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Materials Selection for Aerospace Systems

Steven M. Arnold
Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

David Cebon and Mike Ashby

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

An errata was added to this document, October 2012

January 2012
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Materials Selection for Aerospace Systems

Steven M. Arnold
Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio

David Cebon and Mike Ashby

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

An errata was added to this document, October 2012

National Aeronautics and

Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Cleveland, Ohio 44135

January 2012
Trade names and trademarks are used in this report for identification
only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement,
either expressed or implied, by the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration.

Level of Review: This material has been technically reviewed by technical management.

Available from
NASA Center for Aerospace Information National Technical Information Service
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Hanover, MD 21076–1320 Alexandria, VA 22312

Available electronically at

Issued 2FWRber 2012 for

Materials Selection for Aerospace Systems
Steven M. Arnold, David Cebon, and Mike Ashby

January 2012

Figure 13(a) and (b): Figure and caption has been changed to read as follows:

NASA/TM—2012-217411 iii
Figure 13.—Illustration of th
he interaction between
b three material indicees for a blade ssubjected to
tension, be
ending and vibration. (a) Indeependent; and ((b) Interacting constraints.

11 iv
Figure 13.—Conclude

11 v
Section 3..3.6, text has been changed
d to read as fo

Example: Aluminum Metal Matriix Compositee (MMC) Fo ams and Latttices

The sttarting point is
i aluminum 20% 2 SiC(p),4 a mix that iss the basis of oone of the Cyymat range off
metal foam ms. The properties of two hybrids are compared a “F Foam” and ann “Octet latticce”, that generrates
o new records. They appeaar on the Mod
two sets of dulus-Densityy chart of Figuure 33 as linees of white annd
gray circles, respectiveely. The starting material, AlA 20% SiC(pp), is identifieed at the uppeer right. The
modeled foams,
f plotted
d white, are laabeled with their
t relative ddensities in pparentheses. M
Measured dataa for
real alumiinum-SiC(p) foams (shown n as black ellipse in Fig. 3 3) are also labbeled, underlined, with rellative
i parentheses, allowing a comparison. Note that thee lattices, plottted in gray, liie at higher vaalues
densities in
of modulu us for the samme density. Att a relative density of 3.5% % (0.035) the llattice is preddicted to be teen
times stifffer than foam
m of that density.

Figure 33, figure and

a caption haas been chang
ged to read as follows:

Figurre 33.—The inp put window of the

t synthesizerr, set for Cellula
ar structures – Octet lattice. T
The chart showws
somme of the outpu ut. The starting
g material, Al 20
0% SiC(p) apppears at the uppper right. The line of white
ellipses show the modulus and density of foam ms made from A Al-SiC(p). Theyy should be compared with th he
meeasured values s for real alumin
num SiC(p) foa ams, shown in bblack with undeerlined labels. The relative
den nsities are liste
ed in brackets. The modulus and a density of llattices made oof the same ma aterial are
shoown in gray forr comparison. Chart
C generated by the CES H Hybrid Synthessizer, (Ashby e et al., 2010).

11 vi
gure 34.—The moduli of Al-SiC lattices compared to those of the other m materials of eng
gineering. The
lattices lie outside the currenttly populated arreas of the cha
art. Numbers in
n brackets are rrelative
d Charrt generated byy the CES Hybrrid Synthesizerr, (Ashby et al.,, 2010).

11 vii
Summary........................................................................................................................................................................ 1 
1.0  Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................... 1 
2.0  A Systematic Approach to Materials Selection .................................................................................................... 4 
2.1  Methodology ................................................................................................................................................ 4 
2.1.1  Step 1: Translation .......................................................................................................................... 4 
2.1.2  Step 2: Screening/Rejection ............................................................................................................ 7 
2.1.3  Step 3: Ranking ............................................................................................................................... 7 
2.1.4  Step 4: Research .............................................................................................................................. 7 
2.1.5  Step 5: Specific Cultural Constraints .............................................................................................. 8 
2.2  Material Performance Indices ...................................................................................................................... 8 
2.2.6  Case Study 1a: Blades ................................................................................................................... 10 
2.2.7  Case Study 2a: Pressure Vessels ................................................................................................... 14 
2.3  Material Property Charts............................................................................................................................ 16 
2.4  Material Choices for Case Studies ............................................................................................................. 18 
2.4.8  Case Study 1b: Blades ................................................................................................................... 18 
2.4.9  Case Study 2b: Pressure Vessels ................................................................................................... 22 
3.0  Advanced Selection ............................................................................................................................................ 24 
3.1  Materials for High Temperature Applications ........................................................................................... 24 
3.1.1  Maximum and Minimum Service Temperature ............................................................................ 28 
3.2  Design for Creep ........................................................................................................................................ 30 
3.2.1  Constitutive Equation for Creep Deflection .................................................................................. 31 
3.2.2  Constitutive Equation for Creep Fracture......................................................................................32 
3.2.3  Constitutive Equation for Relaxation ............................................................................................ 32 
3.2.4  Material Selection in the Creep Regime ........................................................................................ 33 
3.2.5  The Selection Procedure................................................................................................................ 37 
3.2.6  Case Study..................................................................................................................................... 37 
3.3  Engineered Materials ................................................................................................................................. 40 
3.3.1  Holes in Material-Property Space ................................................................................................. 41 
3.3.2  Synthesizing the Properties of Cellular Structures: Foams and Lattices ....................................... 42 
3.3.3  Mechanical Properties ................................................................................................................... 44 
3.3.4  Thermal Properties ........................................................................................................................ 47 
3.3.5  Electrical Properties ...................................................................................................................... 47 
3.3.6  Example: Aluminum Metal Matrix Composite (MMC) Foams and Lattices ................................ 48 
3.3.7  The CES Hybrid Synthesizer ........................................................................................................ 49 
4.0  Data Issues .......................................................................................................................................................... 49 
5.0  Conclusions ........................................................................................................................................................ 51 
Appendix A .—Table of Material Indices ................................................................................................................... 53 
B.1  Creep Fracture ........................................................................................................................................... 54 
B.2  Creep Deflection ........................................................................................................................................ 55 
B.3  Creep Relaxation ....................................................................................................................................... 56 
Appendix B .—Design Strength and Indices For Creep Deflection ............................................................................ 57 
B.1  Simple Tension or Compression: Minimum Weight Design ..................................................................... 57 
B.2  Bending of Beams, Minimum Weight Design ........................................................................................... 58 
B.2.1  Torsion of Shafts, Minimum Weight Design ................................................................................ 60 
References ................................................................................................................................................................... 63 

NASA/TM—2012-217411 ix
Materials Selection for Aerospace Systems
Steven M. Arnold
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Glenn Research Center
Cleveland, Ohio 44135

David Cebon and Mike Ashby

University of Cambridge
Cambridge CB2 1PZ United Kingdom

A systematic design-oriented, five-step approach to material selection is described: 1) establishing
design requirements, 2) material screening, 3) ranking, 4) researching specific candidates and 5) applying
specific cultural constraints to the selection process. At the core of this approach is the definition
performance indices (i.e., particular combinations of material properties that embody the performance of a
given component) in conjunction with material property charts. These material selection charts, which
plot one property against another, are introduced and shown to provide a powerful graphical environment
wherein one can apply and analyze quantitative selection criteria, such as those captured in performance
indices, and make trade-offs between conflicting objectives. Finding a material with a high value of these
indices maximizes the performance of the component. Two specific examples pertaining to aerospace
(engine blades and pressure vessels) are examined, both at room temperature and elevated temperature
(where time-dependent effects are important) to demonstrate the methodology. The discussion then turns
to engineered/hybrid materials and how these can be effectively tailored to fill in holes in the material
property space, so as to enable innovation and increases in performance as compared to monolithic
materials. Finally, a brief discussion is presented on managing the data needed for materials selection,
including collection, analysis, deployment, and maintenance issues.

1.0 Introduction
The importance of weight reduction in aerospace systems has been a major factor from the very
beginning. Consequently, the use of new materials (e.g., dual alloy turbine disks and composite materials
(ceramic, metallic and polymer based)) and new types of structural concepts, particularly the thin-walled
type (sized primarily based on buckling) have dominated. Clearly, from a designer’s perspective the
primary function of a structure is to transmit forces through space with the minimum possible weight and
cost to the customer. Typically the job of a designer is to balance a variety of functional requirements
(i.e., types of loading conditions (tension, compression, bending, vibration, cyclic, etc.) with constraints
(manufacturability, geometric limits, environmental aspects, maintainability, to name a few) so as to
arrive at the “optimum” choice of structural concept and material selection for a given weight and/or cost
(Figure 1).
This task can often be a daunting one for both the inexperienced as well as experience practitioner
due to the wide range of choices available. Further, depending upon the engineer's background, for
example a materials versus mechanics oriented professional, their answer to the question of designing for
suitable deflection, for example, maybe quite different. The materials oriented person would typically
think they need a material with high stiffness (i.e., Young’s modulus (E)), whereas the structures oriented
person would naturally think of high rigidity (e.g., EI, the product of Young’s modulus and the moment
of inertia (I) given a beam in bending); the first being material property oriented and the other
performance oriented. This diversity in perspective is precisely why a robust and systematic methodology
for connecting material and application is required as will be presented and illustrated in this chapter.

NASA/TM—2012-217411 1
Figure 1.—
—Schematic indicating the inte ersection of maaterial,
manufactturability and structural conceept which deterrmines
the engin
neering utility (s
sweet spot) of a given “system

Figure 2.—Life
2 cycle cost
c (Larson an
nd Pranke, 199

Furtheer, design is no
ot a linear pro
ocess as it invo olves multiple iterations, sinnce the conseqquences of chooices
(both strucctural and matterial) made att the preliminaary concept orr embodiment stages may noot become appparent
until much h later downsttream when th he details are examined
e moree fully. Conseequently, iterattion (looping bback
to explore alternatives) isi an essentiall part of the deesign process aas is material sselection whicch enters eachh stage
of the desiign process. The
T importancee of incorporaating as much pphysics and un understanding of the problem m as
early in th
he design proceess is dramaticcally illustrateed in Figure 2,, wherein it haas been propossed that over
50 percentt of the life cy
ycle cost of a given
g system iss locked in byy the end of thee preliminary design phase,, with
85 percentt by the end off the embodim ment phase, an nd almost 100 percent by thee time one goees to productioon,
yet only 10 percent of th he life cycle co
ost has been expended.
e Thiss figure stronggly suggests, oonce again, thee need
for a robusst and systemaatic methodolo ogy for connecting materiall selection andd application rrequirements aas
early in th
he process as possible
p to reduuce the overalll life cycle coost.
Clearlly, material innformation is central to alll aspects of enngineering prooducts. Howeever, the natuure of
the data needed
n in the early
e stages differs
d greatlyy in its level oof precision annd breadth froom that needeed
later on. At
A the concept-stage, the deesigner requirres approxim mate property-vvalues, but foor the widest
possible range
r of materrials. All optiions are open: a polymer m may be the besst choice for oone concept, a
metal for another, even n though the function
f is thee same. The pproblem, at thhis stage, is noot precision aand

11 2
detail; it is breadth and d speed of acccess: how can the vast rangge of data be ppresented to ggive the desiggner
the greateest freedom in n considering alternatives?
At thee embodimen nt stage the lanndscape has narrowed.
n Herre we need daata for a subset of materialls, but
at a higheer level of precision and deetail. These arre found in thee more speciaalized handboooks and softw ware
that deal with
w a single class or sub-cclass of materrials—metals,, or just alum minum alloys, for instance. The
risk now is i that of losinng sight of the bigger spreaad of materiaals to which w we must returnn if the detailss do
not work out; it is easy y to get trappeed into a singlle line of thinnking (or set oof “connectionns”) when othher
combinatiions of conneections offer a better solutio on to the desiign problem.
The final
fi stage of detailed
d desig s higher levvel of precisiion and detail, but for onlyy one
gn requires a still
or a very few materialss. Such inform mation is bestt found in the data-sheets isssued by the m material prodducers
themselvees, and in detaailed databasees for restricteed material cllasses. A giveen material (ppolyethylene, for
instance) has a range of o properties th hat derive fro
om differencees manufacturring by differeent producerss
make it. AtA the detailed d design stagee, a supplier must
m be identiified, and the properties off his product m must
be used in n the design calculations, given
g the slighht properly diifferences obsserved in a mmaterial for
different material
m producers. And so ometimes eveen this is not ggood enough.. If the compoonent is a critiical
one (mean ning that its failure
fa could, in some sensee or another, bbe disastrous) then it may be prudent too
conduct in n-house tests to measure th he critical pro
operties, usingg a sample off the material that will be uused
to make th he product itsself.
At thee core of the material
m selecction process is the inherennt interaction between funcction, materiaal,
shape and d process (see Figure 3). Fu unction dictattes the choicee of both mateerial and shappe; and yet thee
selection ofo a material and process cannot
c be separated from th the choice of shape.1 Sincee in order to
manufactu ure a shape, thhe material iss subjected to processes annd these proccesses are inflluenced by thee
material’ss formability, machinability y, heat-treatabbility, and so on. Also, proocess obviously
y, weldability
interacts with
w shape—tthe process deetermines thee shape, the siize, the precission and, of coourse, the cosst.
And, of co ourse, the proocessing routee can dramaticcally change the propertiess of the materrial. These
interaction ns are two-waay: specification of shape restricts
r the cchoice of mateerial and proccess; but equaally
the speciffication of pro ocess limits th he materials you
y can use annd the shapess they can takee. The more
sophisticaated the design the greater the interactio ons and conse quently, the ttighter the speecifications.

Figure 3.—Att the core of ma

aterial selection
n in mechanicaal design is
the interaction between fu
unction, materiaal, shape and p

The word “shape”
“ is used here
h to include th he external, maccro-shape, and— — when necessaryy—the internal, or micro-shape, as in a
honeycomb or cellular struccture.
moval processes (machining, drillling),
Here proceesses include: priimary forming processes (like caasting and forginng), material rem
finishing proocesses (such ass polishing) and joining
j processees (e.g., welding)).

11 3
2.0 A Systematic Approach to Materials Selection
To ‘select’ means ‘to choose’. But from what? Behind the concept of selection lies that of the
permissible set of entities from which the choice is to be made. Within an engineering enterprise, the
permissible set of materials will probably be the ‘preferred’ list, specified by the “Materials Authority”.
However, for truly ‘optimal’ materials selection, the permissible set of entities must include all materials:
all metals, all polymers, all ceramics and glasses, all composites. We refer to this as the ‘Universe’ of
materials. If some of these materials are left out, the selection is no longer optimal over all materials but is
only optimal over some subset of them. If, for example, the choice is limited to metals from the start, then
the selection can only be optimal over the single family of materials, that of metals.
There is a second implication to the concept of selection. It is that all members of the permissible set
must be regarded as candidates—they are, after all, viable choices—until, by a series of selection stages,
they are shown to be otherwise. From this arise several key requirements of a data structure for the
Selection database. The selection table must be comprehensive (includes all members of the permissible
set). It should be structured—that is it must contain attributes that are universal (apply to all members of
the permissible set of entities) and the attributes should be discriminating (have recognizably different
values for different members of the permissible set). Similar considerations apply to any selection
exercise (Cebon and Ashby 2000).
In the universe of materials, many attributes are universal and discriminating: density, bulk modulus and
thermal conductivity are examples. Universal attributes can be used for screening and ranking, the initial
stage of any selection exercise. But if the values of one or more screening attributes are grossly inaccurate or
missing, that material will be eliminated by default. It is important, therefore, that the database be complete
having no holes or gaps in the records which would make a material fail a selection by default due to
absence of data and be of high quality, meaning that the data in it can be trusted. This creates the need for
data checking and estimation, which are tackled by methods described in Ashby (1998).
There are four main steps, which we here call translation, screening/rejection, ranking, and supporting
information (research and organizational cultural constraints) see Figure 4. The steps can be likened to those
in selecting a candidate for a job. The job is first analyzed (i.e., essential skills and required experience of
the candidate identified; “translation”) and advertised. Some of these are simple go/no go criteria like the
requirement that the applicant “must have a valid driving license”, or “a degree in materials science”,
eliminating anyone who does not (“screening”). Others imply a criterion of excellence, such as “typing
speed and accuracy are priorities”, or “preference will be given to candidates with a substantial publication
list”, implying that applicants will be ranked by these criteria (“ranking”). Finally references and interviews
are sought for the top ranked candidates, building a file of supporting information (research and local
cultural constraints)—an opportunity to probe deeply into character and potential.

2.1 Methodology
2.1.1 Step 1: Translation
How are the design requirements for a component (defining what it must do) translated into a
prescription for a material? Any engineering component has one or more functions: to support a load, to
contain a pressure, to transmit heat, and so forth. This must be achieved subject to constraints: that certain
dimensions are fixed; that the component must carry the design loads or pressures without failure; that it
insulates or conducts; that it can function in a certain range of temperature and in a given environment;
and many more. In designing the component, the designer has an objective: to make it as cheap as
possible, perhaps, or as light, or as safe, or perhaps some combination of these. Certain parameters can be
adjusted to optimize the objective giving the designer the freedom to vary dimensions that have not been

NASA/TM—2012-217411 4
gure 4.—Schem matic illustratin
ng a material seelection strateg
gy with the five
s steps being:
b Design requirements,
r m
material screen ning/rejection,
ranking, researrch and organiz zational cultura
al constraints a
are shown.

constraineed by design requirements

r and, most immportantly, freee to choose tthe material fo
for the component.
We refer tot these as freee variables. Function
F and constraints, oobjective andd free variablees (see Table 1)
define thee boundary co onditions for selecting
s a maaterial and—iin the case off load-bearingg componentss—a
shape for its cross sectiion. The firstt step in relatting design rrequirementss to material properties iss a
clear stattement of fun nction, constrraints, objecttive, and freee variables.

Function What
W does compo onent do?
Constraints* What
W non-negotiaable conditions m
must be met?
W negotiable but
b desirable connditions?
Objective What
W is to be max
ximized or minimmized?
Free variables What
W parameters of the problem iis the designer frree to change?
*It is sometim
mes useful to distin
nguish between “h hard” and “soft” coonstraints. Stiffnesss and strength might be
absolute requuirements (hard coonstraints); cost miight be negotiable (a soft constraint). Function
Structtural elementss are compon nents that perfform a physiccal function (ii.e., they carryy loads, transm
heat, storee energy, and so on) in sho ort, they satisffy functional requirementss. The functioonal requiremeents
are speciffied by the dessign; for exam mple a tie rodd must carry a specified tennsile load; a spring must
provide a given restorin ng force or sttore a given energy; a heat exchanger m must transmit hheat at a giveen
heat flux. Furthermore the loading on o a given com mponent/stru cture can gennerally be deccomposed intoo
some com mbination of axial
a tension or
o compressio on, bending annd torsion; wwherein almostt always, onee
mode dom minates. So co ommon is thiss that the funcctional name given to a component ofteen describes thhe
way it is loaded:
l ties caarry tensile lo
oads; beams carry
c bending moments; shhafts carry torrques; and collumns
carry commpressive axiaal loads. The words
w “tie”, “beam”,
“ “shafft”, and “coluumn” each immply a functionn;
such that many simple engineering functions
f can
n be describedd by single woords or short pphrases, savinng
the need to
t explain the function in detail.
d Table 2 itemizes som me aerospace components and their
associatedd simple ideallization that can
c be extrem mely useful forr material seleection purposses.

11 5
Application Idealization Loading Constraints
Truss framework Tie Tension Strength
Compression Buckling
Fuselages Cylinder Tension Strength
Bending Deflection
Torque Bending
Shafts Thin walled tube/Beam Rotation Shear
Bending Vibration
Thin walled Cylinder, Pressure Thermal
Combustion Chambers
Internal pressure Noise Oxidation
Blades Tension
Tie Deflection, Strength, Vibration,
(Fan, Compressor, Fatigue
Beam Erosion, Temperature
Turbine) Thermal
Disks Rotation, Thermomechanical Strength, Ductility, Toughness,
(Compressor, Turbine) Fatigue Oxidation
Space Truss
Tie rod Axial Loading Strength, Buckling
Nozzles Thin walled Cylinder Noise Strength, Vibration
Tension Buckling,
Wing Plate Twist Vibration, Strength
Vibration Deflection
Strength, low temperature
Internal Pressure
Cryogenic Tanks Spherical Shell Yield before break
Leak before break Constraints
Constraints are design requirements that must be satisfied: for example, the minimum working
temperature of a material must be ≤ –20 °C; the strength must be ≥ 400 MPa; the fracture toughness must
be ≥ 15 MPam, and so on. Constraints screen out unsuitable choices or enable rejection of specific
materials for cause. Objectives
Objectives are design criteria that must be maximized or minimized to optimize the performance of a
component. Their function is to rank the materials and facilitate selection of the best candidates. For
materials selection, the objectives can be used to generate ‘material performance indices,’ which are
combinations of material properties that characterize performance in a given application (see Sec. 2.2).
Typical examples are the specific stiffness of a material E/, and the specific strength f / (E is the
Young’s modulus, f is the failure strength and  is the density). These particular indices can be used to
select the optimum material for a light, stiff tie rod, or a light, strong tie rod, respectively. Many material
performance indices have been derived and tabulated for standard design cases in mechanical, structural,
thermo-mechanical, and electro-mechanical engineering (Ashby 2005). Free Variables

Free variables are any parameters that are left open to the designer’s free choice. Examples are: cross-
sectional area, length, thickness, material type, color, etc.

NASA/TM—2012-217411 6
2.1.2 Step 2: Screening/Rejection
Unbiased selection requires that all permissible materials are considered to be candidates until shown
to be otherwise. Rejection eliminates candidates that cannot do the job at all because one or more of their
attributes lies outside the limits set by the constraints. As examples, the requirement that “the component
must function in boiling water,” or that “the component must be transparent” imposes obvious limits on
the attributes of maximum service temperature and optical transparency that successful candidates must
meet. We refer to these as attribute limits. One should not be too hasty in applying attribute limits
however, as it may be possible to engineer around them; for example, a component that gets too hot
maybe cooled (or the geometry modified to enable use of the same material at lower stress, EI versus E),
or one that corrodes may be coated with a protective film. An aerospace specific case in point is the desire
by many an engineer to impose a minimum limit on fracture toughness and strain to failure (e.g., KIC >
15 MPa/m2 and ef >2 percent) in order to ensure adequate tolerance to stress concentrations. This is most
likely to be a rash step this early in the design process, as it would eliminate all polymers, ceramics and
many composite materials from consideration. Since a more innovative designer may be able to put these
materials to good use. Consequently, at this stage in the process the engineer needs to try to keep as many
options open as possible.

2.1.3 Step 3: Ranking

Attribute limits do not, however, help with ordering the candidates that remain after the screening
constraints have been applied. To do this we need optimization criteria. They are found in the material
indices, a subset of the performance indices3 described in Section 2.2, which measure how well a
candidate can do the job. Performance is sometimes limited by a single property, sometimes by a
combination of them. For example, the best materials for buoyancy are those with the lowest density, ;
those best for thermal insulation the ones with the smallest values of the thermal conductivity. Here
maximizing or minimizing a single property maximizes performance. But as we shall see—the best
materials for a light stiff tie-rod are those with the greatest value of the specific stiffness, E/, where E is
Young’s modulus. The best materials for a spring are those with the greatest value of 2f / E where f is
the failure stress. The property or property-group that maximizes performance for a given design is called
its material index. There are many such indices, each associated with maximizing some aspect of
performance. These indices provide significant insight into the types of optimization strategies needed as
well as selection guidelines for the given problem at hand.
To summarize: material rejection (or screening) isolates candidates that are capable of doing the job;
ranking identifies those among them that can do the job best.

2.1.4 Step 4: Research

The outcome of Steps 1 through 3 produces a ranked short-list of candidates that meet the constraints
and that maximizes or minimizes the criterion of excellence; whichever is required (this is why in Figure
4 we have used a funnel.
You could just choose the top-ranked candidate, but what bad secrets might it hide? What are its
strengths and weaknesses? Does it have a good reputation? What, in a word, is its pedigree? To proceed
further we seek a detailed profile of each candidate: it’s supporting information (see Step 4 in Figure 4).
Supporting information differs greatly from the structured property data used for screening. Typically, it
is descriptive, graphical or pictorial: case studies or experience of previous uses of the material, details of
its corrosion behavior in particular environments, information of availability and pricing, experience of its
environmental impact. Such information is found in corporate documentation, handbooks, suppliers’ data
sheets, CD-based data sources and the world-wide web. Supporting information helps narrow the short-
list to a few final choices, allowing a definitive match to be made between design requirements and

They provide criteria of excellence that allow ranking of materials by their ability to perform well in the given application.

NASA/TM—2012-217411 7
material attributes. Why are all these steps necessary? Without screening and ranking (material rejection),
the candidate-pool can be enormous and the volume of supporting information overwhelming. Dipping
into it, hoping to stumble on a good material, gets you nowhere. But once a small number of potential
candidates has been identified by the screening-ranking steps, detailed supporting information can be
sought for these few candidates, and the task becomes tractable.

2.1.5 Step 5: Specific Cultural Constraints

The final choice between competing candidates will, often, depend on local conditions: on in-house
expertise or equipment, on the availability of local suppliers, and so forth. A systematic procedure cannot
help here—the decision must instead be based on local/institutional knowledge. This does not mean that
the result of the systematic procedure (describe above) is irrelevant. It is always important to know which
material is best, even if, for local reasons (e.g., specific processing method for a possible material is to
expensive), you decide not to use it.

2.2 Material Performance Indices

The screening and ranking process can be made quantitative by linking the technical (e.g., functional,
geometric, material) and economic requirements of the design to the attribute profiles stored in a given
database. The foundations of a robust and systematic ranking procedure are particular combinations of
material properties that embody the performance of the component. These property combinations are
called performance indices, as put forth by Ashby (2005). The performance, P, of a structural element is
determined by three, typically independent, aspects: the functional requirements, F, the geometry, G, and
the properties of the material, M, of which it is made. The performance P of the element can often be
described by an equation of the form

P = f (F, G, M) (1)

where P, the performance metric, describes some aspect of the performance of the component; (for
example its mass, volume, cost, or life) and “f ( )” means “a function of”. Optimum design is the selection
of the material and geometry that maximize or minimize P, according to its functional requirements.
When this group of parameters can be assumed to be separable (that is, M, F and G are independent
of each other), then the performance index is merely a product of three functions, f1, f2, and f3;

P = f1 (F)  f2 (G)  f3 (M) (2)

where the product f1(F)  f2(G) has been defined as the structural efficiency coefficient (and incorporates
both functional requirements and geometry), and f3(M) is defined as the material efficiency coefficient.
With this significant simplification, the overall performance index can be maximized or minimized by
selecting a material to minimize f3(M), independent of the details of the design. This enables the optimal
subset of materials to be identified without solving the complete design problem. While this is clearly a
simplification of the full coupled design problem, it can provide a great deal of insight in the preliminary
design stage of a project. This powerful and general method is simple, provided one is able to clearly
identify, from the outset, the objective(s) (what you are trying to maximize or minimize), the constraints,
and which parameters are specified and which are free.
When any component function is combined with specific constraints and objectives, a specific
material index (Mp = f3(M)) is produced as illustrated in Figure 5. Therefore, it is possible to develop
numerous material and structural indices that enable one to efficiently and accurately perform material
selection for a variety of design functions (e.g., stiffness, strength, and vibration-limited designs, as well
as damage-tolerant, electro-mechanical, thermal, and thermal-mechanical designs) on a number of
fundamental structural components described in Table 2 (i.e., tie, beam, shaft, column, panel,
cylinder/shell with internal pressure and rotating disks), see Appendix A and Ashby (2005) for additional

NASA/TM—2012-217411 8
details. Th
he power of th his approach is clearly illu
ustrated by exxamining the ddifferences inn the resultingg
material in
ndex for a tiee, beam and pllate (see Figuure 6) with a sspecified stifffness; that is E ; E1 2 ; E1 3 ,
respectiveely. Clearly, the only differrence in the in
ndex is the exxponent on Y Young’s moduulus where forr a tie
its one, a beam
b its ½ an
nd a plate is 1/3.
1 Consequeently, the bestt materials forr a light, stifff tie rod, beam m or
  
plate are those
t with thee smallest values of E ; E1 2 ; E1 3 , respecttively. The significance off this differencce in
exponentss on the choicce is best seen
n by creating a plot of Youung’s moduluss versus density (i.e., a maaterial
property chart)
c as will be described d in Section 2..3.

Figure 5.—The specification off function, obje

ective, and consstraint leads to
o a material index (Ashby

Figure 6.—(a)) A tie with crosss-section areaa A, loaded in ttension. Its stifffness is S = F/ where F is
the load and d  is the exten nel loaded in b ending. Its stifffness is S = F/, where F is
nsion. (b) A pan
ad and  is the bending deflec
the total loa ction. (c) A bea m of square se ection, loaded iin bending.
Its stiffness is S = F/, whe ad and  is the bending deflecction.
ere F is the loa

11 9
Figure 7.—Defines the influe ence of
the end cons straint the elasstic
flexural stiffn
ness for beamss and
plates, see Table
T 3.

Beam Plate
Function Tie
(A = b · bb) (A = h · W)
Tie must
m support axiial Beam m must support a bending load
PPanel must suppport a bending looad F
tensiile load F withou
ut F witthout deflecting ttoo much,
Functional wwithout deflectinng too much, i.e., S is
defleecting too much;; mean ning that the bendding stiffness
sspecified (S ≥ C1·E·I/L3)
(S = F/ ≥ A·E/Lo) pecified (S ≥ C1 ·E·I/L3)
S is sp
Geometric Lenggth Lo is specifieed Lengtth L is specifiedd L
Length L and wiidth W are speciffied
Objective Miniimize mass (m = A·L·) Minim mize mass (m = A·L·) M
Minimize mass ((m = W·h·L·)
Crosss section area, A Crosss section area, A P
Panel thickness, h
Free Variab
Choiice of material Choicce of material C
Choice of material
equation m ≥ (S) (L2) 

m≥  
12 S 1 2
C1 L
C1 L
(L3 )  

E1 2
m≥  
12 S 1 3
C1 L
12 S
C 1W
(WL2)  

E1 3

Beforre continuing we want to in ntroduced twoo types of appplications thatt will be utilizzed throughouut
this chaptter to demonsttrate the vario ous concepts discussed herrein; these aree those of blaades be they iin the
fan (low temperature),
t compressor (mid
( temperatture) or turbinne (high tempperature) secttions of a jet
a that of an internal preessure vessel (e.g., cryogennic tank, fuel lines or
engine (seee Figure 8) and
combustio on chambers within
w a jet en
ngine, see Fig
gure 10). Herre we will estaablish the inddices that will be
useful forr material seleection.

2.2.1 Case
C Study 1a
a: Blades
An im
mportant aeron nautic applicaation that onee can utilize too illustrate thee material sellection processs is
that of fan
n blades, com
mpressor bladees or turbine blades
b in a gaas turbine enggine, as shownn in Figure 8. The
main funcctional distincction in the bllades used in the
t different llocation is sizze, shape andd temperature
capacity. Figure 8(c) illlustrates how
w a typical blaade can be ideealized as a caantilever beam m subjected too a
combinatiion of axial teension (due too centrifugal loads),
l bendinng (due to preessure variatioons across thee
blade) andd vibration loadings (due to the motion of the rotor aand rapidly chhanging air floow field in thhe

11 10
Figure 8.—Schema atics of turbine jet engines (a)) with and (b) w
without high by
pass ratios, along
g with a typical blade responsse (c) due to en ngine

The leength L and force

f F are speecified and arre therefore fi
fixed; the crosss-section A, iis free. We caan
reduce thee mass by redducing the crooss-section, bu ut there is a constraint: thee section-area A must be
sufficient to carry the tensile
t load F,
F given a failuure strength f; thus requirring that

A (3)

Consequeently, combiniing this consttraint with thee objective fuunction we arrrive at:

  
m  F L   (4)
f 
 
Note the form
f ntains the speccified load F.. The second bracket contaains
of this reesult. The firsst bracket con
the speciffied geometry y (the length L of the tie/beam) which toogether makeuup the structuural index
previously y discussed. The
T last brack ket contains a specific relattionship of m
material properrties which wwere
previously y defined as the
t material in ndex. The lighhtest beam thhat will carry F safely thenn is that one m
of the matterial with thee smallest vallue of /f. We
W could definne this as the m material index of the probllem,
seeking a minimum, bu ut it is more usual,
u when dealing with sppecific properties, to expreess them in a form
h a maximum is sought. Wee therefore invert the mateerial propertiees in Eq. (4) aand define thee
for which
material inndex M1, as

f 
M 1    (5)
  

11 11
Therefore, the lightest beam or tie-rod that will safely carry the load F without failing is that with the
largest value of this index, the “specific strength”. A similar calculation for a light stiff tie (one for which
the stiffness S rather than the strength f is specified) leads to the previous index, given in Table 3. Performance Index for Bending at Room Temperature

Consider the case of a beam of section-area, A, length, L, subjected to bending, it must support a
specified load F without failing and be as light as possible, see Figure 6. From strength of materials
theory, the stress due to bending is

My M
 max   (6)

where I is the moment of inertia, y the distance from the neutral axis to outer edge of the beam, and Z is
the section modulus. Failure occurs than if the load exceeds the moment, i.e.,

M  Zmax  Z f (7)

where again f is the stress at which failure of the material will occur. To enable the section shape to
change for the same area of material, the section modulus Z is replaced by BZo where Zo is the section
modulus for a square beam, i.e., Zo = A3/2/6, and B is the shape efficiency factor. The maximum shape
factor can be considered to be a material property and used profitably in the selection of materials. Note,
solid equiaxed sections (circles, squares, hexagons, etc.) all have efficiency factors close to 1; whereas
efficient shapes like thin-walled tubes or I-sections can have shape factors of 50 or more. The physical
limit to B is usually set by local buckling of the component.
As before in the case of the tie rod, the mass can be decreased by reducing the cross-section, but there is
a constraint: the section-area A must be sufficient to carry the bending stress, given a failure strength f; thus
requiring that
 M 
A  6  (8)
 o B  f 
 

Finally, combining this constraint with the objective of minimum weight, m = LA, one obtains the
following expression:
 3 2 
m  6 M  23
L  (9)
 o B  f 
 

Consequently, the best material and shape combination is that with the greatest value of the material

M2 
o B  f 2 3 (10) Performance Index for Vibration at Room Temperature

There are two ways to mitigate vibration of a mechanical system: by ensuring that the input does not
excite a natural frequency, or, if this is not possible, by ensuring that the system is sufficiently well damped to
avoid excessive motion at resonance. Here we consider the first of these. In many cases, the need is to avoid

NASA/TM—2012-217411 12
he lowest naturral frequency of the system, and this can be achieved bby ensuring thaat it occurs at high
exciting th
frequency, relative to th
he input.
Any undamped
u g at one of itss natural frequuencies can bbe reduced to the simple
sysstem vibrating
problem ofo a mass m atttached to a spring of stiffn ness k—the reestoring forcee per unit dispplacement. Thhe
natural freequency of suuch a system is

1 k
f  (11)
2 m

Different geometries reequire approp priate estimatees of the effecctive stiffnesss, k, and masss, m—often thhese
can be esttimated with sufficient
s acccuracy by approximate moddeling. Depennding on the ggeometry of tthe
beam and d the end consstraints, the hiigher natural frequencies
f oof rods and beeams can be ssimple multiples of
the lowestt. Figure 9 sh
hows the loweest natural freq quencies of thhe flexural m modes of unifoorm beams or
plates of length
l L with various end constraints.
c The
T spring stifffness k is equuivalent to thee stiffness S iin
Table 3 foor beam/plate bending, so thet natural freequencies cann be written:

f  (12)
2 mo L4

gure 9) depend
where C2 (given in Fig ds on the end constraints aand mo is the m mass of the beeam per unit
length. Th u length is just the area tiimes the denssity, Aρ, so thhe natural freqquency becom
he mass per unit mes

C2 A Eo B
f  (13)
2 12L4 

where I = BIo has been

n utilized to enable the mosst efficient shhape to be connsidered. Thuus, frequencies
scale as M 3  Eo B  when all diimensions aree specified or when the stifffness is speccified

C  S  Eo B
f  2  (14)
2  12 L5  
Eo B
the frequeencies scale with
w 

Figure 9.—
—The natural vi bration
modes of beams clamp ped in
different ways.

11 13
2.2.2 Case
C Study 2a
a: Pressure Vessels
Multiple applicatio ons/structuress can be classiified as cylinddrical or spheerical in naturre, particularlyy in
the case of
o space structtures. Often th hese structurees are internallly pressurizeed as well, forr example thee feed
lines on ro ocket enginess, composite overwrap
o presssure vessels,, cryogenic fuuel tanks, andd
expendable/reusable laaunch vehicles, as shown in n Figure 10. CConsequentlyy, in this case study,
performan nce indices peertinent to cyllindrical/ spheerical pressurre vessels will be identifiedd.
In thee case of cryogenic storagee tanks, multip ple design connfigurations ccan be, and haave been,
envisioned from a sing gle tank with insulation
i to hybrid
h tanks w
with either innsulating mateerials or pure
vacuum in n between waalls or variouss combination ns thereof. Thhe overall objeective of the ddesigns is to hhave
a safe, lightweight, thermally-efficieent cryogenicc storage systeem. Some impportant tank ssystem param meters
relative too flight durations are presennted in Tablee 4. The materrials, tank struuctural configgurations, andd
insulationn system optio ons are numerrous and interrdependent.

Figure 10.—Various spac ce structures/c

components/ve essels; a) Space Shuttle Main
Engine, SSME, b) sche ematic of Ares V heavy lift sys
ystem, c) compoosite over wrap
e vessels, d) do
ouble walled crryogenic storagge tank. .


[Listed in order of importaance.]
Mass density
Stren ngth and toughnness
Short flig
ght Coeffficient of therm
mal expansion
duration Stifffness
Therrmal diffusivity
Therrmal conductivitty
Mass density
Therrmal conductivitty
Long fligght Stren ngth and toughnness
duration Coeffficient of therm
mal expansion
Therrmal diffusivity

11 14
The key material indices applicable for both thermal and mechanical issues of interest in the case of
cryogenic tanks are shown in Table 5. Clearly it is desirable to use materials that possess high strength,
high fracture toughness, and high stiffness, as well as low density and low permeation to liquid and
gaseous hydrogen; however, no single material provides all these attributes simultaneously.
Consequently, material performance indices associated with these properties, such as those given in Table
5, must be used to identify the best material candidates for hybrid tank wall construction. Among these
parameters, strength and density tend to dominate the design criteria.


Function and constraints Performance index,
Minimum heat flux at steady state, fixed thickness 1/k
Minimum temperature rise in specified time, fixed thickness 1/a
Maximum energy stored for given temperature rise and time k/α1/2
Minimum thermal distortion k/α
Strength-limiting design with minimum mass σf /ρ
Damage-tolerant design with minimum mass KIc/ρ
Deformation-limiting design with minimum mass E/ρ
k = thermal conductivity
a = thermal diffusivity (k/Cp)
ρ = mass density
Cp = specific heat
α = coefficient of thermal expansion
σf = strength
KIc = mode I fracture toughness
E = Young’s modulus
Time, t = w2/2a with w = wall thickness.

In the case of thin-walled spherical pressure vessels of radius R, the stress in the wall is given by

 (15)

And the mass of the thin-walled spherical tank is given by

m  4 R 2 t (16)

From fracture mechanics we know that a crack will propagate by fast fracture when the stress intensity
factor, which is a combination of the applied far field stress, , and crack length, 2c, reaches the fracture
toughness of the material, KIc. This condition can be expressed by the following relation:

K Ic  Y c (17)

where Y is a parameter that takes on various values depending upon the changes in crack geometries and
loading conditions (see Broek (1984) and Anderson (1995)).
Consequently the internal pressure at which the working stress of the tank is below the critical stress
that would cause a crack to propagate can be obtained by rearranging Eqs. (15) and (17) and substituting
the results:

2t  K Ic 
P   (18)
R  Y c 

NASA/TM—2012-217411 15
Clearly, the largest pressure (for a given R, t and c) is obtained for the material with the largest fracture
toughness since the pressure in Eq. (18) is proportional to KIc. Such a design, however, is not fail-safe, so
additional conditions have been traditionally introduced to provide a greater level of safety. These are
known as “yield-before-break” and “leak-before-break”.
Yield-before-break requires that the stress to cause fracture be greater than that to yield the material,
thus providing a state of detectable deformation prior to fracture. This condition is expressed as:
1  K Ic 

C max  (19)
Y 2   y 

where the stress in Eq. (17) has been replaced by the yield stress, y, of the material. Consequently, the
tolerable crack size, and thus integrity of the pressure vessel, is maximized by maximizing the following
material index:

K Ic
M4  (20)

Leak-before-break, typically utilized for large pressure vessels, requires that a stable crack be just
large enough to penetrate both the inner and outer surfaces of the vessel (i.e. without fast facture) so that
the leak caused by the presence of the crack can be detected. This condition is obtained by requiring that
the unstable crack size exceeds the thickness (i.e., 2c > t) and that the wall thickness, t, contain the
pressure, P, without yielding. This condition leads to the following:

4  K Ic 
P (21)
RY 2   y 

Consequently, the pressure is carried most safely when the material index

K Ic 2
M5  (22)

is the largest possible.

Both of these material performance indices, M4 and M5, can be maximized by choosing materials with
low yield stresses, however, that could be problematic since the thickness and therefore the mass of the
tank is inversely related to the yield stress, see Eqs. (15) and (16). Therefore for aerospace applications,
which are typically weight critical, this demands that y/ be as large as possible since

2 R 3 P
m (23)
y 

These indices will be used latter to down select materials for use with lightweight pressure vessels.

2.3 Material Property Charts

Material property charts enable the condensing of a large body of information into a compact but
accessible form. They reveal correlations between material properties that aid in checking and estimating data;
and in conjunction with performance indices, constitute the backbone for tackling real design problems. They
provide a convenient way of mapping out the areas of 'property space' occupied by each material class, and the
sub-areas occupied by individual materials and provide a mechanism for surveying design-limiting properties
(be it a single value or a combination of properties).

NASA/TM—2012-217411 16
Utilizing the performance indices discussed in the previous section, enables the engineer to choose the
chart axes so that function specific information can be displayed. For example, a chart of Young’s modulus
(E) verses density (), see Figure 11, not only guides the best choice of material for the stiffness limited
design of a tie rod, beam or a plate, (see Appendix A) but also shows the longitudinal wave velocity (E/)1/2
and design for vibration. Similarly a plot of fracture toughness KIC against modulus E shows the critical
strain energy release rate (toughness) GIC; a diagram of thermal conductivity () verses diffusivity (a) also
gives the volume specific heat Cv; tensile strength (f) verses Young’s modulus (E) shows the elastic
energy-storing capacity, f2/E, to name a few.
The most striking feature of the charts, as pointed out by Ashby (2005) is the way in which members of
a material class cluster together, despite the wide range in various properties. For example, the modulus and
density of metals (denoted by dark gray contour labeled Metals) in Figure 11, occupy a field that is distinct
from that of polymers (denoted as lighter gray), or that of ceramics (lightest gray ellipse), or that of
composites (hashed ellipse). The same is true of strength, toughness, thermal conductivity and the rest. Even
though the fields sometimes overlap, they always have a characteristic place within the whole picture, due to
the physical make up of the various materials. All charts have one thing in common, that some areas within
the given material space are not populated. Some of these areas are inaccessible for fundamental reasons
that relate to fundamental physics: the size and packing of atoms and the nature of the forces that bind their
atoms together. But other areas are empty even though, in principle, they are accessible and if accessed
would enable novel design possibilities. It is precisely this clustering, in combination with the material (or
more generally the performance) indices that enable the rejection and ranking of various materials with
respect to structural function.
Material property charts have numerous applications. One is the checking and validation of data,
another concerns the development of, and identification of uses for, new materials which can fill in empty
regions, see Section 3.2. But most important of all, the charts form the basis for the previously presented
procedure for materials selection.
On a log-log plot, a contour with a constant value of a material index plots as a straight line. For
example, the performance index for a light-stiff plate is given by (Appendix A):
M 6  E1 3 

Taking logs of both sides:

logM 6   logE   log
log E   3 log    3 log M 6 

Consequently each line in the family of straight parallel lines of slope 3, on a plot of log(E) verses
log(), corresponds to a fixed value of M6. All materials that lie on a line of constant E1/3/ perform
equally well as a light, stiff panel, while those above the line perform better (are lighter for a specified
stiffness) than those below the line.
Examining Figure 11 it can be seen that Mg-alloys, Al-alloys, Ti-alloys, steels and W-alloys all fall near a
line with the same value of E/the index for displacement limited tie rod subjected to tensile loading, see the
heavy solid line). This raises the question: Why do we use aluminum in the manufacture of airplanes and not
steel? This is immediately obvious when one takes into account the appropriate material index for plates/shells
subjected to bending, i.e., E1/3/, see Appendix A. This is plotted as a dashed line of slope 3, passing through
the aluminum bubble on Figure 11. It can be seen that aluminum has a much higher value of E1/3/ than steel
and therefore has superior performance for a light, stiff plate. Additional attribute limits (e.g., horizontal or
vertical lines) can also be added to narrow the associated search window (e.g., E > 10 GPa or  > 2 Mg/m2),
thereby producing a short list of candidate materials. Material property charts will be utilized in the next
section for two case studies to illustrate the utility of these charts.

NASA/TM—2012-217411 17
e 11.—Modulus
s versus densityy property chart.

2.4 Material
M Cho
oices for Ca
ase Studies
2.4.1 Case
C Study 1b
b: Blades
Returrning to our fiirst case study
y related to jet engine blad es (be they faan, compressoor or turbine) one
can quick
kly identify the various matterials that wiill be best in tthe case of ressisting bendinng loads. As
indicated in Eq. (10) th
he appropriatee material ind dex is

M2 
o B  f  2 3 (24)

for temperratures whereiin time-depend dent behavior can be ignoreed. This index can also be uttilized to indiccate
which matterial would be useful for eaach region of the t engine if pplotted againstt maximum seervice temperaature,
see Figuree 12. For exam mple, the fan seection of jet en
ngine experiennces temperatu tures up to 2900 C, with the
compresso or section expeeriencing temp peratures up to o 700 C, and the turbine exxperiencing 16600 C or less..
Since the actual
a materiaal index, M2, iss plotted as thee ordinate in F
Figure 12, a hoorizontal line bbecomes our
selection guideline.
g Theerefore, consid
dering the bend ding strength aalone, it becommes immediattely obvious, w which
materials could
c be the best
b choice forr low mass blaades. For fan bblades, Al, Ti, PMCs; for coompressor bladdes,
Ti-6-4, Ti--6-2-4-6, B/Al, beryllium; anda for turbinee blades Inconnel 718, Waspaaloy, and SiC//SiC. Note thaat
beryllium would be elim minated for tox xicity reasons rather mechannical performaance. (This eliimination wouuld
occur in thhe research staage of the selection process in Figure 4). T These are but a few of our cchoices (depennding
upon the required
r value of the materiaal index) that have
h been subbstantiated oveer the years thhrough direct
It is alsso clear from
m Figure 12 thaat if the choicce is limited, aapriori, to meetals, then as ttemperature
increases (as the appliccation region moves toward the rear of eengine) the m material perforrmance indexx must
be lowereed. This indicaates that the mass
m of higheer temperaturee blades mustt be greater thhan lower
temperatu ure blades, forr a similar dutty. However, if the design space is openned-up to incllude non-mettals
(particularrly ceramics) the index can n be maintain ned (in fact, ddoubled from 10 to 20) eveen at elevated
temperatu ures. It is evid
dent then why y significant in nvestment is bbeing placed upon the devvelopment of
compositee alternatives to enable significantly ligh hter weight c omponents foor elevated tem mperatures.

11 18
F 12.—Fle
exural strength versus maxim
mum service tem

Bendiing stress is but

b one type of o loading required to be suustained by a given blade ddesign (albeitt fan,
compresso or or turbine)), the others being axial tennsion (due to centrifugal looads) and vibrrational loadinngs
(due to ro
otational motio on and fluctuating gas flow ws through thhe engine). Ass shown previiously, to
minimize mass (or weiight) of a giveen blade requires that a maaterial with a hhigh specific strength (f / ) in
tension bee selected and d a high valuee of E1/2/ρ to maximize
m its ffundamental vibrational frrequency. Notte
any weigh ht savings in blades
b has a multiplying
m efffect on otherr componentss such as signiificant reducttion
in compreessor and turb bine disks as well
w as shaft loads.
To assist in making g the trade beetween severaal constraints the software ppackage 'CES S Selector' froom
Granta Deesign can be utilized
u (Grannta, 2011). Thhis software eenables engineeers to depictt graphically tthe
various material
m indicees and overlay y them to arriv ve at a subsett of candidatee materials thaat can be
investigatted further. Foor a discussion on how to deald with mulltiple constraiints and objecctives the readder is
referred to
o Chapter 9 ofo Ashby (200 05).
Figure 13 shows th he subset of materials
m afterr specifying vvalues for the three materiaal indexes givven
tensile loaading, bendin were: M1 
ng, and vibratiion. The valuees assumed w   60,

M2 
o B f 2 3

 110,
and M 3  E o B   10,000 . Note th hat o B = 1 in both M2 and M3. Figure 133(a) shows thhe subset of
materials when each in ndex is treated d independenttly, while Figgure 13(b) shoows the corressponding resuults
when inteeraction betweeen indexes are a accounted for, that is iff a given mateerial is eliminaated due to faailure
to meet an on then it is reemoved in all three propertty chart spacees whether orr not it fails inn that
nyone criterio
particular space or not.. Comparing Figure
F 13(a) to
t (b) it is immmediately obvvious that by considering aall
loading crriteria at oncee (i.e., Figure 13(b)) leads to
t a significanntly smaller ssubset of workkable materiaal
systems fo or the variouss temperature ranges or blaade types. Thiis assumes thhe value of thee material inddex
(requiremeent) would be the same in all a three tempeerature regimees. It is interestting to note thhat Ti-6-4, Ti-66-2-4-
6, Inconel 718, and Wasspoloy are equ uivalent with respect
r to speccific stiffness bbut titaniums are significant
better in both bending and
a specific strrength thus sub bstantiating thheir use in fan and compresssor blade
applicationns. A key facttor yet to be co
onsidered is in
nelastic effectss that come intto play at elevvated temperattures;
this will be briefly consiidered in Section 3.0 Advan nced Selectionn.

11 19
Figure 13.—
—Illustration of the interaction between three
e material indicces for a blade subjected to
tension, bending
b and vibbration. (a) Independent; and (b) Interacting
g constraints.

11 20
Figure 13.—Conclude

11 21
2.4.2 Case Study 2b: Pressure Vessels
The storage of liquid hydrogen in a lightweight tank provides significant challenges. The low density of
the hydrogen fuel results in the need for a larger volume storage vessel relative to other fuels. Mechanical tank
loads are derived from 1) the difference in pressure within the tank and the ambient conditions, 2) fuel weight,
3) vehicle acceleration loads, 4) fuel slosh due to aircraft maneuvers, and 5) the weight of the tank system and
its supports. Fuel slosh is bound to be encountered as the aircraft maneuvers or as it encounters air turbulence
during the flight. Furthermore, the internal tank pressure has to be maintained at a constant absolute pressure in
order to maintain the hydrogen in a liquid state. The tank weight increases with increasing operating pressure.
Typically, gaseous hydrogen is used as the pressurant for liquid hydrogen. Two important criteria for tank wall
design include material selection and wall architecture, which are not mutually exclusive. Many options are
available and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed in Mital et al. (2006) where guidelines are
provided for choosing an optimum system. Here the discussion will be limited to selection of the tank wall
material, based upon mechanical loading alone to illustrate the selection process.
Clearly it is desirable to use materials that possess high strength, high fracture toughness, and high stiffness,
as well as low density and low permeation to liquid and gaseous hydrogen; however, no single material provides
all these attributes simultaneously. Consequently, once again material performance indices, associated with the
functional requirements, such as those given in Table 5, must be used to identify the best material candidates for
tank wall construction. Among the material parameters, strength and density tend to dominate the design criteria
as the mass of the tank is inversely related to specific strength (see Eq. (23)). Figure 14 shows strength versus
mass density for various engineering materials. In this case, materials in the upper left corner are preferable.
Composite materials exhibit high specific strength relative to metals and are well suited to aerospace
applications: continuous fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites provide the highest strength yet lightest
choice. However, the use of continuous fiber reinforced composite materials most likely will involve higher
initial manufacturing costs and their permeability to hydrogen is a potential complication. As per Figure 14, the
materials that have the sufficient strength and acceptably low densities are PMCs, CMCs and metallic materials.
Ceramic materials offer high specific strength, but due to their low fracture toughness (see Figure 15), are not
viable for a tank wall material. A potential lower cost alternative to CFRP may be discontinuous reinforced
metallic composites (DRX), specifically discontinuous reinforced aluminum (DRA) as described by Miracle
(2001). DRAs are essentially isotropic and can be manufactured using less expensive techniques such as
casting. The DRX materials have the added benefit of extremely low (if not negligible) hydrogen gas
permeability issues typically associated with PMC systems. However, during a detailed study, Arnold et al.
(2007) showed that minimum gage thickness requirements kept DRA materials from outperforming PMC
materials for this application.
Two key material performance indices that are generally applicable to the design of high pressure vessels
but may also be applicable to low pressure cryogenic storage tanks where described previously. These indices
are 'yield-before break', M4 = KIc/σf, and the 'leak-before-break', M5 = KIc2/σf and are illustrated in Figure 15.
Utilizing the first index ensures that the stress required to propagate a critical flaw is greater than that to yield
the material and the second criterion, ensures that the maximum pressure carried will result in a stable crack
that will just enable a leak to occur prior to catastrophic failure. Figure 16 once again clearly illustrates the
difference between treating material indices as independent quantities (a) versus considering the interaction of
the material indices during the selection process (b); the latter resulting in a reduction in potential material
candidates. In Figure 16 only a subset (aerospace materials) of the 'Material Universe' database available
within CES Selector is examined for illustrative purposes. Here we see that if the assumed values of the
material indices are M 1     20 and M
 5 
K Ic 2
 10 only a finite set of viable materials; for example Ti,
PMCs remain.

NASA/TM—2012-217411 22
F 14.—Strrength versus mass
m density fo
or various engiineering materials as per Ash
hby (2005).

Figure 15.—Fracture toughness verrsus elastic lim


11 23
gure 16.—Illusttrates the impa
act of allowing interaction of m
material indicess for a pressurizzed vessels.
( Independen nt; and (b) Interracting constraints.

3.0 Advanced
A Selection
3.1 Materials
M forr High Tem
mperature Applications
The behavior
b of real materials to
o thermal and d mechanical stimuli can vvary greatly depending upoon the
magnitudee and multiax xiality of load
ding and the magnitude
m of tthe homologoous temperatuure (TH = T/Tm);
that is thee ratio of applied temperatu ure (measured d on an absoluute scale, e.g.., Kelvin K) too that of the
melting point of a giveen material. Fo or example att room tempeerature material response iss typically tim me-
independeent and eitherr reversible (i..e., linear elasstic) or irreveersible (inelasttic), dependinng upon whetther
or not the yield stress ofo the materiaal has been ex xceeded. Alterrnatively, whhen TH > 0.25 time-dependeent
behavior, both reversib ble and irreverrsible, can bee commonly oobserved as illustrated scheematically in
Figure 17, wherein i) strain rate sensitive , ii) creeep, iii) relaxaation, iv) thermmal recoveryy, v) dynamic
recovery anda vi) creep//plasticity interaction respo onse behaviorr are all show wn. Other com mplex time and
path dependent behavio or such as cycclic ratchetingg, creep/fatigu
gue interactionn, thermal meechanical fatiggue
are also often times observed depen nding upon thee magnitude aand type of looading (e.g., tthermal or
mechanical) being applied, see Lem maitre and Chaaboche (19900). Note in thee case of Ni bbased superallloys
this ratio is
i significantlly higher (TH ≥ 0.6 to 0.9), see Chester eet al. (1987))

11 24
A prerequisite for meaningful
m asssessment of component
c duurability and liife, and conseequently desiggn of
structural components, is the ability to
t accurately predict
p the strress and strainns occurring w within a loadeed
structure, composed of a given materrial. As constiitutive materiaal models (bee they simple oor complex)
provide thhe required maathematical linnk between sttress and straiin, this necesssitates the devvelopment andd
characterization of an appropriate
a co
onstitutive model for any m material beforee that materiall can be certifi
for use byy a designer. Thus
T constitutiive models wiith varying levvels of idealizzations have bbeen proposedd and
utilized, each with its own shortcomiings/limitationns.

Figure 17
7.—Schematics s showing representative here
editary materia
al behavior at
ed temperature.

11 25
The most well-known and widely used constitutive relation/model is the generalized Hooke’s law

ij  Cijkl ekl (25)

which describes multiaxial time-independent, linear (proportional) reversible material behavior. Up to

now we have only utilized uniaxial Hooke’s law: = E e. Extension into the irreversible regime is
accomplished by assuming an additive decomposition of the total strain tensor,  ij ,

 ij  eij   ijI   th
ij (26)

into three components, that is a reversible mechanical, eij, (i.e., elastic/viscoelastic); an irreversible,  ijI ,
(i.e., inelastic or viscoplastic); and a reversible thermal strain,  thij component.
Equation (26) can also be rearranged...

eij   ij   ijI   th
ij (27)

Substituting expression (27) into Eq. (25) gives a stress strain relation that incorporates irreversible
strains as well as reversible ones, that is:

 ij  C ijkl  ij   ijI   th
ij  (28)

Numerous models describing the evolution of the inelastic strain have been proposed in the literature.
Table 6 contains a few representative examples with a brief description of their required material
The well known Norton-Bailey creep model (Skrzypek and Hetnarski, 2000) and its multiaxial
generalization proposed by Odqvist (1936) followed by a coupled fully-associative unified
viscoelastoplastic model has been formulated (Arnold and Saleeb (1994) and Saleeb et al. (2001)) with
sufficient generality to permit systematic introduction of multiple mechanisms for both viscoelastic (time-
dependent reversible) and viscoplastic (time-dependent irreversible) response components. This general,
multi-mechanism, hereditary deformation model has been shown to accurately represent a wide spectrum
of material response under different loading conditions for the case of titanium alloys (Saleeb and Arnold
(2001) and Arnold et al. (2001 and 2004). Examples include 1) rate-dependent (effective) material tangent
stiffness during initial loading or any subsequent reversed loading, 2) pure transient response (e.g., in
creep or relaxation) within the reversibility region, 3) an elastic behavior upon stress reversal, irrespective
of the load level, as well as, 4) other response features common to ‘unified viscoplastic’ formulations
(e.g., rate-sensitivity, creep-plasticity interaction, thermal recovery, etc.). The following generalized
anisotropic material behavior constitutive model results; see Table 6 for definition of the associated flow
and evolutionary laws:

  E (   I )  q , (29)

All of this is said to emphasize that although for mathematical convenience materials are often
classified into specific idealized groups (e.g., linear elastic, plastic, viscoelastic, and viscoplastic), nothing
can compel real materials, however, to behave according to these idealized models. And typically, when
dealing with actual complex material behavior as represented in Figure 17, it is not sufficient to describe
this behavior with simple single parameter relationships or point wise values (e.g., E, , y, H, etc.) which
have worked so nicely for material selection at low homologous temperatures (e.g., typically at room
temperature) where such complex path dependent behavior is suppressed.

NASA/TM—2012-217411 26
Model Idealized Mathematical representation Required isotropic
material material parameters
Ramberg- Elastic   
n y, H, n
Osgood Plastic  I  H  

(1943)  y 
Norton- Uniaxial A, n
Bailey Creep
[Skrzypek  I  A n
and Hetnarski
Odqvist Multiaxial  ijI  BJ 2' m Sij A, n
(1936) Creep
where m  1 / 2(n  1) and B  1 / 2(3( n 1)/ 2 ) A
J 2'  1 / 2 Sij Sij with Sij  ij  1 / 3kk ij
GVIPS Visco- qij(a)  M ijkl
  kl   klI   M ijkl klrs qrs
( a ) ( a ) 1 (a) 2+ 2M reversible
elastoplastic constants:
 f  F   ij if F  0, Fn
  Es, M(a), , a
( b )
 ijI   ; f F   ; g  G (b )   H (b ) 1  G (b )
Arnold et al. 0 otherwise,  
(1994,2004); and
Saleeb et al.  
R(b) G(b) 
m (b)

(b)  I 
kl  if kl   kl   kl   0
 (b)
ij  Qijkl   kl  (b) (b)
3+5N irreversible
 
Saleeb and ( b )
Arnold  H (b ) 1  G ( b )  constants
(2004) , n, 
H(b), R(b), m(b), (b),
qij  q
a 1
ij ,  ij  
b 1

 ij  ijkl  kl   kl , (klb)  ijkl  ij(b) where N defines the

number of
 ij   ij ijkl ij   ij   1 , viscoplastic
2 2 mechanisms and M
G (b )

 2  ij(b ) ijkl  ij(b )
2 ( b )
 the number of

And all three forth-order tensors, Eijkl, ijkl and ijkl

(a )
, are taken to be
coaxial, that is, E ijkl  E s N ijkl , M ijkl
 M ( a ) N ijkl ,and ijkl
 a M ijkl
( a)


N ijkl  

 ij  kl 
ik  jl  il  jk 
 1   1  2   1    
 

 

(b )
Qijkl  H (b ) 1  G (b ) Zm 
(b )
 ij( b )  (klb ) 
 2  (2b ) G ( b ) 1  1   G ( b )  
 
Note Zm is the “generalized” inverse of ijkl ; see Saleeb and Wilt
(1993) ; for further elaboration on this.

So what should we do when the application operates at elevated temperatures—throw up our hands
and just select materials based on linear elastic behavior? Not necessarily as there are simplified (albeit
less accurate) approaches for high-temperature performance that allow some inelastic (e.g., creep)
behavior to be accounted for and therefore influence the material selection process. Four such approaches
are: 1) maximum service temperature (as in Sec. 2.4), 2) allowable stress, 3) design for creep, and 4)
deformation mechanism maps. In this section, a brief description of the maximum service temperature
and allowable stress approaches will be discussed. This will be followed by a more detailed description of

NASA/TM—2012-217411 27
how to account for creep behavior in the material selection process. It is strongly suggested, however, that
a rigorous nonlinear analysis, with a proper constitutive model, e.g., the unified viscoplastic GVIPS
model (Arnold et al., 1994, 2004; Saleeb et al., 2001, 2004), be conducted for the top material candidates
to verify the validity/suitability of the chosen material for a given design application.

3.1.1 Maximum and Minimum Service Temperature

The simplest measures of tolerance to temperature are the maximum and minimum service
temperatures, Tmax and Tmin. The former tells us the highest temperature at which the material can
reasonably be used without oxidation, chemical change or excessive deflection or ‘creep’ becoming a
problem (the continuous use temperature, or CUT, is a similar measure). The latter is the temperature
below which the material becomes brittle or otherwise unsafe to use. These are empirical, with no
universally accepted definitions; therefore caution should be used to fully understand the underlying
assumptions and implications. For example, the minimum service temperature for carbon steels is the
ductile-to-brittle-transition temperature—a temperature below which the fracture toughness falls steeply.
For elastomers it is about 0.8 Tg, where Tg is the glass temperature. Below Tg elastomers cease to be
rubbery and become hard and brittle. Examining Figure 18 wherein strength versus maximum
temperature is plotted, it is apparent that polymers and low melting metals like the alloys of zinc,
magnesium and aluminum offer useful strength at room temperature but by 300 °C they cease to be useful
(as inelastic/softening behavior is exhibited)—indeed, few polymers have useful strength above 135 °C.
Titanium alloys and low-alloy steels can have useful strength up to 600 °C; above this temperature high-
alloy stainless steels and more complex superalloys based on nickel, iron and cobalt are needed. The
highest temperatures require refractory metals like tungsten or technical ceramics such as silicon carbide
(SiC) or alumina (Al2O3).
In Figure 12, the flexure strength versus maximum service temperature was utilized to identify
potential candidate materials for three types of gas turbine engine blades: fan blades T < 300 C;
compressor blades, T < 700 C; and turbine blades that operate above 700 C. In case study 1b, Ti-6-4
was identified as a potential fan or compressor blade material whose maximum service temperature was
given a range of approximately 350 to 420 C, see Figure 13. However, in a recent study (see Arnold et
al. 2009) the complete time-dependent and rate-dependent temperature regimes for this material were
experimentally mapped out. Results demonstrated that this maximum service temperature is too
aggressive and should really be limited to 300 C, since only below this temperature can it be assumed
that no rate-dependence and only a minor amount of time-dependence are present, see Figure 19. In
Figure 19 the deformation response of Ti-6-4 over a wide range of temperatures is documented. Here, the
variation of the moduli and experimentally determined threshold stress, κ, (that stress which truly
delineates between the reversible and irreversible strain regimes) are plotted as a function of temperature
(see Arnold et al. 2001). The modulus ES represents the “infinitely slow” modulus, i.e., the elastic
modulus of the material if it was loaded at an infinitely slow strain rate, whereas the modulus ED
represents the “dynamic modulus”, which is the modulus of the material if it is loaded “infinitely fast”
(e.g., very high, ≥ 110–3) rate (i.e., all time dependence is locked into this modulus). As can be seen in
Figure 19, at elevated temperatures there is a significant difference between the two modulus values,
indicating that even in the so-called “elastic” range, there is significant time-dependence (reflected as rate
dependent apparent moduli). Below a temperature of about 300 °C, the two moduli are approximately
equal; indicating the response of the Ti-6-4 material is rate-independent but not necessarily time-
independent. Above 300 C, the response is rate-dependent and time-dependent even below the threshold
stress. To appreciate the practical significance of this fact, the operating temperatures typically
encountered in aircraft engines are also noted below the horizontal axis in Figure 19, as well as the
occasional, higher-temperature regime encountered during over-temp maneuvers. Clearly, even when one
is within the typical engine design range and expecting the material response to be reversible, or “elastic”,
the material behavior (at least in the case of Ti-6-4) would in fact be rate-dependent and would generate
an additional strain of /Es over time, where is the current applied stress that is less than or equal to

NASA/TM—2012-217411 28
hold stress  denoted
the thresh d by thee square symb bol line. Conssequently, at temperatures greater than
300 C an nd stresses bellow  if classsical elasticitty methods w were used in thhe design, theen this rate
dependence, i.e., viscoelastic respon nse, would no ot be capturedd. Furthermorre, at stresses above , the
material response
r is visscoplastic duee to the rate-aand-time-depeendence, and similarly usinng the classiccal
methods ofo plasticity in n analysis and d design, wou uld also not bee accurate.
Figure 19 further in t threshold stress, , deccreases signifficantly as a
ndicates that the value of the
function of
o temperaturee. More impo ortantly, Figurre 19 demonsstrates that at elevated tempperatures the
threshold stress (κ) is significantly
s below
b the trad
ditional “propportional limitt” or apparennt “yield stresss” of
the materiial (obtained at a total straiin rate of 0.00 01/sec) indicaated by the daashed line (annd x symbols)).
However,, if one obtain ns the proporttional limit fro om tensile tesst conducted aat 1.010–6/seec strain rate tthe
values wo ould correspon nd very closeely to those off the thresholdd stress. This comparison tthen leads to the
conclusion that irreverssible materiall behavior can n take place aat stress levelss well below those consideered
using tradditional metho ods for the analysis of metaals. If classicaal design metthods were ussed, the materrial
response below
b the “prroportional lim mit” would bee assumed to be fully reveersible, and onnly the responnse
after the proportional
p limit would bee assumed to be irreversiblle. However, as is shown iin the figure, that
assumptio on could lead to significantt inaccuraciess in the predicctions of the m material respoonse.
All off this is said too reinforce thhe fact that altthough simpliifications cann be made to aaid the materiial
selection/rrejection proccess it remain ns extremely important,
i whhen dealing w with material bbehavior at
elevated temperatures,
t that significaant care be tak
ken to fully uunderstand thee various canddidate materiaals
that one will
w be suggessting at the en nd of any selection processs.

Figure 18.—A chart showing th

he strength (ela
astic limit) verssus maximum sservice temperrature of the

11 29
Figure 199.—Variation off modulus and threshold stresss, , as a funcction of temperrature
for Ti-6
6-4 material.

3.2 Design
D for Creep
How are materials chosen to avo oid failure by
y creep at highh temperaturees (Figure 20))? Traditionallly
material selection
s has been
b based laargely upon ex xperience. Poolymers can be used at room m temperaturre,
but—with h only a few exceptions—n
e not above 100 0 C. The mos st creep resisttant of aluminnum alloys arre
good to abbout 200 C; titanium alloy ys to 600 C; stainless steeels to 850 C and so on. Buut optimal
selection requires
r much h more than this.
t The choiice depends nnot only on maaterial properrties, but on thhe
mode of loading (tension, bending, torsion, intern nal pressure),, on the failurre criterion (exxcessive
n, fracture, rellaxation of strress, buckling
g, etc.) and onn the optimizaation objectivve (minimizinng
weight, orr cost, or maxximizing life). A designer, not himself a specialist onn creep, has no easy way too
identify th
he subset of materials
m best suited to his needs, or to ppredict the waays in which a change in thhe
design miight influencee the choice.
In dessign against creep,
c one seeks the material and the shaape which will carry the deesign loads
without faailure, for the design life att the design teemperature. T The meaning of “failure” ddepends on thhe
on. We disting guish four typ pes of failure, illustrated inn Figure 20.

a. Displacement-
D -limited appliccations, in wh hich precise ddimensions orr small clearances must be
m a blades off turbines), whhen design is based on creep rates  orr
(ass in the disks and
diisplacement rates
r  .
b. Rupture-limite
R ed application ns, in which dimensional toolerance is rellatively unim mportant, but
frracture must beb avoided (ass in pressure--piping), whenn design is baased on time-to-failure tf.
c. Sttress-relaxatio on-limited ap pplications in which an inittial tension reelaxes with tim
me (as in the ppre-
teensioning of cables
c or boltss) when desig
gn is based onn a characterisstic relaxationn time tr.
d. Buckling-limit
B ted applications, in which slender
s colummns or panels carry compreessive loads ((as in
he upper wing g skin of an aiircraft, or an externally-pre
e essurized tubee), when desiign is based oon
crritical time-to
o-instability tb.

11 30
Figure 20.—
—Creep is important in four cla asses of design n: (a)
displacement-limited; (b)) failure limited,, (c) relaxation--limited,
(d) bucklin
ng limited.

Figure 21..—A typical creeep curve show wing the tensile

e strain
 plotted
d against time t.
t It shows prim
mary, secondarry and
tertiary stages,
s e quantities sss, f, tf.
and the

To tacckle any of these situations constitutive equation,

e as ppreviously disccussed, are required which relate
the strain--rate  or timee-to-failure tf for
f a material to the stress  and temperaature T to whiich it is expossed.

3.2.1 Constitutive
C Equation
E for Creep Defleection
When n a material iss loaded at con
nstant stress and
a homologoous temperatuure TH, abovee approximateely
0.25, it typ
pically will experience creeep, as schemmatically depiccted in Figuree 21. Creep reesponse typicaally
involves a primary exteension stage, followed by a steady-statee creep stage, and ends witth an acceleraating
tertiary stage. The important parameeters are mark ked: the steaddy state creep rate  ss , the ttime to fractuure, tf,
and the crreep ductility,, εf.
The characteristics
c s of the curve and the way it changes wiith temperatur ure and stress are describedd
mathemattically by a co onstitutive equ
uation (Finniee and Heller, 1959; Hult, 11966; Penny aand Marriott,

11 31
1971; Gittus, 1975; Frost and Ashby, 1982; Evans and Wilshire, 1985). Many constitutive equations for
creep-rate have been suggested, some purely empirical, some science-based; most are a mix of the two.
Those most widely used in engineering design when deflection is important, relate the steady-state strain-
rate  ss to the tensile stress  and the temperature T thus:

 Q 
 ss  Af  exp    (30)
 RT ,

where A is a kinetic constant, Q an activation energy, R the gas constant and f () means “ a function of
stress ”. The function f () can be approximated, over restricted ranges of stress, by the Norton-Bailey
power law given in Table 6 and slightly rewritten here:
n n
   Q .   
 ss  A  exp   o   (31)
 o  RT  o  ,
where the constant A, the activation energy Q, the exponent n and the characteristic strength constant o
are material properties. Considerable experience has accumulated in the use of Norton’s Law, which has
the appeal that it allows analytical solutions to a wide range of engineering problems (see, for instance,
Finnie and Heller, 1959; Hult, 1966; Penny and Marriott, 1971). For this reason we shall use it here even
though, from a scientific point of view, it lacks a completely respectable pedigree. Nor is it capable of
accounting for creep/plasticity effects that more sophisticated unified viscoplastic models were developed
to handle.

3.2.2 Constitutive Equation for Creep Fracture

When fracture rather than deflection is design-limiting, creep is characterized instead by the time to
fracture, tf. It, too, can be described by a constitutive equation with features like those of Eq. (31). Here,
again, a power law gives an adequate description over a restricted range of  and T:
q q
    Qf    
t f  B  exp   t f 0   (32)
f  f  ,
   RT   

With its own values of kinetic constants B, activation energy Qf, exponent q and characteristic strength f.

3.2.3 Constitutive Equation for Relaxation

Relaxation requires a constitutive equation which combines creep (inelastic) and elastic response when
total strain rate is held constant at zero. Consequently, from Eq. (29), and assuming tension it takes the form:
   E ss
I ,

where E is Young’s modulus,  ss is given by Eq. (31) and   is the rate of change of stress with time. It is
important to realize however that although the form of the inelastic strain is the same as Eq. (33) the
material constants take on completely different values since the relaxation spectrum is typically
significantly shorter than that of steady state creep. For the bending of a beam (as in Figure 22) the
equation becomes instead

F 
 c (34)
S ,

where F is the rate of change of force F, S is the bending stiffness and  c is the creep deflection rate of
the beam. Similar expressions describe torsion and compression.

NASA/TM—2012-217411 32
Figure 22.— —A cantilever be eam loaded witth an end load F.
(a) At roomm temperature a plastic hinge e forms where tthe
bending moment
m is highe
est. (b) At high temperature, ccreep
plasticity is
s distributed. (c
c) Creep fractuure starts where
e the
local tensile stress is highest.

3.2.4 Material
M Selecction in the Creep
C Regim
The objective
o here is to derive indices
i which h parallel thosse used for rooom temperatuure design (Ashby,
1992), but now tailoredd for design when
w creep takes place. Thhe immediate difficulty is tthat the 'strenggth' is
now no loonger a fixed material
m prop
perty, but depeends on tempperature and oon the strain-rrate. The treattment
below is kept
k as brief asa possible. Fu uller details can
c be found eelsewhere (e.g., Abel and A Ashby, 1994)). Deflection
n-Limited Deesign
Consiider first the simple
s case off a tensile meember—a tie rrod—of minimum weight,, designed to carry
f a life time,, t, without deeflecting more than  at a ttemperature T
a load F for T. If the tie haas length L, thhe
steady strain-rate must not exceed

  (35)
Lt ,

he constitutiv
Inserting this into th ve Eq. (32) forr tensile creepp and invertinng gives
1/ n
F   
   0   (36)
A   0 Lt  ,

The objective
o is to minimize thee mass of the tie. Solving ffor A and subbstituting this into the equaation
m = AL for the mass gives

L F
m ,


11 33
1/ n
  
D  0   , (37)
  0 Lt 

Thus the lightest tie which meets the constraints of F, T, t and  is that made of the material with the
largest value of

 
M 6   D  (38)
  ,

This has the same form as the previous elastic material index for a tie rod

M1  (39)
 ,

with y replaced by D, defined above. Consequently it contains both temperature and time.
The analysis of beams, shafts, pressure vessels (and the like) is a little more complex, but follows the
same pattern. Consider, as an illustration, the cantilever beam of Figure 22(b) carrying a load F, but now
at a temperature such that it creeps. The objective, as before, is to make the beam as light as possible; the
constraints (again as before) are that its length L and the proportions, of its cross-section are fixed, and
that it must support the load F for a time t at temperature T without deflecting more than . The design
specification constrains the deflection rate,  : it must not exceed /t. The deflection rate  for a
cantilever beam with end load F, creeping according to the constitutive Eq. (32) is
 
2  4 FL  2n  1  1 
    0 L2    2 n 1  (40)
( n  2)   0  2n  bh n  ,

See Appendix B for complete derivation. Eliminating b and h between the equations m = AL and (40),
using b = h and A = h2 gives
3n3 n1 2n
3n1 3n1  2n  1 
4FL  3n1
m  L    .  (41)
  2n   D  ,

with D, which we call the design strength, given by

 n  2   n (42)
 D  0  
 2 L 0  ,

Equation (41) looks messy, but it is not as bad as it seems. For example the fully-plastic limit can be
found by setting n = , thereby simplifying Eq. (41) to
 4 FL 
m L  1 / 3   (43)
 D  ,

NASA/TM—2012-217411 34
which is identical with the mass of the plastic beam m  L1 / 3   4 FL 2 / 3
if D is replaced by y. The
design strength in creep, then, plays the same role as the yield strength in room-temperature plasticity. In
fact, Eq. (43) is a good approximation to the more complex result of Eq. (41) over the entire range of
values of the exponent n (3 < n < 20) normally encountered in metals and alloys. Inspection shows that
 y2 3
the mass is minimized by maximizing the index M2 given earlier M 2  
with y replaced by D
(remember that D contains temperature and deflection-rate).
 2y / 3
A parallel calculation for a panel (flat plate in bending) gives an equation M 7  
again with y
replaced by D, appropriately defined. Similar expressions are derived for torsion and for internal
pressure (Appendix B). Selection with the objective of minimizing cost rather than weight lead to
identical results with  replaced by Cm, where Cm is the material cost per kg; and the objective of
minimizing energy content is achieved by replacing this by qm, where qm is the energy content per kg. Fracture-Limited Design

Consider next an application in which fracture, not deflection-rate, is design-limiting (Figure 20(b)).
For a bending beam the largest stresses appear—and creep-fracture starts—in the outer fibers at the place
where the bending moment M is greatest (Figure 22(c)). The time t to the onset of failure of the
cantilever, using the constitutive relation of Eq. (32), is
 2q  1 4FL 
t  t fo  .  (44)
 2q  fo bh 2  ,
 

Writing b = h, solving for the area A = bh and substituting in m = AL gives
  2q  1  4 FL 
m L  1 3  
  2q   
 (45)
  D  ,

with the design strength

 t fo  q (46)
 D   fo  
 t  ,
The parallel with deflection-limited design is obvious; and once again the result reduces to that for full
plasticity in the limit q = . The mass is minimized, as before, by maximizing the index of equation
y2 3
M7  
with y replaced by this new, fracture-related D which depends on design life, t, and on
y  y1 3
temperature, T. Analogous calculations for ties and panels give equations M 1  
and M 3  
the definition of D is different. Similar expressions describe torsion and internal pressure (Appendix
B.1), and are modified for cost or energy content by replacing  by Cm or qm as before. Relaxation-Limited Design

A tensile cable, or a bolt, that is pretensioned to provide a bearing or clamping force F at an elevated
temperature, relaxes with time by creep. The calculation is a standard one; elastic strain /E is replaced
over time by creep. The total change in strain in the cable or bolt is zero, since its ends are fixed. The
governing equation for the stress in the component was given earlier as Eq. (33). Integrating this with the
boundary condition  = i at t = 0, gives

NASA/TM—2012-217411 35
n1 n1
 o    E 0 t
    o   n  1 (47)
    i  0 ,

where i is the stress to which the cable or bolt was originally tightened, and  is the stress to which it has
relaxed in time t. In this case a constraint is specified by defining a characteristic relaxation time, tr, as the
time required for the stress to relax to a specified fraction of its initial value. Inverting Eq. (47) gives:

  
n1 
o n
t r  1     (48)
  i   n  1E 0  n1 ,

Clearly the quantity in the square bracket can be thought of as merely a scaling factor, consequently
the result is independent of the choice of /i. For illustrative purposes the ratio /i is taken to be 0.5
and for n > 3 the term in square brackets is then close to unity; thus for simplicity it shall be neglected.
The design specifies the minimum bearing or clamping load F. Writing  = F/A and substituting for A in
equation m = AL, gives the mass of the cable or bolt which will safely provide a clamping load greater
than F for a life tr;
L F
m (49)
D ,

 o  n1 (50)
 D   o  
 n  1E 0t r  ,
The mass is minimized by selecting the material with the greatest value of D/, that is, the material index

is once more that of equation M 1  y replaced by this new D.
Springs, too, relax their tension with time. Most are loaded in bending, when the constitutive behavior
is that of Eq. (34). Taking a beam of length L as an example, we write, for the stiffness S:
C 2 EI
S (51)
L3 ,
where I is the second moment of its area and C2 is a constant. Integrating with the boundary conditions F
= Fi at t = 0 gives a result with the form of Eq. (47). Proceeding as before, we find for the minimum
weight design of a leaf spring (or any spring loaded in bending), which must not relax its restoring force
y2 3
in time tr at temperature T, the index M7 is M 7  
, with D (when n > 3) given by

  n1
   (52)
 D   o  o.  ,
 E  t 
 or 
Abel and Ashby (1994) list results for other modes of loading. Similar calculations for ties and panels
y  y1 3
give equations M 1  
and M 8  
again—only the definition of D is different. The earlier
adaptations to cost or energy apply here as well.

NASA/TM—2012-217411 36
3.2.5 The Selection Procedure
Expressions for the indices M and the associated design strengths D are summarized in Appendix 0
to B.3. The close parallel between these results and those for room temperature plasticity (equations
y y2 3  y1 3
M1  
, M7  
and M 8  
) suggests a selection procedure. The design temperature T and
acceptable deflection-rate  or life, t, or relaxation time tr are identified. Using this information, values
for the appropriate D are calculated from a database of creep properties for materials (it is necessary to
capture the value of D at the value y to allow for the change of deformation mechanism to yielding at
low temperatures). These are used to construct a chart of log (D) against log (). This is the creep-
equivalent of Figure 14, but is specific to the particular temperature, deflection-rate or life required by the
design since these appear in the definition of D. The indices M1, M7 and M8 can be plotted onto it,
allowing optimum selection for each application.
This is best understood through examples. Those of the next section are deliberately simplified to
avoid unnecessary digression. The method remains the same when the complexity is restored.

3.2.6 Case Study

The example below illustrates the selection of materials for structures loaded at elevated
temperatures, and which are limited by deflection. Components limited by fracture or by stress relaxation
can be handled in a similar manner. Remember many other considerations enter the selection of materials
for high-temperature use as well; for example resistance to oxidation, to thermal shock, and so on. Here
we consider the selection for the initial short-list of candidates, of which these additional considerations
would then be investigated. Case Study 1c: Fan and Turbine Blades for Gas Turbines
A rotating blade of an aircraft turbine is self-loaded (Figure 20(a) and Figure 23); the centrifugal
force caused by its own mass is much larger than that exerted by the gases which propel it. Adiabatic
compression of the intake air can heat the compressor-fan blade to 400 C or more. The dominant mode
of steady loading, therefore, is tensile, and proportional (for fixed blade proportions) to the density of the
blade material. It could, then, be anticipated that the appropriate index is that for tensile loading, M1 of

equation M 1  y , with the design strength for tensile loading, D, replacing y, see Eq. (38).
More detailed analyses add complexity, but confirm this result (Able and Ashby, 1994). The turbine
blade is loaded in the same way, but is hotter: designers would like to go to 1000 C. The task is to select
materials to maximize the safe angular velocity of the compressor or turbine blade, designed to operate
for a life t of 1000 hr without extending by more than , which is required to be 1.0 percent of its length,
for each of these temperatures, and at the same time to minimize the weight.
The profile and section are determined by the blade design—neither is free. The mass is minimized
by minimizing
M9  (53)

Figure 24 through Figure 26 show D creep strength, calculated for 400, 1000, and 1500 C,
respectively, with a value of L
and T corresponding to the design specification, plotted against density,
. Selection lines plotting the appropriate indices are shown and the corresponding potential material
selections are listed in Table 7 through Table 9. The sweet spot (desired location) for material selection
being the upper left hand corner of the figures.

NASA/TM—2012-217411 37
gure 23.—A sc
chematic of a tu
urbine blade

Figure 24.—A selec

ction chart for deflection
d limite 00 C for a life
ed design at 40
of 1000 hr.

11 38
Figure 25.—A selec
ction chart for deflection
d limite 000 C for a life
ed design at 10 e
of 1000 hr

Figure 26.—A selec

ction chart for deflection
d limite 500 C for a life
ed design at 15 e
of 1000 hr.


B DESIGN N AT 400 C FO OR A LIFE OF 11000 hr
Materiall Commeent
Ti-matrix composites (Ti/S Si/Cf) The ultimaate in performannce, but very exppensive
Ti alloys (e.g., Ti 685, 62442) High creepp strength and loow density makees these the best choice
Ni-based superalloys
s (e.g., IN738) Excellent creep strength, bbut both indices M1 and M4 inferrior to Ti alloys
Iron basedd superalloys, staainless steels Less goodd than nickel-bassed alloys, but chheaper
Ceramics and
a CMC’s Excellent values
v of M1 andd M4 but brittlenness is a problem

11 39
Mateerial Commment
Ni-based superalloys
s Am
mong metallic allloys, these have the highest valuues of M1 but heaavy
y metals W--Re alloys offer hhigh M1 but veryy heavy
Oxide ceraamics and silicon
n-based ceramiccs, CMS’s Larrge weight savinng possible if dessign can accomm
modate brittlenesss


B DESIGN N AT 1500 C FO OR A LIFE OF 11000 hr
Materiial Comm ment
Oxide andd silicon-based ceeramics (SiC, All203) Offer high
h values of M 1 and M4 but design must accom mmodate brittlenness
y metals Tungstten – rhenium crreep resistant, buut heavy
Ceramic composites (SiC--SiC; carbon-carrbon) Potentiial for gains in pperformance, butt brittleness and chemical stability
requiree attention

3.3 Engineered
E Materials
Engin neered or 'hybbrid' materialss are combinaations of two oor more mateerials, or of m materials and sspace,
assembled d in such a waay as to have attributes nott offered by aany one materrial alone (Figgure 27).
Particulate and fiber reeinforced commposites are ex xamples of onne type of hybbrid, but there are many otthers:
sandwich structures, laattice structurees, segmented d structures annd more. Hybbrids and com mposites differ
from bulk k materials in providing an opportunity to t tailor the pproperties of tthe ‘material’ to the
applicatioon—in effect designing
d thee material, wh
hile designingg the componeent. This requuires the abilitty to
synthesizee properties of
o candidate hybrid
h materiaals during thee design proceess. This in tuurn requires thhe
engineer tot choose the components of the hybrid, their configuuration and thheir relative ffraction. The nnew
variables expand the deesign space, allowing
a the creation
c of neew “materials” with specifi fic property
profiles. Consequently
C , one can vieww these new “materials”
“ ass mini-structuures since inteernal to the

Figure 27.—H Hybrid materials combine the properties of ttwo (or

more) mono olithic materials
s, or of one ma aterial and spacce.
They includ de fibrous and particulate
p com
mposites, foamss and
lattices, san
ndwiches and almost
a all naturral materials.

11 40
material the individual constituents will redistribute the local stress and strain fields to carry the globally
applied fields most effectively.
But how is one to compare a hybrid—a sandwich structure for example—with monolithic materials
such as polycarbonate or titanium? To do this we must think of the sandwich not only as a hybrid with
faces of one material bonded to a core of another, but as a “material” in its own right, with its own set of
effective properties; it is these that allow the comparison.
The approach adopted here is one of breadth rather than precision. The aim is to assemble methods to
allow the properties of alternative hybrids to be scanned and compared with those of monolithic materials,
seeking those that best meet a given set of design requirements. Once materials and configuration have
been chosen, standard methods—optimization routines, finite-element analyses—can be used to refine
them. But what the standard methods are not good at is the quick scan of alternative combinations. That is
where the approximate methods discussed here pay off.
The broad classes of hybrid can be considered in this way:
 Cellular structures are combinations of material and space giving precise control of density,
stiffness, strength and thermal conductivity.
 Sandwich structures have outer faces of one material supported by a core of another, usually a
low density material—a configuration that can offer a flexural stiffness per unit weight that is
greater than that offered by either component alone.
 Composites combine two solid components, one, the reinforcement, contained in the other, the
 Coated materials enable the surface properties of the bulk material to be enhanced by addition of
a thin surface layer.

Continuum and micro-mechanical models can be used to estimate the equivalent properties of each
configuration. These can then be plotted on material selection charts, which become comparison-tools for
exploring unique combinations of configuration and material. Some examples follow later.

3.3.1 Holes in Material-Property Space

As previously described, material properties can be “mapped” as material property charts of which
Figure 28 is an example (for an up-to-date survey see Ashby et al. 2010). All the charts have one thing in
common: parts of them are populated with materials but other parts are not. Some parts of the holes are
inaccessible for fundamental reasons that relate to the size of atoms and the nature of the forces that bind
them together. But others are empty even though, in principle, they could be filled. Criteria of Excellence

Is anything to be gained by developing materials (or material-combinations) that lie in these holes?
To answer this a criteria of excellence is needed to assess the merit of any given hybrid. These are
provided by the material indices, described above. If a possible hybrid has a value of any one of these that
exceed those of existing materials, it achieves our goal.
The axes of Figure 28 are Young’s modulus, E, and density . The property-combinations E/, E1/2/
and E1/3/ are measures of the excellence or material indices for selecting materials for light, stiff
structures. A grid of lines of one index—E/—is plotted on the figure. The arrow lies normal to the index
lines. If the filled areas can be expanded in the direction of the arrow (i.e., to greater values of E/) the
materials so created will enable lighter, stiffer structures to be made. The arrow thus defines a vector for
material development.
One approach to filling holes—the long-established one—is that of developing new metal alloys, new
polymer chemistries and new compositions of glass and ceramic so as to create monolithic materials that
expand the populated areas of the property charts. But developing new materials can be expensive and

NASA/TM—2012-217411 41
Figure 28.—A material property chart showing modulu us-density space, with contou urs of
specific modulus, E/. Part of the spa ace is occupied
d by materials, part it empty (tthe
“holes”).. Material development that extended the occcupied territorry in the directio
on of
the arroww (the “vector for
f material dev velopment”) alllows componen nts with greateer
s-to-weight thann is at present possible.

uncertain, and the gainss tend to be in ncremental ratther than step--like. An alterrnative is to coombine two oor
more existting materialss so as to alloww a superposittion of their pproperties—inn short, to creaate hybrids. Thhe
great succcess of carbonn and glass-fibber reinforced composites aat one extremee, and of foam med materials at
another (hhybrids of matterial and spacce) in filling previously
p em
mpty areas of tthe material prroperty chartss is
encourageement to explo ore ways in which
w such hyb brids can be ddesigned.
When n is a hybrid a “material”? There
T is a certtain duality abbout the way iin which hybrrids are thoughht
about and discussed. So ome, like filleed polymers, composites
c orr wood are treaated as materiials in their ow
right, eachh characterized by its own sets of macrosccopic material al properties. O
Others—like ggalvanized steeel—
are seen as
a one materiaal (steel) to wh hich a coating of a second ((zinc) has beenn applied, eveen though it coould
be regardeed as a new material
m with th he strength off steel but the surface propeerties of zinc. Sandwich pannels
illustrate the
t duality, so ometimes view wed as two sheets of face-m material separaated by a coree material, andd
sometimes—to allow comparison wiith monolithicc materials—aas a “materiall” with their own density, aaxial
and flexurral stiffness an
nd strength, thhermal conducctivity, expannsion coefficieent, etc. To caall any one of tthese
a “materiaal” and characcterize it as su
uch is a useful shorthand, alllowing designners to use exxisting methodds
when desiigning with th hem. But if wee are to design n the hybrid ittself, we mustt deconstruct iit, and think oof it as
a combinaation of materrials (or of maaterial and spaace) in a choseen configuratiion.

3.3.2 Sy t Propertiees of Cellularr Structures:: Foams and Lattices

ynthesizing the
This section
s provid
des an examplle of the synthhesizing propeerties of foam ms and cellularr structures. Soome
simple maathematical models
m mogenized prooperties of theese materials aare discussed first.
for syntthesizing hom
This is folllowed by a nu
umerical exam mple. The prinncipal sourcess of the followwing models aare: Gibson annd
Ashby (19 997) and Ashb 0). For a simillar discussionn of other classses of hybridss: composites and
by et al. (2000
sandwich panels see Asshby et al. (20 010).

11 42
ure 29.—A celll in a low densiity foam. When
n the foam is lo
oaded, the
ell edges bend, giving a low-m
modulus struct ure.

Figure 300.—A micro-tru uss structure an

nd its unit cell. The
cell edg
ges stretch when the structurre is loaded,
making g it stiffer and stronger
s than a foam of the sa ame

Cellullar structures——foams and lattices—are

l hybrids
h of a soolid and a gass. The propertties of the gas
might at first
fi sight seem m irrelevant, butb this is not so. The therm mal conductiviity of low-dennsity foams off the
sort used for
f insulation is determined d by the condu uctivity of thee gas containeed in its pores;; and the dieleectric
propertiess, and even thee compressibiility, can depeend on the gass properties. T There are two distinct speciees of
cellular so
olid. The first,, typified by foams,
fo are bennding-dominatted structuress; the second, typified by
triangulateed lattice strucctures, are strretch dominateed—a distincttion explainedd more fully bbelow.
Foamms are cellularr solids made by expanding g polymers, m metals, ceramiics or glasses with a foamiing
agent—a generic term for one of maany ways of introducing gaas, much as yyeast does in bbread-makingg.
Figure 29 shows an ideealized cell off a low-densitty foam. It coonsists of solidd cell walls or edges
surrounding a void spaace containing g a gas or fluiid. Foams havve the charactteristic that, wwhen loaded, tthe
cell walls bend. Latticee-structures (F Figure 30) aree configured to suppress bbending, so thhe cell edges hhave
to stretch instead. Density
Cellullar solids are characterized
d by their rela
ative density, which for thee structure shoown here (with
t << L) iss

 t
 C1   (54)
s L

where ~ y of the foam,, s is the den

 is the density nsity of the soolid of which iit is made, L iis the cell sizee, t is
ness of the celll edges and C1 is a constan
the thickn nt, approximaately equal to 1.

11 43
3.3.3 Mechanical Properties
In Figure 31 the compressive stress-strain curve of a cellular solid is depicted. The material is linear
elastic, with modulus E up to its elastic limit, at which point the cell edges yield, buckle or fracture. The
foam continues to collapse at a nearly constant stress (the “plateau stress”,  pl ) until opposite sides of the
cells impinge (the “densification strain” ~ ), when the stress rises rapidly. The mechanical properties are
calculated in the ways developed below.
Elastic Moduli of Bending-Dominated Foams: A remote compressive stress  exerts a force F  L2
on the cell edges, causing them to bend and leading to a bending deflection , as shown in Figure 29. For
the open-celled structure shown in the figure, the bending deflection scales as

F L3
 (55)
Es I

where Es is the modulus of the solid of which the foam is made and I  12
t 4
is the second moment of area
of the cell edge of square cross section, t2. The compressive strain suffered by the cell as a whole is then 
= 2/L. Assembling these results gives the modulus E   /  of the foam as

~ ~
  
E  C 2   E s (bending-dominated behavior) (56)
 s 
~ ~   , we expect the constant of proportionality C to be close to unity—a
Since E  E s when  s 2
speculation confirmed both by experiment. Numerical simulation gives C1 = 0.7, the value used in the
examples below. The quadratic dependence means that a small decrease in relative density causes a large
drop in modulus. When the cells are equiaxed in shape, the foam properties are isotropic with shear
modulus, bulk modulus and Poisson’s ratio via

~ 3~ ~ ~ 1
G E KE  (57)
8 3

Elastic Moduli of Stretch-Dominated Lattices: The structure shown in Figure 30, is fully triangulated.
This means that the cell edges must stretch when the structure is loaded elastically. On average one third
of its edges carry tension when the structure is loaded in simple tension, regardless of the loading
direction. Thus

~ ~
E  C3   Es (stretch-dominated behavior) (58)
 s 
with C3 = 1/3. The modulus is linear, not quadratic, in density giving a structure that is stiffer than a foam
of the same density. The structure of Figure 32 is almost isotropic, so we again approximate the shear
modulus, bulk modulus and Poisson’s ratio by Eq. (57). Yield Strength, Flexural Strength and Compressive Strength

Strength of bending-dominated foams. When the structure of Figure 29 is loaded beyond the elastic
limit, its cell walls may yield, buckle elastically or fracture as shown in Figure 32. Consider yielding first
(Figure 32(a)). Cell edges yield when the force exerted on them exceeds their fully plastic moment.

NASA/TM—2012-217411 44
 y,s t 3
M f  (59)

where y,ss is the yield strength

s of thee solid of whiich the foam is made. Thiss moment is rrelated to the
remote strress by M  FL F  L . Assembling thesse results givees the compreessive failure strength wheen
minates, 
yield dom ~

~ 3/ 2
~  C  

  y ,s (yieldd of foams) (60)
c 4 
 s 

p ty, C4  0.3, has

where thee constant of proportionalit h been estabblished both bby experimennt and by num merical
omeric foamss collapse not by yielding but b by elastic bucking; britttle foams by cell-wall fraccture
(Figure 322(b) and (c)). As with plasttic collapse, simple
s scalingg laws describbe this behavvior well. Colllapse
by bucklinng occurs whhen the stress exceeds

~ 2
~  0.05  

 Es (buckl ing of foams)) (61)
c 
 s 

We ideentify the com ~ with

mpressive streength  h the lesser off Eqs. (60) orr (61). We furrther set the yield
~ ~
strength  the flexuraal strength  equal to  ~ .
y flex
f c

e 31.—The mo odulus is determ mined by cell e
bennding or stretch
hing. The platea au stress is
deteermined by buc ckling, plastic b
bending or
cturing of the ce
ell walls.

11 45
F 32.—Collapse of foams s. (a) When a ffoam made of a plastic
materials load ded beyond its elastic limit, thhe cell edges be end
plastically. (b)) An elastomeric foam, by con ntrast, collapse
es by the
elastic bucklinng of its cell edges. (c) A brittlle foam collapsses by the
successive fra acturing of cell edges.

gth of stretch--dominated la
attices: Collapse occurs whhen the cell eedges yield, ggiving the colllapse
~  1  

 y , s (yieldd of lattices) (62)
3   s

n upper bound
This is an d since it assum
mes that the struts
s yield inn tension or coompression w
when the struccture
is loaded. If the struts are
a slender, th hey may buckkle before theyy yield. Theyy do so at the stress

~ 
 c  0.2   Es (63)
 s 
We identiify the compressive strengtth ~ with the lesser of Eqqs. (62) and (663).We furtheer identify thee

yield stren
ngth  , the flexural
f streng
gth  withh ~ .
y flex c Fracture Toughness

Fractture toughnesss of bending-dominated fo oams: Foams tthat contain long crack-likke flaws comppared
to the celll size  fail by
b fast fracturre, meaning thhat the crack ppropagates unnstably, if thee stress intenssity
factor excceeds the critical value K Ic , which is thee lesser of

11 46
~ 
1/ 2
 ~ 
3/ 2
K Ic  0.5    K Ic ,s and K Ic,s (64)
a  s 
Here a is the intrinsic flaw size of the cell edge material, KIc,s is its fracture toughness and ts,s is its tensile
strength; wherein typically  / a  10 .
This behavior is not confined to open-cell foams. Most closed-cell foams also follow these scaling
laws. At first sight, this is an unexpected result because the cell faces must carry membrane stresses when
the foam is loaded, and these should lead to a linear dependence of both stiffness and strength on relative
density. The explanation lies in the fact that the cell faces are very thin; they buckle or rupture at stresses
so low that their contribution to stiffness and strength is small, leaving the cell edges to carry most of the
Fracture toughness of stretch-dominated lattices: Lattices that contain long crack-like flaws
compared to the cell size  fail by fast fracture if the stress intensity factor exceeds the critical value K Ic ,
which is the lesser of

~ 
1/ 2
 ~ 
K Ic  0.5    K Ic , s and K Ic ,s (65)
a  s 
 / a is the ratio of the cell size of the foam to the flaw size in the material—again typically having a
value of approximately 10.

3.3.4 Thermal Properties

Specific heat and thermal expansion: The specific heat Cp of foams and lattices (units: J/kg.K) and
the expansion coefficient ~ (units K–1) are the same as those of the solid of which they are made.
Thermal conductivity: The cells in most cellular structures are sufficiently small that convection of
the gas within them is completely suppressed. The thermal conductivity of the foam is then the sum of
that conducted thought the cell walls and that through the still air (or other gas) they contain. To an
adequate approximation

~ 1   ~
 ~ 3 / 2   ~ 
     2     s  1      g (66)
3   s    s     s  

where s is the conductivity of the solid and g that of the gas (for dry air it is 0.025 W/m.K). The term
associated with the gas is important: blowing agents for foams intended for thermal insulation are chosen to
have a low value of g.

3.3.5 Electrical Properties

Resistivity: The electrical resistivity, ~
elec of foam is given by

~ 3
elec  elec,s
 ~  ~ 
3/ 2 
    2 

  (67)
   s   s  
 
Dielectric properties: Insulating foams are attractive for their low dielectric constant, ~r , falling
towards 1 (the value for air or vacuum) as the relative density decreases:

NASA/TM—2012-217411 47
~  1    1  
 (68)
r r ,s 
 s 

where r,s is the dielecttric constant of

o the solid off which the fooam is made. The dielectricc loss tangentt is
independeent of foam density and jusst equal to thaat of the solidd of which thee foam is madde.

3.3.6 Example:
E Alu
uminum Metal Matrix Co
omposite (MM
MC) Foams and Latticess
The sttarting point isi aluminum 20% 2 SiC(p),4 a mix that iss the basis of oone of the Cyymat range off
metal foam ms. The properties of two hybrids are compared a “F Foam” and ann “Octet latticce”, that generrates
o new records. They appeaar on the Mod
two sets of dulus-Densityy chart of Figuure 33 as linees of white annd
gray circles, respectiveely. The starting material, Al A 20% SiC(pp), is identifieed at the uppeer right. The
modeled foams,
f plotted d white, are laabeled with th Measured data for
heir relative ddensities in paarentheses. M
real alumiinum-SiC(p) foams (shown n as black ellipse in Fig. 3 3) are also labbeled, underlined, with rellative
i parentheses, allowing a comparison. Note that thee lattices, plottted in gray, liie at higher vaalues
densities in
of modulu us for the sam me density. Att a relative density of 3.5% % (0.035) the llattice is preddicted to be teen
times stifffer than foam m of that density.
In Fig
gure 34 many other
o engineerring materials have been addded. The latticce structures oout-perform alll of
them, expaanding the pop pulated area of
o the chart. Soo an AlSiC(p) lattice providdes one possiblle way to findd a
material with
w superior modulus/densi
m ty performancce than convenntional materiials. Further exxamples can bbe
found in Ashby
A et al. (2010).

Figurre 33.—The inp put window of the

t synthesizerr, set for Cellula
ar structures – Octet lattice. T
The chart showws
somme of the outpu ut. The starting
g material, Al 20
0% SiC(p) apppears at the uppper right. The line of white
ellipses show the modulus and density of foam ms made from A Al-SiC(p). Theyy should be compared with th he
meeasured values s for real alumin
num SiC(p) foa ams, shown in bblack with undeerlined labels. The relative
den nsities are liste
ed in brackets. The modulus and a density of llattices made oof the same ma aterial are
shoown in gray forr comparison. Chart
C generated by the CES H Hybrid Synthessizer, (Ashby e et al., 2010).

11 48
Figure 34.—
—The moduli of o Al-SiC lattice
es compared too those of the o
other materials of engineering g. The lattices lie
outside the currently po
opulated areas of the chart. Numbers
N in bracckets are relatiive densities. C
Chart generated d by
the CES Hybrid Synthe esizer, (Ashby et
e al., 2010).

3.3.7 The
brid Synthesiizer
The approach
a desccribed has beeen implemented in the CES S Selector (20011), as a scoping tool thatt
allows fasst exploration n of hybrid strructures (see Ashby
A et al., 22010). It pressents approximmate analysess of
the properrties that migh ht be achieveed by formingg a single mateerial into a ceellular structuure or by
combining g two materiaals to form a sandwich
s or a composite. T The purpose oof the tool is to encourage
innovation n by allowing g estimated prroperty-profilles for virtuall novel hybridds to be exploored and comppared
with the property-profi
p iles of established engineerring materialss.
If a su
uitable innovaative materiall can be found d in this way, the next stepps are more deetailed analysses,
e.g., usingg finite elemeent methods, followed
f by manufacturing
m g, testing and qualifying thhe new materiial.

4.0 Data
D Issuess
To acccomplish the material seleection processses described above, the quuantity and quuality of the
material innformation iss central to alll aspects of th
he process andd most imporrtantly to the ffinal engineerring
products. The needs fo or materials innformation ch hange throughhout the lifecyycle of an enggineering
componen nt see Table 10.
1 Likewise, the informatiics infrastructture required to handle thee potentially
massive amounts
a of maaterial data sh
hould not be overlooked
o noor underestimmated.
Early in the design n process, the ‘conceptual design’
d phasee, informationn is needed foor all possible
materials,, but at a relattively low lev
vel of precisioon, since the oobjective at thhis stage is to select a smalll
subset of materials thatt can optimallly perform the function off the componeent with accepptable cost annd
environmental impact. ‘Typical’ vallues of the en ngineering prooperties and eenvironmental impact data are
best suited
d to this task. Narrowing th his subset to one
o or two prreferred candiidates requirees encyclopeddic
data sourcces that can innform the dessigner of a wid de range of (ooften unquanttifiable) charaacteristics of the

11 49
material. This ‘supporting information’ includes details of corrosion, heat treatment, environmental
impact and joining characteristics, as well as previous in-house experience in using the material. As the
design of the component is finalized, detailed stress analyses and lifing calculations are needed, which in
turn require very precise ‘allowable’ design values of the properties of a single material.


Product life phase Materials information Engineering operation
Design Selection data (typical props) Materials selection
Supporting information Environmental analysis
Environmental impact information Life cycle assessment
Design ‘allowables’ Design calculations
Specific constitutive and failure Stress analysis
models for detailed design Lifing, simulation
Manufacture Processing data Process modeling,
Manufacturing simulation
In-service Durability information Maintenance
Predict remaining life
Investigate failures
End of life Environmental impact information End of life policy implementation
Hazardous materials regulations
Recycling information

Next the component must be manufactured, which has its own data requirements for information
about the processing characteristics of the raw material—the viscosity when molten, the strength at high
temperature, the hardness, toughness, etc. Then when the component is in service, there is a need for
material data for maintenance purposes (e.g., for manufacturing spare parts), for predicting the remaining-
life and for investigating service failures when they arise. Finally, at the end of life, the component may
be recycled or disposed-of in some other way, therefore requiring knowledge of the environmental
characteristics of the material—for example information about toxicity or degradation in landfill and
associated legislative requirements—can be essential.
All this is to make the point that having a multifaceted, “complete” material data source in a well
organized, easily retrievable, information management system is a critically important and often
unappreciated aspect of the entire engineering process. The value of a given database depends on its
precision and its completeness, or in other words on its quality. Consequently, numerous procedures of
checking and validating data have been devised, see for example Ashby (1998), Cebon and Ashby (2000)
and Cebon and Ashby (2006) for discussion of checking methods, including property range and
dimensionless correlations concepts.
The material data lifecycle is described in Figure 35 wherein data is captured and consolidated from
external sources, legacy databases as well as internal (possibly proprietary) testing programs. Next data is
analyzed and integrated to create/discover useful information and then deployed (disseminated) to the
people who need and use it. With the continual maintenance of the whole system (the data and
information generated as well as the relationships, or links, between them) being the last yet essential
stage of the data lifecycle. To support the various required activities throughout this data lifecycle
requires the integration (preferably seamless) of a variety of software tools. These range from data input,
reduction/analysis, visualization, reporting tools; material parameter estimation tools; product life
management tools (PLM); to structural analysis codes that utilize a central database. These tools should
enable material and structural engineers throughout the enterprise to input, manage and utilize
information in as an efficient, reliable and user-friendly way as possible. An information management
system that was conceived of by the Material Data Management Consortium [] and built

NASA/TM—2012-217411 50
Figure 35.—Four aspeccts of
material data lifecycle

by Grantaa Design prov

vides just such
h an environm
ment and inforrmation manaagement toolsset. The toolset is
composed d of two primary componen nts:

1. GRANTA MI: is a comprehen nsive materialls informationn system acceessible from tthe web. Its uunique
databaase is specificcally designed to store maaterials properrties, responsse curves and other data reelating
to maaterials. It com
mprises a seriies of powerfu
ful software toools which heelp you to coontrol, analyzee, and
apply your data.
2. CES Selector: is a PC softwaree application that offers addvanced graphhical analysiss of materialss data,
plus specialist
s eco
o design and d modeling to ools, in suppport of materrials selectionn and substitution

5.0 Conclusion
C ns
Tradee-offs are endemic in both everyday lifee and materialls selection. T Typically the jjob of a desiggner
is to balan
nce a variety ofo functional requirementss (i.e., types oof loading connditions (tensiion, compresssion,
bending, vibration,
v cycclic, etc.) with
h constraints (manufacturab
( ability, geomeetric limits, ennvironmental
aspects, maintainability
m y, to name a few)
f so as to arrive
a at the 'ooptimum' chooice of structuural concept aand
material selection
s for a given weigh ht and/or cost.. Herein a sysstematic, desiggn-oriented, ffive step apprroach
to materiaal selection haas been descriibed: 1) estab blishing desiggn requiremennts, 2) materiaal screening,
3) rankingg, 4) researching specific candidates
c andd 5) applyingg specific cultuural constrainnts to the seleection
process. At
A the core off this approach h was the intrroduction of pperformance iindices, throuugh mathemattical
analysis of
o idealizationns representin ng various eng gineering probblems. Findinng a material with a high vvalue
of these in
ndexes maxim mizes the perfformance of th he componennt. Material seelection charts, which plot one
property against
a anotheer, were also introduced an nd shown to pprovide a pow werful graphiccal environmeent
wherein one
o could apply and analyzze quantitativee selection crriteria, such ass those capturred in perform mance
indices, annd make tradee-offs betweeen conflicting g objectives. TTwo specific eexamples perrtaining to
aerospacee (engine blad des and pressu ure vessels) where
w examineed both at rooom temperatuure and elevatted
temperatu ure (wherein time
t dependen nt effects werre accounted for) to demonnstrate the meethodology. A
discussionn with respectt to engineereed/hybrid matterials and hoow these can bbe effectivelyy tailored to fiill in
holes in th
he material prroperty space so as to enab ble innovationn and increasees in performance over
monolithiic materials. Finally,
F a brieef discussion relative to th e data collecttion, analysis,, deployment,, and
maintenan nce issues waas addressed.

11 51
NASA/TM—2012-217411 52
Appendix A.—Table of Material Indices
Stiffness-limited Strength-limited Vibration-limited
Function and constraints
design design design
Tie (tensile strut)
Stiffness, length specified; section area free E/ρ E/ρ

Shaft (loaded in torsion)
 2f 3
Stiffness, length, shape specified, section area free G1/2/ρ

Stiffness, length, outer radius specified; wall thickness free G/ρ

1f 2
Stiffness, length, wall-thickness specified; outer radius free G1/3/ρ

Beam (loaded in bending)
 2f 3
Stiffness, length, shape specified; section area free E1/2/ρ E1/2/ρ

Stiffness, length, height specified; width free E/ρ -----

All dimensions specified ----- E/ρ
1f 2
Stiffness, length, width specified; height free E1/3/ρ

Column (compression strut, failure by elastic buckling)
Buckling load, length, shape specified; section area free E1/2/ρ

Panel (flat plate, loaded in bending)
1f 2
Stiffness, length, width specified, thickness free E1/3/ρ E1/3/ρ

All dimensions specified ----- E/ρ
Plate (flat plate, compressed in-plane, buckling failure)
1f 2
Collapse load, length and width specified, thickness free E1/3/ρ

Cylinder with internal pressure
Elastic distortion, pressure and radius specified; wall f
thickness free 
Spherical shell with internal pressure
Elastic distortion, pressure and radius specified; wall f
E/(1 – v)ρ
thickness free 

NASA/TM—2012-217411 53
B.1 Creep
C Fractu
Creep fraccture. Time to
o fracture (“liife”) = tf; n >>
Mode of loaading Geo
ometry Design strength Index
Tension; centrifugal
c loadin
 tf0 q D
Any b and h D   f 0   M
 tf  
 

Bending D
b = h M

b fixed  tf0 q 12
h free D   f 0   M 
 tf  
 
h fixed 
b free M D

Torsion Solid
S D
R free 
t = R D
1 M
 tf0  q 
D   f 0  
t fixed  tf  D

R free   M 

R fixed D
t free 
Pressure tu
ubes and vesselss

R fixed  tf0 q D
D   f 0   M
t free  tf  
 

To minimize cost, replace  by Cm in the expressions

e M to minimize eenergy content, rreplace  by qm
for M; .

11 54
B.2 Creep
C Deflecction
Creep defflection. Timee to deflect through  (“lifee”) = t;    / t n >> 1
Mode of load ding Geom
metry Design streength Index
Tension; centrifugal
c loadin
  n D
Any b and h  D   o   M
 
 L  o 

Bending D
b = h M

b fixed
fi 12
  n D
h free
f  D   o   M 
 
 L  o 
h fixed
fi 
b free
f M D

Torsion So
olid 1 D

 n
  M
R free
f 
 D  o  

t = R
 3 o  D

t fiixed D

R free
f M 
1 
 R  n
R fixed
f  D  o   D
 3 L  M
t free
f  o  
Pressure tu
ubes and vesselss

R fixed
f  R n D
 D   o   M
t free
f  
 R  o 

To minimize cost, replace  by Cm in the expressions

e M to minimize eenergy content, rreplace  by qm
for M; .

11 55
B.3 Creep
C Relaxation
Creep relaaxation. Timee to relax to Fi/2 or Ti/2 (“llife”) = tr; n >
>> 1
Mode of load
ding Geom
metry Design streength Index
   n1 D
Any b and h  D   o  o  M

 E o t r 

Bending D
b = h M

b fix
xed 12
   n1 D
h frree  D   o  o  M 
 E o t r  
h fix
xed D
b frree M

Torsion Sollid D
R free
fr 
t = R D
1 M
 o  n1 
t fix
xed  D   o  
 12
R free
fr  2 3 oGtr  M 

R fix xed 
M D
t frree 
To minimize cost, replace  by Cm in the expressions
e M to minimize eenergy content, rreplace  by qm
for M; .

11 56
A B.—Design
B n Strength
h and Indiices For C
Creep Deflection
t design strrength D is defined
Here the d and th
he performan nce indices M are derived for the creep
fracture problem defineed in Figure 36.
3 First, the objective
o funcction is establlished; as it ddescribes the
quantity (like mass or cost)
c to be maaximized or minimized.
m Thhen the constrraints are form mulated—thee
acceptablee deflection rate or life. Neext, the constrraints are subbstituted into tthe objective function,
eliminatinng free variab
bles, and the design
d strengtth, D, is idenntified and lastly, the perforrmance indexx M,
is extracteed.

B.1 Simple Tensiion or Compression: Minimum

Weight Desiggn
A tie of length L an
nd section A carries
c a tensiile load F (Figgure 36(a)). T
The objectivee function is
m  AL (B1)

nsion rate of  of the tie is

The exten
n n
    F 
  L  L 0    L 0   (B2)

 0  A 0 
The free variable
v is thee section area A. The mass is reduced byy reducing A, but A is consstrained by thhe
need to caarry F withouut deflecting faster
fa than  . For a prescriibed maximum
m deflection rrate,  the seection
must equaal or exceed
 L  n F (B3)
A 0 
   0
This is thee constraint. Substituting
S itt into the objeective functioon (B1) to elim
minate A givees
LF  L 0  n (B4)
m  AL   
0   
ng this with th
he fully plastic solution
L F
m (B5)

xtract the desiign strength, D:

we can ex
   n (B6)
 D  0  
 L 0 
which plaays the role, att high temperrature, of the yield
y strengthh at low. Thuss the lightest materials whiich
will suppoort a load F att temperaturee T without deeflecting fasteer than  are those with thhe greatest vallue of
M  (B7)

with D given by Eq. (B
B6). To minimmize cost insttead of mass, the density  in this equattion is replaceed by
Cm, where Cm is the cost per kg of the material.

11 57
Figure 36
6.—Modes of lo
oading: (a) tens
sion, (b) bendin
ng, (c) a cantile
ever and (d) torrsion.

B.2 Bending
B of Beams,
B Miniimum Weig
ght Design
Consiider a beam lo oaded in bend ding, as in Fig
gure 36(b). Thhe objective ffunction is givven, as beforee, by
Eq. (B1). To develop th he constraint we must anallyze the creepp deflection raate,  , of thee beam. Threee
standard assumptions
a are
a made: the bending disp placements arre small; the nneutral axis liees in the planne of
symmetryy of the beam section; and plane section ns remain planne. The bendiing moment M carried by tthe
beam is reelated to the stress
s i (y) by:
within it,
h 2
M  2b 0 y  y ddy (B8)

n rate   y  at any point in the section iss related to thee change of ccurvature, K by
The strain

 y   y K (B9)

Substituting this into Norton’s

N Law (Eq. (B6)) giives the stresss distribution

   y  
1n 1n
 yK 
 y   0    0   (B10)
  0    0 

Inserting this
t into Eq. (B8),
( integratting and inverrting gives thee key equatioon for any creeeping-beam

11 58
n 2 n 1
  2n  1  M   2 
K   0       (B11)
  2 n  b 0   h 

We shall apply
a it to thee cantilever of Figure 36(c). The curvatuure rate, K x  at the point x (Figure 36((c))

d   Xd   x K x dx (B12)

d deflection raate. The mom

to the end ment at x is

M  Fx (B13)

ng Eqs. (B11) and (B13), and

Combinin a integrating
g along the beeam from x = 0 to x = L giives
 
2  4FL  2n  1  1 
   0 L2    2n 1  (B14)
n2  0  2n  bh n 

gular, with b = h its area A is

If the secttion is rectang

A  bh   h 2 (B15)

Solving Eq.
E (B14) for A gives an ex
xplicit equatio
on for the connstraint on A; and inserting this into Eq. (B1)
for the maass m gives
3n  3 n 1
  2n  1  4 FL  3n 1
m AL  L3n 1  3n 1   2n   
  D 

ned in the maain text, the design strength

As explain h for bendingg is defined ass
  n  2    n (B17)
 D   0    
  2  L 
 0 

n the limit n = , Eq. (B16

because in t result for perfect plastiicity with D = y; that is, D
6) reduces to the
once again ole, for high teemperatures, of the yield sstrength y in room temperrature design.
n plays the ro
Results fo
or other configgurations are listed in Secttion 0.
3n  3 n 1 1n
2n  1 1
n 2
The quantity
q  1, L 3 n  1  L ,  3 n 1   3 and    1.3 foor all n betweeen 3 and 10,
2n  n 
allowing the
t good apprroximation:
 4 FL 
m  L1 3   (B18)
 D 


11 59
1n 1n
     
 D  0    0   (B19)
 L 0   ttL 0 

This is thee same as the tensile resultt of the last seection althouggh  now refe
fers to a lateraal displacemennt,
not an exttension. Thus the lightest materials
m whicch will suppoort a given bennding momennt at temperatture T
without a bending deflection rate grreater than  are those with th the greatestt value of

D2 3
M  (B20)

When b iss fixed and on

nly h is free th o D is unchhanged, but thhe performancce index becomes:
he definition of

 D1 2
M  (B21)

n h is fixed and only b variees it becomes instead:

and when

M  (B22)

To miinimize cost instead

i of maass,  in the laast three equattions is replacced by Cm w
where Cm is thhe
cost per kg
k of the mateerial.

B.2.1 Torsion
T of Shafts, Minimu
um Weight Design
Torsio on appears simmpler, but theere is a wrink
kle. We seek tthe highest shhaft which willl carry a torqque T
without ro otating faster than  . The objective funnction for a ligght shaft is givven, as beforee, by Eq. (B1). A
rotation raate  of a thin
n-walled tubee of length L, radius R and wall thicknesss t (Figure 36(d)) gives a
strain ratee in the wall of

  (B23)

This geneerates a shear stress in the wall

w which is found by rew
writing Nortonn’s Law in terrms of shear stress
 and sheaar strain-rate  (using    3 and   3 ). Com
mbining this w
with (B23) givves

   R  n
  0   (B24)
3 3  3L 0 

ue Tq is given by 2R2t 
The torqu
2R 2t0 R  n
Tq    (B25)
3  3L 0 

It is teempting to identify the dessign strength with

w the quanntity

11 60
 R  n (B26)
D  0  

 3L 0 

but this iss valid only when

w R is held
d fixed and t iss allowed to vvary in optim
mizing the masss or the cost.
When R iss a free variab ble it cannot be
b included in n D since—iin the optimizzation to miniimize mass— —R
must be eliminated. When R is fixed d, we can write (using the definition aboove of D):

2 R 2t 0
Tq  (B27)

mum section which

The minim w will caarry a torque Tq without rottating faster tthan  is

A  2Rt  (B28)
R D

This givess the constrain

nt on A. Subsstituting it into
o Eq. (B1) givves

m  AL
A  (B29)
R D

The mass
m is minim
mized by maxiimizing

M  (B30)

n, instead, t is fixed and R can

When c be varied
d, we must reddefine the dessign strength aas
  
 D   0  
 (B31)
 3 0 

g this in Eq. (B
B25), solving
g for A and ussing this to caalculate the m
mass M, as beffore, gives:
n 1 2 n  2 
Tq  2 n  1
3tT (B32)
m 2 t 2 n 1 L 2 n  1   
  D 

hen n > 3, red

which, wh duces to
 3tTq 
m  2  (B33)
 D 
 

The mass is minimized

d by choosing
g materials wiith high valuees of

 D1 2
M  (B34)

11 61
Repeating the calculation for a solid torsion bar gives

2R 3 0  n   R 
T    (B35)
3  3n  1   3L 0 

The definition of design strength remains the same as Eq. (B31). Inserting this in the last equation and
solving for the section A = R2 gives, via Eq. (B11)
3n  3   3 n 1
3 3Tq
m  C3  L 3 n 1   (B36)
 2  D 
 

 3n  1  3n 1 (B37)
C3   
 3n 

For all n > 3, C3  1 and the exponents simplify to give

 3 3Tq    
m3  L   2.8Tq2 3 L 2 3  (B38)
 2 D 
   D 

The lightest shaft is that with the greatest value of

D2 3
M  (B39)

A similar calculation for a tube in which the thickness scales as the radius, such that t = R gives the
same result, with the same definition for D.

NASA/TM—2012-217411 62
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NASA/TM—2012-217411 64
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01-01-2012 Technical Memorandum
Materials Selection for Aerospace Systems



Arnold, Steven, M.; Cebon, David; Ashby, Mike


WBS 031102.02.03.0249.12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration REPORT NUMBER
John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field E-18042
Cleveland, Ohio 44135-3191


National Aeronautics and Space Administration ACRONYM(S)
Washington, DC 20546-0001 NASA
Subject Category: 39
Available electronically at
This publication is available from the NASA Center for AeroSpace Information, 443-757-5802


Submitted to the AIAA Materials Technical Committee for publication in an AIAA Education Series book entitled “Aerospace Materials
and Applications,” 2012. An errata was added to this document, October 2012.

A systematic design-oriented, five-step approach to material selection is described: 1) establishing design requirements, 2) material
screening, 3) ranking, 4) researching specific candidates and 5) applying specific cultural constraints to the selection process. At the core of
this approach is the definition performance indices (i.e., particular combinations of material properties that embody the performance of a
given component) in conjunction with material property charts. These material selection charts, which plot one property against another, are
introduced and shown to provide a powerful graphical environment wherein one can apply and analyze quantitative selection criteria, such
as those captured in performance indices, and make trade-offs between conflicting objectives. Finding a material with a high value of these
indices maximizes the performance of the component. Two specific examples pertaining to aerospace (engine blades and pressure vessels)
are examined, both at room temperature and elevated temperature (where time-dependent effects are important) to demonstrate the
methodology. The discussion then turns to engineered/hybrid materials and how these can be effectively tailored to fill in holes in the
material property space, so as to enable innovation and increases in performance as compared to monolithic materials. Finally, a brief
discussion is presented on managing the data needed for materials selection, including collection, analysis, deployment, and maintenance
Material performance indices; Material properties; Materials for high temperature applications; Corrosion and oxidation; Material data
a. REPORT b. ABSTRACT c. THIS PAGES 19b. TELEPHONE NUMBER (include area code)
U U PAGE UU 74 443-757-5802
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