Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 7574-7580
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.1539
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Being informed about innovations in material science and material selection [1] are central in product design discipline. Not only for their immediate consequence on functional aspects of products parts, but for several different reasons. Among years, an increasing number of material properties and characteristics has been taken into consideration for pursuing an accurate materials selection, in order to govern and manage all information related to materials at several levels, from technical, sensorial, intangible and ethical aspects.

From one side, thanks to progresses in material science, materials engineering and chemistry, materials differentiation and functionalisation is a growing phenomenon: today materials available for design, architecture and engineering practitioners are incredibily various. But at the same time, our society is facing the results of materials overuse coming from the last 150 years linear production [2;3]. Thus it becomes fundamental for pdroduct deisgn practitioners to increase awareness concerning materials properties, selection and their application into products [4;5;6].

Because of this trend, responsibility of choosing a proper material to design physical artefacts becomes both a fundamental step to guarantee the product’s complete efficiency, but also an environmental responsibility. Until nowadays, information about materials has been collected in books, physical and digital libraries, as well as into databases and digital tools. All these repositories were thought to allow practitioners in managing and improving the material selection activity [7] and to support materials related decisions at both educational and professional levels.

In previous works [8], it has been already been conduced a critical analysis of existing digital tools, providing an analysis of the advantages and peculiarity of the different sources.

In this paper, authors not only analysed a selection of existing online materials repositories, but tried to implement this analysis with more information, in order to build and provide a tool for students and professionals. Through a systematic analysis and classification of the different material repositories found in literature and on the web, a table has been built in order to catalogue and collect information of the diverse sources to provide, at a glance, an overview of the different repositories and ease information gathering activity for material selection in diverse contexts, depending on the project development level and the referring user of each repository.

Finally, the table obtained by the desk analysis has than been embedded in two different activities: one involving professionals and the other involving students, in order to test the efficiency of the tool built. The activities outputs and results of the table application will be that presented and discussed.
Material libraries, Material Selection, Product design practice.