Callister Chapter 1: Introduction

Now that it’s summer, I am finally making good on my promise to post chapter summaries of Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction, better known as the Callister textbook. There are 22 chapters in total and approximately 11 weeks until Hell Month aka the candidacy exam, so my goal is to cover about two chapters a week. That being said, if there is any topic/chapter that you find especially interesting—or if you just feel like being a super awesome friend—feel free to talk to me about writing your own summary that I can add to this blog!

Materials science and engineering plays an integral role in life as we know it—indeed, it not only influences our everyday lives, but has governed the advancement of humankind so much so that early civilizations are now described by their materials development (Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age). This chapter describes the purpose of materials science and engineering and classifies materials into several main categories.

The purpose of materials science and engineering
-materials science is the study of the relationship between a material’s structure and its properties
-materials engineering is the design of a material’s structure to produce desired properties
-from small scale to large scale, a material’s structure—that is, its internal arrangement—includes subatomic, atomic, microscopic, and macroscopic structure
-a material’s properties fall into the classifications of mechanical, electrical, thermal, magnetic, optical, and deteriorative
-the way a material is processed influences its structure, which in turn influences its properties, and ultimately determines its performance

Classification of materials
-materials are generally classified into the following groups: metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and advanced materials (this is based off chemistry and atomic structure)
-metals: composed of one or more metallic elements, atoms are arranged in orderly manner, dense, stiff yet ductile, resistant to fracture, good conductors of heat and electricity, not transparent to visible light (ex: iron, copper, gold, nickel, or alloys)
-ceramics: compounds between metallic and nonmetallic elements, stiff and strong, hard and brittle, susceptible to fracture, insulators, can be transparent, translucent, or opaque (ex: often oxides, nitrides, carbides, such as Al2O3, SiC, or Si3N4)
-polymers: plastic and rubber materials, large molecular structures that are often chainlike with a carbon backbone, low densities, less stiff and strong but very ductile and pliable, low electrical conductivities and nonmagnetic (ex: polyethylene, polystyrene, nylon)
-composites: composed or two or more materials that come from the previous three categories, achieves a combination of desired properties that is not present in any single material (ex: fiberglass)
-advanced materials: materials used in high tech applications, such as semiconductors (materials with conductivities between that of conductors and insulators), biomaterials (materials that are compatible with body tissue), smart materials (materials that are responsive to their environments), and nanomaterials (materials with structural features on the order of a nanometer or less)
-general trends in the properties of these classes of materials at room temperature can be seen in the sketches below (refer to textbook for more quantitative comparisons):

This chapter was pretty simple, but stay tuned for Chapter 2: Atomic Structure and Interatomic Bonding!

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