Materials Database Registers 180,000 Engineers Worldwide

A version of this post originally appeared on Handshake 2.0

Handshake 2.0 asked Henry Bass, founder of Automation Creations, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

What is MatWeb

We see this description from the MatWeb site: "MatWeb's searchable database of material properties includes data sheets of thermoplastic and thermoset polymers such as ABS, nylon, polycarbonate, polyester, polyethylene and polypropylene; metals such as aluminum, cobalt, copper, lead, magnesium, nickel, steel, superalloys, titanium and zinc alloys; ceramics; plus semiconductors, fibers, and other engineering materials."

Glad to hear that data sheets exist.  What are they for?  Why would someone need them?  Who uses them?  Is anyone local a user of MatWeb?
"Data sheets for over 79,000 metals, plastics, ceramics, and composites."
79,000 is an impressive number in any business realm, especially with a founding in 1997.  What can invite someone in Blacksburg, Virginia, home of Handshake 2.0, to care that MatWeb is here and was created by ACI?  What's its cool factor?

Henry Bass replied:

Funny you should ask! We're actually proud that non-engineers ask us about this, because we can highlight this to our engineering-related advertisers: we've got an exclusive audience of engineers. Non-engineers write us and say they don't get it…so that's one way we can assure that products and services will be seen by the right audience.
Our datasheets provide a reference of the material properties for 79,000+ metals, plastics, ceramics and composites.  This means that when an engineer wants to use 6061-T6 Aluminum in his or her next product design, serves as a handy reference for that metal's density, strength, elasticity and other properties.
Furthermore, if the engineer asks the question, "What other materials could I use that have the strength of this, but would be lighter?", he or she can use MatWeb to quantitatively search and find that Nylon 66 with glass fiber reinforcement can provide about the same strength but is 40% lighter.  If the application doesn't require the product to be exposed to high temperatures, this might be a lighter, cheaper alternative.

MatWeb is a searchable database of material properties data sheets

We went live with MatWeb in 1997, boasting properties of almost 500 materials.  Every year, we add to or update about 12,000 data sheets through the diligent efforts of Virginia Tech engineering students and our expert staff.  The result is that is cited as the reference source for material properties more often than any other reference, printed or online. 
Local users of MatWeb would include the audience of just about all engineers at Virginia Tech (electrical, civil, mechanical, chemical, materials science, aerospace, etc), and engineering-related product development companies such as Moog, Federal Mogul, Safety Performance Solutions and TORC.

The cool factor is that over 180,000 engineers worldwide have registered with us because we're the largest free material property database on the web. Right here in li'l ol' Blacksburg.


Speak Your Mind