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This article defines performance indices in a formal way and specifies how they are derived. The performance indices for a light, strong tie and a light, stiff beam are presented. The article provides two case studies that illustrate the use of material indices, shape factors, and selection charts to select materials.

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M.F. Ashby, Performance Indices, Materials Selection and Design, Vol 20, ASM Handbook, Edited By George E. Dieter, ASM International, 1997, p 281–290,

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