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Chris Fox's Engineering Section


Given that different materials have different properties, and that the choice of materials for a product will therefore be constrained by the requirements of that product, it is necessary to have a chapter covering materials and their properties.

There are three distinct types of material. Crystals, which include metals, ceramics and simple organic substances, consist of layers of spheres in closely packed arrangements and have clear cut melting points. Polymers, which include carbon-based organic materials and inorganic molecules, consist of giant molecules produced by the repetition of a simple unit called a mer; there is no sharp transition to the solid state, but polymers feature rubbery mechanical behaviour. In amorphous solids such as glass, there is no long range order of atoms and no sharp transition to the solid state.

The properties that need to be considered will depend on any of three factors. The first is the nature of an applied load; the load may be uniaxial - causing either tension or compression - shear or hydrostatic. The second is the duration of an applied load and whether it varies. The third is environmental conditions.

[Types of Material] [Phases] [Binary Systems] [Steels] [Atomic Structure and Bonding] [Defects] [Mechanical Properties of Materials] [Creep] [Glass Transition Temperature: Polymers] [Fatigue] [Fast Fracture and Toughness] [Oxidation and Corrosion]

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