This iteration of ASM Handbook Volume 10 is the culmination of years of effort and planning. The division editors for Volume 10 did a tremendous job finding authors to write about new techniques, and reviewers to update articles on established techniques. Without their efforts the book would not be what it is today, a useful tool for engineers, who likely are not themselves material characterization experts.
In keeping with the format of the 1986 edition, the articles describing each characterization technique begin with an overview. This summary describes the method in simplified terms and lists common applications as well as limitations. Sample size, form, and special preparation requirements are listed upfront to help readers quickly decide if the techniques are appropriate to solve their problem.
Another useful tool kept and expanded on from the previous edition are the tables and charts in the articles at the beginning of the book. For different classes of materials, the most common methods are listed in table form, showing, for example, whether the technique is suitable for elemental analysis, qualitative analysis, surface analysis, or alloy verification. The articles also describe in general terms material characterization according to material type and serve as a jumping-off point to the more specific technique articles.