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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: June 2012

Preface to the First Edition


Courses in the mechanical behavior of materials are standard in both mechanical engineering and materials science/engineering curricula. These courses are taught, usually, at the junior or senior level. This book provides an introductory treatment of the mechanical behavior of materials with a balanced mechanics–materials approach, which makes it suitable for both mechanical and materials engineering students. The book covers metals, polymers, ceramics, and composites and contains more than sufficient information for a one-semester course. It therefore enables the instructor to choose the path most appropriate to the class level (junior- or senior-level undergraduate) and background (mechanical or materials engineering). The book is organized into 15 chapters, each corresponding, approximately, to one week of lectures. It is often the case that several theories have been developed to explain specific effects; this book presents only the principal ideas. At the undergraduate level the simple aspects should be emphasized, whereas graduate courses should introduce the different viewpoints to the students. Thus, we have often ignored active and important areas of research. Chapter 1 contains introductory information on materials that students with a previous course in the properties of materials should be familiar with. In addition, it enables those students unfamiliar with materials to “get up to speed.” The section on the theoretical strength of a crystal should be covered by all students. Chapter 2, on elasticity and viscoelasticity, contains an elementary treatment, tailored to the needs of undergraduate students.