Handbooks published by ASM International have long been the premier reference sources on the properties, processing, and applications of metals and nonmetallic engineering materials. The fundamental purpose of these handbooks is to provide authoritative information and data necessary for the appropriate selection of materials to meet critical design and performance criteria. ASM Handbook, Volume 20 takes the next step by focusing in detail on the processes of materials selection and engineering design and by providing tools, techniques, and resources to help optimize these processes. Information of this type has been provided in other handbook volumes—most notably in Volume 3 of the 9th Edition Metals Handbook—but never to the impressive scope and depth of this handbook.
Volume 20 reflects the increasingly interrelated nature of engineering product development, encompassing design, materials selection and processing, and manufacturing and assembly. Many of the articles in this volume describe methods for coordinating or integrating activities that traditionally have been viewed as isolated, self-contained steps in a linear process. Other articles focus on specific design and materials considerations that must be addressed to achieve particular design and performance objectives. As in all ASM Handbook volumes, the emphasis is on providing practical information that will help engineers and technical personnel perform their jobs.
The creation of this multidisciplinary volume has been a complex and demanding task. It would not have been possible without the leadership of Volume Chair George E. Dieter. We are grateful to Dr. Dieter for his efforts in developing the concept for this volume, organizing an outstanding group of contributors, and guiding the project through to completion. Special thanks are also due to the Section Chairs, to the members of the ASM Handbook Committee, and to the ASM editorial and production staff. We are especially grateful to the more than two hundred authors and reviewers who contributed their time and expertise to create this extraordinary information resource.