Materials permeate our culture more deeply than we realize. Almost every area of our daily lives, including transportation, housing, clothing, communication, recreation, and food production, is influenced by materials in some way. Historically, the development and progress of societies has been closely tied to the ability of their members to produce and manipulate materials to meet their needs. In fact, early civilizations have been identified by their level of materials development (Stone Age, Bronze Age, etc.).
Materials science is the study of the relationships that exist between the structure and properties of materials. Materials engineering, in contrast, is the design or engineering of the structure of a material to produce a given set of properties based on these structure-property correlations. This book focuses on the relationship between material properties and structural elements.
About the Book
Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering is another version of my textbook Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction, Fifth Edition An Introduction, Fifth Edition. The content of both texts is the same, but the order of presentation is different, and Fundamentals utilizes new techniques to enhance teaching and learning.
With regard to the order of presentation, there are two general approaches to teaching materials science and engineering: one is what I call the “traditional” approach and the other is what many call the “integrative” approach. In the traditional approach, the structure, properties, and characteristics of metals are presented first, followed by similar discussions of ceramic materials and polymers.
The fifth edition of the “Introduction” is organized in this way and is preferred by many materials science and engineering instructors. In the integrated approach, one particular structure, property, or nature is presented for all three material types before moving on to a discussion of another structure/property/property. This is the order of explanation in Fundamentals.