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This Engineered Materials Handbook Desk Edition is intended to serve as a comprehensive single-volume reference work on the properties, selection, processing, and applications of the most widely used nonmetallic engineering materials. For the purposes of the Engineered Materials Handbook and this desk edition, engineered (or engineering) materials are roughly defined as nonmetallic materials capable of being used in primary structural/industrial applications. In following this general definition, limited attention has been given to basic construction materials such as wood and stone. Instead, the focus has been on two main groups of materials: (1) polymeric materials and (2) ceramics and glasses. These two groups can be further subdivided into monolithic and composite materials.

Section 1, “General Information and Data,” contains information applicable both to polymers and to ceramics and glasses. It includes an extensive, illustrated glossary of terms and a collection of engineering tables and data, similar to those found in the Metals Handbook Desk Edition. In addition, it includes the “Guide to Materials Selection,” which introduces and describes the major categories of engineering materials (including ferrous and nonferrous metals) and provides an overview of methodologies for selecting appropriate materials for particular applications. This Section contains valuable information for engineers seeking candidate material alternatives for specific applications.

Sections 2 through 7 focus on polymeric materials: plastics, elastomers, polymer-matrix composites, adhesives, and sealants. The information in these sections is largely adapted from the first three volumes of the Engineered Materials Handbook, with the emphasis on the properties, selection, processing, fabrication, and testing of these materials. New coverage has been added in selected areas, such as properties and characteristics of elastomers; and recycling, metallizing, and testing of plastics.

Ceramics and glasses are covered in Sections 8 through 12. The areas of focus in these sections are similar to those in the sections on polymeric materials. Significant updates and expansions have been made throughout the articles in these sections, especially in the areas of environmental considerations and ceramic-matrix composites.

It should be noted that metal-matrix composites are not addressed to any great extent in this volume, despite the fact that detailed information about MMCs is available in Composites, Volume 1 of the Engineered Materials Handbook series. They have been omitted because of this volume's focus on nonmetallic materials; it is intended that MMCs will be covered in a Second Edition of the Metals Handbook Desk Edition. However, coverage of carbon-carbon composites is provided in this volume, in Section 11.

This volume would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of a great number of people. First and foremost, we must acknowledge the volume organizers and the hundreds of authors and reviewers who contributed to the original four-volume Engineered Materials Handbook series. (The authors of the original source articles are listed in the “Acknowledgments” at the end of each compilation article in this volume.) Thanks are also due to the many people who contributed new information for this volume and who edited and reviewed its contents. We especially want to recognize the efforts of Mara Woods, who prepared the original detailed outline for this volume; Linda Garverick, who edited many of the articles on polymeric materials; and Laurel Sheppard, who edited all of the articles on ceramics and glasses. We also must thank the members of the ASM Handbook Committee, who provided support and advice during the preparation of this project, and the ASM International editorial and production staff members, who have accomplished the enormous task of pulling all of the pieces and parts of information together into a single cohesive volume.

We hope that the Engineered Materials Handbook Desk Edition will serve as a valuable reference for anyone who works in areas affected by materials technology, including engineers, technicians, researchers, educators, and students. We have tried to organize the book so that a metallurgist, who may be overwhelmed by the many sources of information on nonmetallic materials, will be able to consult it for a comprehensive introduction to property, processing, and testing information; at the same time, we expect that it will serve the needs of novices and experts alike in a variety of fields, including polymers and ceramics, who need a good basic resource for general information on nonmetallic engineered materials.

Michelle M. Gauthier
Raytheon Company
Volume Chair
Scott D. Henry
ASM International
Project Director

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