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Structural Materials: Selection and Economics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

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Overview

From skyscrapers to transportation infrastructure, structural materials dominate the human landscape. Learning the principles that govern their selection is essential for any aspiring or practicing engineer.

This engineering course will introduce you to the key principles of structural materials selection through a practical curriculum rooted in the real world. The principles taught are general enough to be applied across many domains. Key points are emphasized with interesting examples and anecdotes from industry and academia.

This course benefits aspiring engineers and students with no previous experience as well as the seasoned professional.

Image (c) Eagar, Thomas

Syllabus

Lecture 1: Introduction to externalities of materials selection, comprising social, political, economic, military, cultural, environmental and other effects. 

Lecture 2: Introduction to relationship between material cost, abundance and usage. Factors influencing availability such as energy density and recyclability are also discussed.

Lecture 3: Introduction to the properties of materials that influence use in structural applications. Discussion of ratio analysis using among other examples steel, aluminum, and titanium.

Lecture 4: Discusses manufacturing and processing factors that effect material choice in various applications. Introduction to causes of material failures.

Taught by

Thomas Eagar

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