3. The supply of material information on the
The Role of Organizations and Societies
3.1 Numerical Databases and Materials Selection Tools
3.1.1 Introduction - Materials Databases
3.1.2 Materials Selection Tools and Technical Reference Guides
3.1.3 Miscellaneous Links
3.2 Materials Sites
3.2.1 Polymers and Composites
3.2.4 Other Metals
3.2.6 Materials - General
Materials Science and Engineering
Other Materials References - Index
3.2.7 Physical Data
Scientific Reference Data
Electron Diffraction Contrast Images
3.3 Computing Software
3.3.1 Chemistry and Inorganic Chemical Thermodynamics
3.4 Bibliographic Databases
Online Hosts and Engineering Libraries
3.5 Electronic Media For Literature Publication, Online Journals
3.6 Educational Information
Virtual Textbooks and Interactive Study Supplements
3.7 Information on Organizations
3.8 Government Sources
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Materials information can be obtained through Internet, but above all, the Internet
is a guide to locate sources of materials information.
Commercial companies involved in a specific material group, and institutes and
organizations with interests in materials and materials science in general often
provide Meta sites, i.e. sites with multiple links, covering different subject
areas or material groups as for example; materials science and engineering,
corrosion, metals, plastics, and composites.
Depending on the type of information one seeks it can be appropriate to
distinguish between the sources on the net; organizations, commercial instances;
companies and corporations, academia, non-commercial or commercial general
information at web sites deriving from companies or interest organizations,
government reports, etc.
The role of organizations and societies
International organizations and societies like ASM, STN and TMS are working for
the development and dissemination of current and new materials, by promoting
technology transfer, by providing forums for the exchange of information, and by
collecting and reviewing material literature and data for publication in books,
reports and databases. Many fields of materials and engineering are covered, from
minerals processing and primary metals production to basic research and the advanced
applications of materials.
Then there are the more administrative societies and unions who strive to
co-ordinate and promote the study of materials both on a local and international
level; e.g. to promote the planning and organization of conferences and meetings,
and to procure the planning, printing and publication of technical papers.
Examples of this type of federations are the European Ceramic Society, a
nongovernmental, nonprofit group of societies each representing the ceramists of a
member country, and the International Union of Materials Research Societies, which
is an international association of technical groups or societies which have an
interest in promoting interdisciplinary materials research and to facilitate
cooperation among materials research organizations.
One of the basic functions of the materials societies is to provide networking
and interaction between those with materials and processes problems and those that
provide solutions. Some societies, like the Institute of Materials, have taken this
one step further and are working as contract advisers, providing information on
engineering materials and processes backed up with contacts for further detail. The
aim with this particular service is to highlight the extensive British network of
materials expertise and to encourage industrialists, designers and engineers to
grasp the many opportunities offered by developments in the field of engineering
materials and processing methods.
3.1 Numerical databases and materials selection tools
3.1.1 Introduction - Materials Databases
Few aspects of product design have a greater potential impact on cost, product
performance and customer satisfaction than materials choice. Selecting the right
material requires comprehensive, high quality materials information for comparison
of materials and accurate predictive engineering.
Materials databases i.e. electronic compilations of materials properties and
related information, have the function of centralized sources of materials data,
which have to be consistent, accurate (through verification) and up-to-date in
order to be used efficiently in product simulation and analysis.
Gathering materials information from scattered sources, often of varying
quality, requires time consuming and error prone steps of collating, modelling and
formatting the data.
Databases with materials information are basically of two categories;
numeric, and literature or bibliographic reference databases. Numerical databases
containing materials compositions, properties, specifications, processing property
information, etc. are in turn categorized by their intended function and the
statistical rigor by which the property data is developed.
Standards databases, having materials properties tested and validated to the
highest standards, are suitable for detailed design. For example: ASTM databanks.
Reference databases, containing typical materials properties compiled and
reviewed by material experts, are suitable for general design use.
Producer databases, i.e. extensive compilations of properties from materials
suppliers, are suitable for preliminary materials selection and design
On the Internet a large number of materials and engineering databases have
been made commercially accessible, and/or is being described via distributors. These
databases originate from international materials testing and research organizations,
materials societies, and data publishers. In order to access them on the net you pay
subscription to some of the many online hosts, in which collection your particular
databases of interest are included. Examples of online hosts are; STN International,
Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, ESA-IRS, KR ScienceBase, and Questel-Orbit.
Some database producers offer demonstration files on Internet exemplifying the
data retrieval from their systems. This is as mentioned in the background a very
good initiative that more should imitate; potential users can decide whether the
systems are useful for them. Japanese data producers in particular have obviously
understood this customer encouraging move since many of them are practising it, for
example with the JICST factual databases and within the MOOD-project, which has a
experimental public database service as well as slide show and pseudo demo. (On the
JICST homepage for factual databases there are besides test drives, links to other
web sites for materials data). The wellknown bibliographic databases produced by
Materials Information (see below) and with copyrights owned by Cambridge Scientific
Abstracts are accessible online for subscribers through CSA's Internet Database
Service. A free demonstration file is accessible by visiting the CSA WWW site.
3.1.2 Materials selection tools and technical reference guides
Materials selection programs help the user choose a subset of materials
which maximise some aspect of a component’s performance, for instance minimum
cost for a given load, or minimum mass for a particular stiffness.
Performance indices are used for optimal materials selection. A further step on to
ultimate optimization of the life and performance of components is the integration
of product design with material and process adaptation and selection. The origin
of new material types have implied utilization of completely new contructive
Empirical non-systematic methods can also be used for materials selection.
Bearing in mind that these procedures are loosing their adequacy, in particular
with the event of advanced, unconventional materials, they should not be
Technical reference guides and material information guides are other
valuable pieces of information. These can help designers and material specifiers to
better understand a materials capabilities for product applications. Information
and comments on working criteria and properties, selection of forms and properties,
cross reference specifications and measurement conversions, economics and
availability are some typical issues dealt with.
3.1.3 Miscellaneous links
NASA’s AMSD: Aerospace Mechanical Systems Division maintains a WWW resources for
(mechanical) material property information (which gives links that are "free" sources
of information). Online materials property information is provided by e.g. MIT and
The Mood Collection of Material Database WWW’s domestic and worldwide is perhaps
the best starting point if one is looking for this type of information.