Over the last few decades, a swift and intriguing progress has taken place in the world of engineering materials. Material selection is the basis for all engineering applications and design. This selection process can be characterized by application prerequisites, potential materials, physical principles, and selection.
Some of the factors to be considered while selecting materials are:
1. Material Properties: The extent of the material performance and its efficiency and effectiveness.
2. Material Cost and Availability: Material must be appropriately priced and must be readily available.
3. Environment: The effect of the part the material is selected for, has on the environment needs to be considered.
Additionally, material is selected also based on usage conditions, load/stress experienced during the service, specific supply conditions etc. The material is also selected based on the availability in required thickness and tolerance as well as suitability to existing manufacturing process and facility.
Simply put, for the process of material selection, first, we decide on the requirements of the application.
Second, we decide on the possible materials that we can use in the application. Third, we decide what changes in the material properties are needed. Lastly, we decide which material out of the possible materials best fulfils the requirements of the application given possible changes in the material properties.