Material scientists and engineers face a complex decision-making process when selecting materials for specific applications.
Steel is a common material due to its low cost and versatility; however, more expensive materials are often required in automotive and aerospace applications due to higher performance.
Nickel-based, iron-based, and cobalt-based superalloys are popular in aerospace due to their high-temperature creep and corrosion resistance.
In addition to alloying, there are other processing steps, such as forging, casting, rolling, and extruding.
These processing steps can change the material characteristics and affect the overall performance of the part.
Heat treatments can also play an essential role in strengthening materials, and the type of heat treatment used can vary depending on the fabric.
Vacuum treatments may be necessary for certain materials, such as titanium, to prevent oxidation.
Cost is not always a significant factor in material selection projects, as it can be challenging to quantify the cost of a specialized part.
It is also essential to consider the product's market position when selecting materials and the certification processes that may be involved.
Quality and traceability of components can make a big difference in the performance of a product, and understanding the metallurgical aspects of a project can help to optimize the process.
Safety is also paramount, and systems must be in place to ensure safety and minimize random occurrences.
It is essential to keep an open mind when selecting materials and to consider cost, quality, and market position.
Practice is vital to becoming proficient in the material selection process, as is having a deep understanding of engineering and management culture.
A business is a living organism with many components, and material selection is an essential puzzle piece.