This volume represents a culmination of efforts started more than a decade ago, when the American Society for Metals decided to change its name to ASM International and to broaden its technical scope to include nonmetallic engineering materials. Since that time, technical meetings, educational programs, and publications have covered metallic and nonmetallic materials, and it has become ASM's stated purpose to be recognized as the world's premier materials information society. As part of the expansion of its technical scope, the Society initiated a new series of handbooks on nonmetallic materials to complement the renowned Metals Handbook and to provide the same kind of definitive, peer-reviewed coverage that series has provided in the areas of metals and metalworking. To date, ASM International has published four volumes in the Engineered Materials Handbook series—Composites (1987), Engineering Plastics (1988), Adhesives and Sealants (1990), and Ceramics and Glasses (1991)—as well as the Electronic Materials Handbook, Volume 1, Packaging (1989). With the publication of these volumes, ASM International fulfilled its goal to assemble and disseminate authoritative handbook information on the most important nonmetallic engineering materials.
ASM International is proud that the extent and quality of its handbook coverage of nonmetallic materials are such that the creation of this comprehensive Engineered Materials Desk Edition is now possible. This volume is intended to provide the same type of authoritative, one-stop coverage as that contained in the popular Metals Handbook Desk Edition. The information in this handbook is largely compiled from the four volumes of the Engineered Materials Handbook, with updates and additions made in key areas as suggested by reviewers. While the information in this new desk edition can certainly stand on its own, the book also serves as a companion volume to the Metals Handbook Desk Edition. Together, the two desk editions provide comprehensive yet concise information about the properties, selection, processing, and applications of the most widely used metals and nonmetallic engineering materials.
We offer our thanks to the many professionals who contributed their time and expertise to make this project possible. These include the hundreds of volume organizers, authors, and reviewers who have contributed to the Engineered Materials Handbook over the past decade, as well as those who participated by reviewing, updating, and editing information for this volume. We are grateful to the ASM Handbook Committee for their oversight of this effort, and especially to Michelle Gauthier, the Handbook Committee member who guided this project as Volume Chair. We also thank ASM's own editorial and production staff for their dedicated efforts in pursuit of publications excellence.