Learning Goal: I’m working on a mechanical engineering project and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
The idea of the project is to make sure when you are done with the class you have the knowledge
to be able to choose a material for a specific application using the techniques you learned during
our lecture. YOU NEED TO APPLY LEARNED KNOWLEDGE TO YOUR PROJECT.
1. Important Points:
§ Use PowerPoint for the presentations. Students are encouraged to ask question to their
§ Each student will have approximately 8 min for Final project presentations. Due dates and
presentation dates are listed in CANVAS.
§ Before preparing your presentations, go through case studies discussed in the classroom
and examples provided in CANVAS. Examples from previous semester are provided and
we will go through examples in the classroom prior to projects. Remember the example
projects are from previous semesters and you might need to add more information to
what has been presented before such as “shape factors” or “environmental selection”.
Please attend all lectures to stay on track. Previous examples are not perfect. I expect you
to achieve better presentations based on the guidelines provided. Get help from your
instructor throughout the project preparation. Make sure you meet every requirement
for the project to earn a good grade. Grading rubric is given at the end of this document.
§ You can generate the charts yourself using the software. Due to COVID, I will also accept
print out charts provided already in the CANVAS. However, if you want to access the
software, it is located in CAD lab in ENC building. You can always ask me to generate the
chart for you using software and apply limits for your selection. I’ll be happy to help you
with your charts and selection as long as you’ve performed the preliminary study and
aware of the charts you are looking for.
§ Don’t forget to get help from appendices, lecture slides, supporting files that are provided
in CANVAS. If you want to, you can also access a large database of materials using your
2. How to choose a topic:
• For final project, I suggest you to choose the application first and be specific about it. For
example, let’s say you chose racing car. My suggestion is to be more specific because you
can use a variety of materials to make a racing car. For example, you can say I will choose
materials for a racing car tire, or I will choose a material for a racing car bumper.
• I also want to mention that when you tell me about your project title you cannot tell me
about the material. For example, assume you chose fire–resistant glass. The problem with
choosing such topic is that you are already specifying the material you are choosing. So,
there is no point in doing the project because you are already stating that you chose the
glass. So instead you should be saying I am going to select materials for a fire-resistant
door for example. And then go ahead and choose the material for a fire-resistant wall.
And you should be left up with few candidates. Glass will be one of your options but
composite materials can also be your option.
• Your chosen topic has to have a meaning for you. If your topic is not original, and easy
and no purpose is clearly stated in choosing that topic during your presentation, I will cut
marks (-5). (e.g. I chose digital keyboard keys because I need to fix my brothers keyboard
and trying to find cheapest and best performing material, or every year this many people
dying from heart disease so I chose heart stent material etc.)
• Choose your topic as soon as possible and e-mail it to me. I will upload the topics that
have been chosen to Canvas and keep it updated. Everyone has to have a different topic.
First come, first served.
3. Before doing your project, review your lecture slides CH5 for 4 basic steps for the
materials selection procedure:
1) Translation: express design requirements as constraints and objectives
Function: What does the component do?
Constraints: What essentials conditions must be met?
Objective: What is to be maximized or minimized?
Free Variables: Identify which design variables are free.
2) Screening: Evaluate large range of materials using charts
Eliminate materials using constraints
Screen based on constraints
3) Ranking: rank materials using objective (material index)
Derive indices based on objective
Rank materials based on indices
Apply indices to charts properly
4) Supporting Info: handbooks, web, etc.
4. During your presentation, you should talk about the following topics:
• Importance of the topic and why you chose it.
• Properties you are looking for in that component (e.g. it has to absorb energy, it has to
be strong and stiff, but it has to be cheapest or environmentally safest option, etc.). You
need to prepare the table for the translation step similar to case studies. Make sure it is
accurate. List all the material requirements for the design.
• Your material indices (don’t need to show derivation but you need to justify why you have
chosen it, you can say as we have learned in the lecture or I found it in literature/in
appendix). Make sure you are accurate and have chosen enough indices to represent the
overall selection problem. One index is never enough. You need to remember your
objective has to match your indices. If your objective is choosing the material that has the
lowest cost, then your index has to include “unit cost term”. If there is no correlation
between your objectives and the material indices, I will cut points (-5) since it is inaccurate
• Material selection charts you chose to apply your material indices. You need to show your
work on the charts clearly. You need to discuss how you made elimination between the
candidate materials and how you came up with certain candidate materials. Your charts
will lead you to more than one option. I need to know how you made elimination between
those options. You can limit your search or add more objective such as cost or more
constraints such as fracture toughness. You should clearly define it. Select and evaluate
candidate materials by ranking. Discuss how well they have met the requirements. I will
cut points (-5) if you cannot clearly explain your selection process since it clearly
demonstrates lectures were not studied. If you choose wrong material indices or missing
material indices, you will lose significant points. You should never end up with a single
material candidate for your design before being able to explain the selection procedure
clearly. If you look at the literature and choose your material before going through
material selection procedure learned in the class, you will lose significant points.
Literature search is only for support to what has been chosen not the aim of the project
• Supporting information from literature to support your material of choice (e.g. after my
material selection procedure I chose carbon-carbon composites to be the best option and
my literature review shows that this indeed is the commonly used material for this
application). I’ll ask you information to check if you did literature review and if you cannot
answer my question, you will lose points.
• Shape factor and embodied energy like discussed in the classroom. These should be
applied to your selection process after you have at least five remaining candidates for the
solution of your material selection problem. After selection of your candidate materials
using charts and application of the shape factor and embodied energy, you should finalize
your selection and end up with one final material solution. After you obtained your
solution, process selection can be used to choose the process.
• How you chose to process for your material of choice using process selection charts. You
need to use all charts in correct sequence like described in the lecture. If a chart is missing
or process selection is not performed accurately, you’ll lose points. For some materials
such as natural materials (i.e. wood), process selection charts might not apply and you
might have to find the process of manufacturing from literature. In any case, support your
findings with literature information.