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MTE455: Mechanical Behavior of Materials Library Resource Guide

This guide is intended for use in MTE455 with Dr. Nilesh Kumar in Spring 2023 semester.

What To Know Before Searching

Searching by keyword requires a fair amount of knowledge about both the property and the material.   You could miss finding the data because the authors of the articles and books you're searching used different terminology OR you may accidently miss the answer that could be right in front of you, on the screen, or on the page because it's listed by a property symbol rather than the word.   So before you begin your search, make sure you know the following. 

  1. For the Property: 
    1. Definition
      What is being measured and what is it used for?  If you know this you'll be able to judge an article/book/database more quickly as a likely source (or not) of the information you need.  Example: Bulk Modulus deals with compressibility, a mechanical property, so if you are looking for the Bulk Modulus of a metal, then a book entitled "Mechanical Properties of Metals" would be a possibility but a book entitled "Corrosion in Metals" (corrosion is a chemical reaction) would not.  
    2. Synonyms
      Are there other words that are used for this property?  Because it's impossible to know ahead of time what terminology an article/book/database will use, you should search by all the different ways used to describe the property.  Examples:  Young's Modulus = Modulus of Elasticity, Heat of Formation = Enthalpy of Formation or sometimes just Enthalpy; Molar Extinction Coefficient = Molar Absorptivity.
    3. Symbol
      What is the symbol for your property?  To save space in data tables sometimes the symbol is used as the header of a column rather than the property name.  If you don't recognize the symbol, you may miss the answer that is staring you in the face!
    4. Unit of measurement
      Know the unit of measurement for the same reason you need to know the symbol.  
    5. Formula
      What if you can't find the data for that specific property?  If you know the formula for how that property can be calculated you may be able to find the data to fill in the formula and get the property you need. 
    6. Inverse properties 
      Does your property have an inverse or reciprocal property?  If yes, search for both properties.  This situation is the same as described above under "Formula".  If you can't find one you may be able to find the other and then convert.  For example, electrical conductivity is the inverse of electrical resistivity.   
    7. Field of study/subject area
      Most books and databases are compilations of  related property data, so a book's/database's title will use a term related to that property "group" rather than the name of a specific property.  So if you're looking for heats of formation, you'll probably find more books/databases if you search for them by "Thermodynamics" or "Thermophysics" than you will about "Heat of Formations"  
  2. For the substance:
    1. Synonyms 
      As with properties, most substances may be called by many different names. You need to search all of the names by which the substance may be known.
    2. Chemical formula (if appropriate)
      In many books and database, a chemical substance may be listed by it's molecular formula (MF) rather than by it's name.  For searching purposes, you should add the MF to your list of synonyms for the substance.  

      As with the property symbol, publishers may use the MF as a space saver in a table rather than spelling out the substance name.  So, even if you searched by the substance's name, you may end up with a table that lists the substances by MF instead of name. 

      Also, when viewing a data that is arranged by MF, note how the MFs are listed.  The MFs will seldom be arranged in the familiar order; for example,  salt (NaCl) is likely to be listed with the components in strict alphabetical order,  ClNa.   Another common way to list MFs is by "Hill Order";  inorganic substances are listed in strict alphabetical order by their components, however, organics are listed by carbon (C), hydrogen (H), followed by the remaining components in alphabetical order.  
    3. Material Type 
      As with the property's "field of search", it is sometimes necessary to search the substance by it's "group" or "material type".   Books/databases frequently compile data for groups of substances such as plastics, polymers, metals, minerals, semiconductors, etc. 


Original guide from ASU "Materials Science and Engineering: How to Find Properties of Materials"