What is Material Selection?
In the world of product development, material selection plays a pivotal role in shaping the success and longevity of a product. Choosing the right materials can significantly impact a product’s performance, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and overall customer satisfaction. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of material selection and highlight the benefits of utilizing advanced tools like Ansys Granta Selector. We will also delve into a real-world example to illustrate the process of selecting the ideal material for a product.
Material selection is a critical decision-making process that involves identifying and choosing materials that align with the desired product specifications, performance requirements, and overall objectives. The chosen material influences numerous aspects, including product functionality, durability, manufacturability, environmental impact, and cost-efficiency. It can make or break a product’s success in the market.
Benefits of Granta Selector
In today’s fast-paced and competitive market, product development teams can harness the power of advanced material selection tools like Granta Selector to streamline and optimize the material selection process. Here are some key benefits offered by such tools:
1. Comprehensive Material Databases
Material selection tools often provide extensive databases containing a vast array of materials, including metals, polymers, composites, and more. The core data in Granta Selector includes the unique MaterialUniverse, which is complete and comparable for thousands of materials with technical, environmental and economic data for all classes of materials. The materials in this database are also linked to the specialist datasets available in Granta Selector, which include extensive lists of specifications and suppliers for those materials. These databases offer valuable insights into the properties, characteristics, and performance metrics of various materials, aiding engineers and designers in making informed decisions.
2. Intelligent Material Selections
The material selection capabilities of Granta Selector enable engineers to make intelligent materials selections. By breaking down design requirements into essential function, constraints and understanding our objectives, we can quickly screen and eliminate unsuitable candidates, rank our options by objectives. This analysis empowers designers to select materials that meet the required performance thresholds.
3. Cost Optimization
Granta Selector allows engineers to consider cost factors associated with different materials, including raw material costs, processing costs, and life-cycle costs. By evaluating and comparing costs, product development teams can make financially prudent decisions without compromising on quality or performance.
4. Sustainability and Environmental Considerations
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important consideration when it comes to product development. Granta Selector databases contain environmental data, such as carbon footprint, recyclability, biodegradability, and embodied energy. The EcoAudit tool allows for the high-level evaluation of the environmental impact of a product over its entire life cycle. This enables designers to choose materials that align with sustainability goals and reduce the overall environmental impact of their products.
5. Efficiency and Time Savings
Leveraging Granta Selector streamlines the materials selection process, reduces manual effort, and expedites decision-making. Instead of manually researching and analyzing various materials, engineers can access a wealth of information and make well-informed choices in a fraction of the time.
Case Study: Selecting the Ideal Material for an Automotive Valve
To further emphasize the significance of material selection, let’s explore the example of selecting the ideal material for an automotive valve using Granta Selector. The chosen material must possess specific attributes like adequate strength, high-temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, and dimensional stability. Applying these requirements in Granta Selector allows you to identify the top possible candidate materials. In this case, a variety of plastics, steels, and brass are suitable for this application.
Sustainability considerations are also a primary concern in modern automotive design. Granta Selector also provides tools to estimate the CO2 footprint of a product over its entire lifecycle, enabling the team to prioritize materials with lower environmental footprints. The top candidate materials for the automotive valve are compared to find the material that results in the lowest CO2 footprint over the entire lifecycle of the valve.
Material selection is a vital aspect of product development that significantly influences a product’s success, performance, and overall customer satisfaction. Utilizing advanced material selection tools like Granta Selector empowers product development teams to make informed decisions, optimize costs, enhance sustainability, and expedite the decision-making process. By leveraging these tools, engineers and designers can choose materials that align with their objectives and create exceptional products that stand the test of time in a competitive market.
In an era where customers value quality, performance, sustainability, and innovation, material selection proves to be a game-changer for companies striving to create cutting-edge products that resonate with their target audience.