Properties of an engineering material have a characteristic range of values that are conveniently displayed on materials selection charts. This article describes the plotting of data on the charts for displaying material properties. It discusses the features of various types of material property charts. These include modulus-density chart, strength-density chart, fracture toughness-density chart, modulus-strength chart, specific stiffness-specific strength chart, fracture toughness-modulus chart, fracture toughness-strength chart, loss coefficient-modulus chart, thermal conductivity-thermal diffusivity chart, thermal expansion-thermal conductivity chart, thermal expansion-modulus chart, and normalized strength-thermal expansion chart. The article discusses the use of material property charts that summarize information in a compact and easily accessible way.
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.