Classification of Materials
Advancements in technology in most industries have been associated with the development of new materials and processes as well as advances in the state of the art of existing materials and combinations thereof. It is estimated that currently about 85,000 materials are available for industrial applications. In considering which materials to use for a particular structure or device, the selection process is further complicated by the wide variation in properties of materials with the manner in which the material is processed, for example, the heat treatment time, temperature, and cooling rate used for certain alloys. Some type of materials classification is an essential part of the selection process and an important element of engineering education.