 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90041-1777. Tel. No. (213) 258-9111. Worldwide Web: http: //www.macsch.com Information Center: (800) 642-7437 ext. 2500 The MSC-MVISION Materials Information System is a family of software and databank products that provide comprehensive materials information that can be tailored for different engineering applications. This system includes the following: MSC/MVISION Builder: This is a standalone product for creating and updating materials databases. MSC/MVISION Databanks: These are, typically, libraries of materials data that are maintained by premier technical materials organizations. These databanks are updated regularly and are available in three different categories namely, Standards, Reference and Producer databanks. The Standards Databanks consist of materials properties that have been validated to be suitable for design, as for example, those that are available in MIL-HDBK-5 or MIL-HDBK-17. The Reference Databanks contain typical materials properties that have been reviewed by materials experts and are suitable for general design use. The P r o d u c e r databanks are extensive compilations of properties from materials suppliers that are suitable for preliminary materials selection and

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MAPP and TAPP ESM Software, 2234 Wade Court, Hamilton, OH 45013 Tel. No. (513) 738-4773. Worldwide Web: http://www.esm-software.com. MAPP, developed as a cooperative project between ESM Software and ASM International, is a Windows/Macintosh interface to the ASM Mat.DB materials properties databases. Dealing with mechanical, thermophysical, chemical and electrical/magnetic properties, the ASM Mat.DB databases are available for the following materials/topics: Structural Steels, Alloy Steels, Copper alloys, Magnesium alloys, Engineering thermoplastics, Nylons, Stainless Steels, Aluminum alloys, Titanium alloys, Composites, Engineering thermosets and Corrosion. In conjunction with one of these databases, MAPP enables 1) finding properties of a material based on a specification or common name, 2) generating a list of materials that meet a certain specified property requirement, 3) finding a set of alloys with the desired chemistry, given alloy composition ranges, 4) finding US equivalents for foreign specification or vice versa, and 5) finding specifications and trade names, given compositions. MAPP is a well-designed interface for exploitation of the wealth of ASM materials properties contained in its Mat.DB databases. However, with the emphasis being on data storage and retrieval using a Microsoft FoxPro application, MAPP does not permit selection based on computed properties such as specific strength, specific modulus etc. TAPP is a thermochemical and physical properties database that includes phase diagrams. The data is neatly packaged, allowing the retrieval of thermodynamic and physical properties of numerous solids and fluid phases. The equilibrium phase diagrams include those of metal, halide, aqueous and organic systems. Both MAPP and TAPP allow data entry and customization of databases for specific applications. Megabytes on Coppers The Copper Development Association, Orchard House, Mutton Lane, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, EN6 3AP, UK. Tel. No. 01707-650711 Megabytes on Copper, available as CD-ROM for Windows, is produced by the Copper Development Association (CDA). It contains all the current publications and interactive programs published by the CDA on the topics of electrical energy, efficiency, cost effectiveness and corrosion resistance. Data on all available cast and wrought copper and copper alloys, fabrication details and information for designers covering a wide variety of products and many types of applications are easily accessible in this software package. Prospect: The Wood Database Oxford Forestry Institute, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, UK. Tel. No. 44 (0)1865 275000. E-mail: prospect@plants.ox.ac.uk.

Prospect is a database that has been designed to provide information on timber species from all areas of the world. Developed at the Oxford Forestry Institute, the system records data for over 1550 species, 92 timber properties and 175 end-uses from over 1800 literature based references. The CD-ROM version of this database has over 1000 wood surface images. This database consists of a flexible and accurate system to assess species potential when, for example, a product or end-use is being considered. Conversely, a species can be evaluated to determine which products or end uses it is most suited to provide. The data is well referenced, thus ensuring complete transparency which is essential when dealing with a naturally variable material in which the variation within a species can be as great as that between species. Surface Finishing - CD Metal Finishing Information Services Ltd., P. O. Box 70, Stevenage, Herts SG1 4DF, UK. Tel. No. 01438 745115 The most recent version of this software has over 41,000 records, most complete with abstracts that focus on the various aspects of wet (aqueous) surface engineering and finishing processes. This includes electroplating, electroless plating, anodizing, conversion coatings, pickling, cleaning, etching, electroforming, printed circuit board manufacture, effluent treatment and recycling, health and safety, legislation, solder application and also topics such as analysis, testing of properties and materials. Additionally, this database contains information pertaining to the size of markets, costs and related marketing topics, wear, corrosion, reflectivity and electrical conductance associated with surface finishing. Plascams and Rubacams Rapra Technology Limited, Shawbury, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 4NR, UK. Tel. No. 44 (0)1939 250383. Worldwide Web: www.rapra.net Plascams (Plastics Computer Aided Materials Selector) is a PC based materials selection package covering thermoplastics, thermosets, composites and thermoplastic elastomers. This software package contains materials data on 351 materials (covering all main material types), 61 searchable properties that cover all main application requirements, resistance to over 190 chemicals (also searchable) and supplier/trade name data. It is possible to optimize the material selection process involving plastics by specifying materials property/design requirements. Rubacams (Rubber Computer Aided Materials Selector) enables the user to search 35 materials qualities for each of the 38 materials currently contained in the system. As with Plascams, Rubacams can identify elastomeric materials that satisfy specified criteria, identify those elastomers which have the required chemical resistance and rank or order a short list of essential properties against other desirable properties when weightage values are provided to bias the search in favor of the users requirement.

Permabond, Woodside Road, Eastleigh, Hants, SO50 4EX, UK. ASM Products ASM International, Metals Park, OH Tel. No. (216) 338-5151. Worldwide Web: www.asm-intl.org Alloy Digest This database contains more than 3,500 datasheets on worldwide metals and alloys on one compact disc. Alloy Finder Version 2.0 It is possible to search for metallic alloys by alloy name or designation, chemical composition, international designation, or specification using this database. Rover Electronic Databooks This is another format for ASMs property databases. Additionally, it includes corrosion and chemical resistance data for metals and polymers. Stahlschlussel (Key to Steels) The 17th edition of this tri-lingual (English, French and German) reference to steel, available on CD-ROM for Windows, contains more than 45,000 standards and steel-brands of approx. 250 steelworks and suppliers. Its search capabilities allow identifying steels by chemical composition, listing of all materials within a standard, comparing of German and foreign steels and accessing of standard numbers and designations. Binary Alloy Phase Diagram CD-ROM Binary phase diagram information and related crystal data that were previously available through the three volume print version are readily accessible through this package. Ternary Alloy Phase Diagram CD-ROM This is a computerized version of the database that is in print. It is available in subsets that deal with Industrial and Heat Resistant Alloys, Light Metal Structural Alloys, Precious Metals, Rare Earths and Actinides, Carbides and Nitrides, Solders, Brazes and Copper Alloys, and Electronic Materials and Semiconductors. PAL (Permabond Adhesives Locator) Tel. No. (01703) 629628 44073. This package is a knowledge based expert system for adhesive selection among Permabond adhesives. It has proven to be an extremely successful expert system. Conversion to a Windows based format is under development. Guide To Stainless Steels; Stainless Steel Information and Design Data Nickel Development Institute, 214 King Street West - Suite 510, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 3S6. Tel. No. (416) 591 7999 These are two products (available as diskettes) among others that are available, courtesy of the Nickel Development Institute. They contain general information about stainless steels. Engineering Software Systems CLI International, Texas 14503 Bammel-N. Tel Houston (281) Suite 300, Houston, USA 77014. No. 444-2282.

Worldwide Web: www.clihouston.com. This is a suite of software packages that is designed to provide engineering solutions for Corrosion and Materials. The individual software packages in this suite are Predict (for assessment of corrosion rates in steels), Socrates (for selection of corrosion resistant alloys through environment specification), Socrates-B (for selection of corrosion resistant alloys for non - production environments, Strategy-A (for evaluation of steels for sour pipeline service, Strategy-B (for evaluation of steels for wet H2S refinery service, Genera (a generic implementation framework for solving materials and corrosion problems). Conclusion Computer aided materials selection software, in the sense of an expert system, is not commercially available. Most of the products focus on providing comprehensive databases and powerful search engines while a few are designed to assist certain selection methodologies. Standardization and maintenance of databases, effective collection and representation of lessons learned in the materials selection process, and the development of models that optimize the design and manufacturing process are some of the areas that will need considerable attention for developing an expert system. The current market

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