Multi-criteria Decision Analysis for Supporting the Selection of Engineering Materials in Product Design

1st Edition

Authors: Ali Jahan Kevin Edwards
Print ISBN: 9780080993867
eBook ISBN: 9780080993904
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 15th March 2013
Page Count: 124
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This book describes the growing field of multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) as applied to materials selection in product design. Useful in academic and research contexts, as well as to practitioners in materials engineering and design, it aids readers in producing successful designs by improving the decision-making process in materials selection.

It is a constant challenge for designers, even when educated in the fundamentals of materials and mechanical engineering, to select the best materials to satisfy complex design problems. Current approaches to materials selection range from the use of intuition and experience to computer-based methods including electronic databases and search engines. Increasingly, MCDM methods are proving effective in materials selection for complex design problems. These methods supplement existing quantitative methods, such as selection charts, by allowing simultaneous consideration of design attributes, component configurations and types of material.

Key Features

  • Discusses the rationale for optimal materials selection in the context of achieving the best engineering design
  • Describes methodologies for supporting enhanced decision-making in materials selection
  • Includes end-of-chapter review questions and practical case studies from biomedical and aerospace engineering applications


This book is intended for researchers in materials engineering disciplines and in operational research in the area of multi criteria decision analysis. It can also be used as a reference text for engineering practitioners (from aerospace to biomedical) to help select the best material(s) for advanced design applications.

Table of Contents


List of Figures

List of Tables

Chapter 1. The Importance of Decision Support in Materials Selection

1.1 Introduction to Materials Selection

1.2 Background and Justification for Formalized Materials Selection

1.3 Decision-Making and Concession in Product Design

1.4 The Position of Materials Selection in the Engineering Design Process—from Concept to Detail Stages

1.5 Understanding the Functional Requirements and Design Criteria in Selecting Materials

1.6 The Relationship Between Materials Selection and Processing

1.7 The Significance of Design Adaptation and Materials Substitution

1.8 Materials Selection and Sustainable Products

1.9 Qualitative Versus Quantitative Approaches to Materials Selection

1.10 The Role of Computer-Based Materials Selection and Materials Databases

Review Questions


Chapter 2. Screening of Materials

2.1 Justification for an Initial Screening Process

2.2 Introduction to the Use of Material Attributes

2.3 Material Indices and Critical Material Aspects Used by Product Designers

2.4 Brief Review of Current Formalized Screening Methods

2.5 Materials’ Property Charts (the “Ashby” approach)

2.6 Materials Identification and Use of Computer-Based Tools

Review Questions


Chapter 3. Multi-criteria Decision-Making for Materials Selection

3.1 Introduction to Multi-criteria Decision-Making

3.2 MCDM as a Subdiscipline of Operations Research

3.3 Justification for Applying MCDM in Materials Selection

3.4 Application of MODM and MADM in Materials Selection and Design

3.5 Utilizing Outputs from Finite Element Analysis as Inputs to MADM in Materials Selection

Review Questions


Chapter 4. Multiattribute Decision-Making for Ranking of Candida


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About the Author

Ali Jahan

Dr Jahan is active in the development of multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) techniques for the engineering design process, especially for materials selection. His main research interests are in the application of MCDM and quality tools for improving materials, design and processing. Dr Jahan has been involved in different projects in industry related to quality engineering and designing systems based on the requirements of quality management standards and associated decision support systems. He has various publications describing the development of MCDM in design and materials engineering. Dr. Jahan regularly reviews papers in different international journals, and managed a special issue as guest editor, and is the recipient of awards related to his research and academic activities. He is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Semnan Brach, Islamic Azad University, Iran.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Industrial Engineering, Semnan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran

Kevin Edwards

Professor Edwards leads research and knowledge transfer in technology innovation. He also advises government and organisations on educational and professional standards development. Professor Edwards has had a diverse career with senior appointments in higher education, aerospace and automotive manufacturing industry, and engineering consultancy. His broad experience of academic management, curriculum development and quality assurance underpins his teaching, research and professional practice in advanced materials engineering, product design and innovation management, with particular expertise in design decision support, materials selection and new product development. Professor Edwards has worked on numerous large-scale collaborative multidisciplinary research programmes, resulting in the development of novel materials technologies and computer-based design tools. He publishes regularly, has participated in international conference scientific committees, chaired seminars and workshops, and is a member of the editorial boards of several journals.

Affiliations and Expertise

Kevin Edwards - Institution of Engineering Designers, Courtleigh, Westbury Leigh, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 3TA, UK


"This book describes the growing field of multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) as applied to materials selection in product design. Useful in academic and research contexts, as well as to practitioners in materials engineering and design, it aids readers in producing successful designs by improving the decision-making process in materials selection.", December 17, 2013
"Jahan and Edwards review different approaches to selecting the most suitable material for the design of a component, and introduce multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) methods for ranking materials when complex multiple criteria need to be considered simultaneously."--Reference & Research Book News, October 2013