Design Considerations and Materials Selection
Engineering design should result in a product that performs its function efficiently and economically within the prevailing legal, social, safety, and reliability requirements. This introductory article discusses some key considerations in design, material selection, and manufacturing that a materials engineer should take into account to satisfy such requirements. It includes a brief section on concurrent engineering, which companies use to ensure that all needed input is obtained and addressed concurrently throughout the product lifecycle, including material selection and processing, product design, cost analysis, manufacturing, recyclability, and performance.
This article describes design factors for products used in engineering applications. The article groups these factors into three categories: functional requirements, analysis of total life cycle, and other major factors. These categories intersect and overlap, constituting a major challenge in engineering design. Performance specifications, risk and hazard analysis, design process, design for manufacture and assembly, design for quality, reliability in design, and redesign are considered for functional requirements. Life-cycle analysis considers raw-material extraction from the earth and product manufacture, use, recycling (including design for recycling), and disposal. The other major factors considered include evaluation of the current state of the art for a given design, designing to codes and standards, and human factors/ergonomics.