Sustainability and Materials Selection


It is intended that students acquire the ability to choose what is the best material for a given application.
Considering the wide variety of existing materials, this is only possible in a rational manner using a selection methodology that systematically elenque materials by figures of merit (material indexes). Also, the selection methods for material processing, shaping and joining may have the same approach.
The methodology is supported by a specific software working with a database of material properties.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Alexandre José da Costa Velhinho


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Michael F. Ashby, “Materials Selection in Mechanical Design", 4th edition, ed. Elsevier – Butterworth Heinemann (2005), 603 pp. [ISBN 0-7506-6168-2]

Michael F. Ashby, “Materials and the Environment – Eco-informed Materials Choice", 1st edition, ed. Elsevier –Butterworth Heinemann (2009), 400 pp. [ISBN 978-1-85617-608-8]

Michael F. Ashby, Kara Johnson, “Materials and Design – The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design", 1st edition, ed. Elsevier – Butterworth Heinemann (2010), 344pp.
[ ISBN 978-1-85617-497-8]

Teaching method

Two types of lessons will be considered: theoretical and practical.
Theoretical lessons will consist of lectures. Further treatment of the various topics will take place in the practical lessons, through the realization of debates. Also, computational work will be performed by students under the guidance of the teacher, corresponding to a sequence of case studies, using for the purpose the CES EduPack software, specifically designed to implement the Ashby selection methodology.

Evaluation method

Minimum attendance conditions: 90% of the classes.
Continuous assessment: Test 1 (T1); Test 2 (T2).
Conditions for exemption from final examination: ND ≥ 9.5 with ND = (T1 + T2) / 2.
Final mark: N = ND or N = EF (if the student is not exempted from final examination).

Subject matter

Material and process selection, attending to design, performance, cost and environmental constraints.
Databases for materials selection.
Graphic representation of properties as a basis for a selection strategy: Ashby’s selection system.
Selection methodology application to real-life situations.
Selection methodology as a tool for the development of new materials, processes and applications.


Programs where the course is taught: