The selection of the best material for a particular design is intimately associated with the decisions of how to process the material or manufacture a part. This article describes the basic characteristics of manufacturing processes such as material factors, shape factors, and process factors. The influence of materials on manufacturing cost is described with a specific example. The article discusses the design for manufacturability to minimize total number of parts, use readily processed materials, and eliminate machining and finishing operations. It reviews the factors influencing selection of a material for production, including material composition, heat-treated condition, surface finish, and cost of material. The article emphasizes the material characteristics, such as terms formability, workability, castability, machinability, and weldability, that aid or hinder the production of a part without defects.
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