PLASTICS                    METALS                    GLASS

The material selection process is an integral part of the overall product development and must be considered in the early phases of the product definition. The materials chosen for the fabrication of a product, whatever kind of product can have a profound impact on the success of the design due to the material performance. Improper selection technique can lead to the use of materials with inadequate properties for the intended application, with the unintended result being a lasting effect on the product’s reputation and ultimately its sales and thus company profit. Material selection has important ramifications throughout a product’s lifecycle, including the fabrication, assembly and service stages.

Generally, the selection of a material will begin with the definition of the specific properties necessary for the design to succeed. This may include the strength, hardness, thermal stability, machinability, availability, cost, processing issues and disposable methods, its intended function, and the environment where it’s going to be used etc.

Materials possess numerous properties and types of behaviour that are evident only during the selection and application processes.