Materials: How to Choose Them and Where to Find Them

In this chapter I cover 6 basic classes of materials: metals, plastics, ceramics, biomaterials, composites, and semiconductors. You’ll also learn where to find them and how to choose them, and a lot of vocabulary associated with material types (what is an alloy metal anyway?). I’ll cover just enough material properties theory to help you choose materials based on yield strength, friction, and more. We’ll also discuss tolerances for part dimensions, and why you should pay attention to them.

Helpful Links:

80/20 Inc. – The Industrial Erector Set

Smooth-On: liquid rubbers and plastics for molding

Project 2-1: Different Diving Boards

In this project you’ll use clay blocks as weights to demonstrate how different materials at the same length behave when one side is clamped to the table and the other is free to bend.