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This article provides a schematic illustration of factors that should be considered in component design. It discusses the effect of component geometry on the behavior of materials and groups the main parameters that affect the value of the factor of safety. The actual strength of the material in a component could vary from one point to another and from one component to another. The article illustrates the estimation of probability of failure with an example. It discusses the designing and selection of materials for static strength and stiffness. The article describes the various causes of failure of engineering components, including design deficiencies, poor selection of materials, and manufacturing defects.

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David A. Woodford, Properties versus Performance of Materials, Materials Selection and Design, Vol 20, ASM Handbook, Edited By George E. Dieter, ASM International, 1997

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