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Engineering Materials and

Properties

Ferrous Metals
A FERROUS metal is one which contains
chiefly IRON (ferrite) with small
proportions of other metals.

Wrought Iron (almost pure iron)


Mild steel (0.1% to 0.3% carbon)
Medium carbon steel (0.3% to 0.7% carbon)
High carbon steel (0.7% to 1.5% carbon)
Cast Iron (more than 1.5% carbon)
Alloy steels

Ferrous Alloys
Properties of steel can be improved by
adding metals like; Nickel to increase
toughness, Tungsten to cut metals at higher
temperatures, Chromium to increase
hardness, Manganese to add strength etc
Stainless steel (10 to 30% chromium)
Chromium steel (5-10% chromium)
Manganese steel

Non Ferrous Metals and Alloys


These materials
contain NO Iron
Pure metals:

Aluminium
Copper
Lead
Tin
Zinc

Alloys
Brass (Copper and Zinc)
Bronze (Copper and Tin)
Duralumin (Aluminium,
copper, Manganese and
Magnesium)

Non Metallic Materials

Wood (decorative furnishings, dashboards)


Plastics (furniture, seals, containers etc)
Glass (windscreens and instrument dials)
Carbon Fibre (Aircraft parts and golf clubs)
Silicon crystals (semiconductors)
Granite (measurement table beds)
Rubber (engine mountings, seals, etc)
Diamond (industrial cutters)

Polymers
Thermoplastic
Soften every time they are heated (eg perspex,
PVC etc)

Thermosetting plastics
Cured during the moulding stage and cannot be
reheated and softened again (eg bakelite)

Polymerisation
The manufacture of plastics is a chemical
process known as Polymerisation.
Chains of hydrogen and Carbon molecules
combine to produce Polymers.

Polythene
Polypropylene
Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC)
Acrylics (perspex)

Ceramics
These are inorganic materials used mainly
as thermal or electrical insulators.
Refers to products like:

bricks/tiles
fireclay refractories
electrical porcelain
Metallic Oxides (alumina, beryllia, zirconia and
magnesia form the basis of high temperature
ceramics)

Ceramics

Alumina - spark plugs, cutting tools etc


Beryllia - crucibles for molten metal
Magnesia - furnace lining
Zirconia - liners for jet and rocket motor
tubes

Composites
Composites is the name given to materials
which uses a fibre or other substance to
strengthen another ie Reinforced plastics
Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP) (soda glass
or silica based glass)
Carbon fibre
Aramid fibre (Kevlar)
Tufnol Laminate

Carbon Fibre
This is a composite of Carbon filaments
(consisting of long chains of carbon atoms)
AND a cold-setting resin.
Components are manufactured by placing
the carbon filaments in a mould and then
pouring the resin in.
When the resin sets it produces a very lightweight material with high strength and
rigidity.

Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP)


This is a composite of strands of glass
woven into a cloth type material and coldsetting resin.
A mould is covered with layers of the
woven glass,they are built up using the
thermosetting resin to bind them together.
Once the mould is set the GRP component
can be removed, it will be light but with low
impact strength.

Aramid Fibres
This is made from Aromatic polyamide
(nylon) eg Kevlar as used to protect fuel
tanks on the Concorde.
It has the highest tensile strength of all
reinforced plastics
Stiffer than glass but less stiff than carbon
fibre
High impact strength
Lower compression strength than carbon
fibre

Laminates
These composites are produced by pressing
together sheets of linen or cotton which
have been soaked in a plastic resin.
High toughness
High electrical resistance (PCB products)
Good machining properties
Known as Tufnol or Micarta

Properties of Materials

Strength
The resistance it has to breaking either in
tension, compression or shear.
High strength materials:

All carbon steel


Alloy steels
Titanium
Carbon fibre (tension)
Cast iron (compression)

Toughness
The amount of energy it can absorb before
fracture, usually in conjunction with impact
forces.
High Toughness materials:

Low or Medium carbon steel


Hardened and toughened High carbon steel
Plastics including PVC and Acrylic
Bronze
Copper

Ductility
Its ability to be drawn into wire or to
deform plastically under an applied stress.
Ductile materials:

Copper
Low Carbon Steel
Aluminium
Brass
Bronze
PVC

Malleability
The ability to be permanently deformed in
all directions without fracture eg rolling,
hammering, pressing etc.
Malleable materials:

Low carbon steel rivets


Copper plate
Lead weather proofing components
Brass rivets
Aluminium sheet

Hardness
A measure of its ability to resist scratching,
cutting or wearing.
Hard materials:

Steel
Titanium
Cast Iron
Molybdenum Steel
Glass
Diamond

Brittleness
This is the opposite of toughness, these
materials can break with little or no
distortion.
Brittle materials: Cast iron
Glass Reinforced Plastic
Bakelite
Hardened steel

Thermal Conductivity
The ability to conduct heat.
Good conductors
Copper
Brass
Silver

Poor conductors - INSULATORS


Ceramics
Plastics including GRP

Creep
Its ability to withstand long term loadings
without stretching.
High creep resistant materials:

Low carbon steel


Steel alloys
Cast iron
Bakelite
Titanium

Electrical Conductivity
A conductor is the opposite of a resistor.
Electricity travels easily and efficiently
through a conductor, with almost no other
energy released as it passes.
Good conductors
Copper
Aluminium
Brass

Poor conductors - INSULATORS


PVC, bakelite
Ceramics

Machinability
The ability to machine easily and produce a
good surface finish.
Machinable materials

Low Carbon Steel


Brass
Aluminum
Cast Iron
Bronze

Fatigue
Its resistance to cyclic loading eg vibrations
Fatigue resistant materials:

Low, medium and high carbon steel


Steel alloys
Rubber
Plastic

Corrosion Resistance
Its ability to resist the effects of the weather
or moisture.
Corrosion resistant materials;

All Plastics
Pure metals eg copper, lead, tin, zinc, silver, gold
Ceramics
Steel alloys including chromium and stainless
steel
Glass Reinforced Plastic
Aluminium

Elasticity
Its ability to deform elastically under a given
force or stress and return to its original shape
when the force is removed.
Materials with good Elasticity:

Plastics including PVC, Acrylics


Low carbon steel
Hardened and tempered Medium or High carbon steel
Rubber
Copper
Aluminium

Relative Material Costs (/Kg)


Carbon Steels
Lead
Low Alloy Steel
PVC/Polythene
Rubber
Zinc
Bakelite
Aluminium
Brass/Copper
Stainless steel

1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5

Cast Iron

GRP

Ceramic

Nylon

10

Chromium

13

Titanium
Bronze
Tin

20
8
16

Tungsten

28