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Reddit for Materials Science and Engineering topics

Materials science - an interdisciplinary field applying the properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering. This scientific field investigates the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties. It incorporates elements of applied physics and chemistry. With significant media attention focused on nanoscience and nanotechnology in recent years, materials science has been propelled to the forefront at many universities. It is also an important part of forensic engineering and failure analysis. Materials science also deals with fundamental properties and characteristics of materials.

Wikipedia: Materials science

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18,993 Subscribers


Conference Legitimacy

I am currently looking for conferences this year with abstract submissions still open, and so far have found the Materials Research Society conference this December. I also found the following two conferences.



However, I am not sure if they are legitimate conferences, or if they are some sort of scam. I was wondering if anybody here had any information on how to find out if a conference is real or a scam, and how to find conferences to present my work at.

1 Comment
05:54 UTC


For previous M.S. in Materials Science students and current professionals, could I get help vetting a new program at my local university?

I posted this a few days ago in the MaterialsScience sub, but never got an answer.

There's a relatively new program at my school that has some more overlap with my current skills and academic background (statistics, software development, data science) that seems relevant / closely related to materials science. I'm interested, but I'm worried it may be too outside the norm to be feasible in the job market. It doesn't seem like a traditional Materials Science course compared to some other M.S. programs I've compared it to.

That being said, I'm just someone looking to move out of my current career field into something else so for me to make assumptions about the job market / what's actually required in terms of academics isn't the smartest; after all, it's not as if I have actual industry experience. So, I was hoping a few folks that are current working professionals that know more than me in terms of what's necessary and whether or not this would properly prepare me for work would be the better option.

Here's a few links that may be useful:

Graduate Program Overview / Course Requirements

About Us / Introduction

Research / Ongoing Projects

I'd like to first apologize for sort of off-loading what should be my own burden in reviewing and checking out a program, but with how new it is (department creation was approved just 10 years ago) I really want to make sure it seems reasonable in the eyes of more traditional students / professionals and doesn't seem like an exercise in novelty.

21:47 UTC


How much chemistry is in materials science?

I have been looking into materials science as a possible career option. I also enjoy chemistry a lot and would like to use it in my future career. Thus, I am wondering how important it is within materials science (how often is it used, is it important knowledge to have as a materials scientist or engineer, what concepts are used). Such a factor would be important for me to consider.


22:19 UTC


How Quickly Does a Force Compensation Weighing Scale Recover from a Change in Ambient Conditions?

As the title states, I have a weighing scale with force compensation. However, I am trying to mimic the functionality of a dynamic vapour sorption balance, i.e., I have a weighing scale inside a closed plastic box with slight leakages between its lid and frame into which I (1) purge nitrogen gas for drying purposes and (2) water vapour with air as carrier gas for studying the adsorption phenomenon in wood. Is it so that the balance is subject to load cell creep and that due to the changes in the ambient conditions, the scale is continuously being disrupted and hence it fails to stabilise even with its force compensation functionality?

For further context, when using a moisture-wise inert set of small aluminium plates that weigh approximately the same as my wood specimen (ca. 0.950 g), I am observing a rapid initial increase (ca. +0.005 g) and then a slow decrease in mass (ca. −0.010 g) for the aluminium when subjected to nitrogen purging at a flow rate of ca. 5 lpm for 1 h. The nitrogen purging leads to a relative humidity of < 1 % by the end. I then turn off nitrogen flow for 1 min (the mass does not change) and start gradually increasing the water vapour flow with a target relative humidity of ca. 90 %. The vapour flow is as follows: ca. 5 nlpm for 1 min, 10 nlpm for 1 min, 15 nlpm for 1 min and then 20 nlpm for 1 h.

The moment the water vapour flow is started, the mass rapidly decreases and reaches a local minimum (ca. 0.938 g), after which it starts going up again, only to reach a local maximum (ca. 0.953 g) and then it starts decreasing again all the way down to ca. 0.935 g. I assume I have to record this behaviour with the aluminium reference weight for, e.g., five times and calculate some kind of an average correction factor for when I want to study the wood since it is subject to this initial mass loss as well based on a couple of pre-tests. See the attached figure for how the mass changes over time.

Mass over time

1 Comment
16:40 UTC


Looking for a thick plastic that I can shape/carve with a razor blade

Hello, I am trying to find a material that I can use to repair a plastic action figure/model I have. Basically i need something I can turn into small spikes, preferably not a thin sheet of plastic so that it has a more thick shape to it. Does anyone know a plastic I could carve/shape by hand but is thicker than a thin sheet?

15:54 UTC


Mid-30s Materials Studies

Hi Materials Sub!

Looking for some thoughts on transitioning into and/or just studying materials science and nanotechnology for fun in my mid-30s. First, a little background:

In high school, I throughly enjoyed Chemistry and did very well in my AP Chemistry class but loved computers even more at the time. I ended up going to one of the US big state engineering colleges 15 years ago and graduated (with an unfortunately low GPA after having had a high one in high school) with my BS in Computer Engineering. After college, I went into industry and have done most of the jobs I wanted to in software development over the last 15 years and now move around between senior engineering and tech/team lead roles at different companies.

For reference, although I had a terrible GPA in college, I’ve always been a self-starter and am very self-motivated. I’d consider myself the entrepreneurial and inventor type and have created and tried to start multiple businesses over the last 15 years but was regularly drawn back into industry when a friend or old boss called me about a high paying job.

Fortunately, being in software, I’m paid a good salary and can work remotely so my options in pursuit of studying materials science are pretty flexible. ** Of note, I’m not certain I actually want to switch into a materials science job since my software job presumably pays better and has more flexibility at this point — I’m just very interested in studying the material. **

I’ve always had an interest in nanotechnology and have recently decided I want to spend more time studying it, whether formally or informally and am trying to figure out the best way to go about that. I took one nanotechnology class in undergrad which I did well in.

I’ve started reading some textbooks just out of interest — some nanotechnology ones — and was considering buying and studying Callister’s Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction to have at least a partial foundational understanding.

My question: not having studied chemistry or materials science and engineering in undergrad, what is the best way to get into it now in a post-undergrad setting? Here’s a few different paths I’ve considered:

  1. Continue reading textbooks and white papers (and maybe watch some Youtube videos) until I feel I have a decent understanding of foundational concepts that are presumably taught in undergrad and then potentially apply to graduate school at my alma mater and/or some additional schools in the area.
  2. Save a lot of money and some time and do the online classes offered via MIT OpenCourseWare/edX/read through syllabuses and find online courses on the classes for undergrad/grad school in the bits I’m interested in.
  3. Apply to in-person graduate school soon and try to make it work with a remote job as well as possible. I see the benefit here being lab time and networking.
  4. Apply to an online graduate school soon while continuing on the normal full time job. How important is the lab time if I’m really just interested in it for studies and curiosity purposes??
  5. Get a second undergrad degree in materials science and engineering and then see where to go from there.
  6. Find a full time job that combines my professional experience in software where I can learn real world materials science from coworkers at the same time. Though I don’t feel that I’ve seen this work out very well with friends and colleagues besides in exceptional situations.
  7. Join a nanotech startup if they exist??
  8. Some other option I haven’t thought of???

I know a lot of these could be done simultaneously so certainly still reading textbooks, watching youtube videos, and possibly starting some of the open online classes while mulling additional schooling but curious what may be the best or most efficient path towards understanding the field.

Thanks for any and all thoughts fellow redditors!!

13:58 UTC


Material to isolate 500 degree component from electrical stuff

Hello, I‘m building something compact with electrical components and heating components that reach up to 500 degree.

Do you know a material, that can isolate that kind of heat and is:

  • thin (max 1cm)
  • easy to handle and „cut“ it to the right size
  • not insanely expensive

Thank you so much :)

23:11 UTC


What household (or widely available) material can insulate from moisture?

I have some medication that I need to keep cool and, as we advance into summer, the temperatures are beginning to exceed the ones the medicine can tolerate, so I've been looking for a way to keep it cool, but also dry, as humidity is also a problem.

I think (?) the humidity rules out keeping it in the fridge, so I've thought about using cold packs, but I worry about condensation. Is there some kind of container that I could use that doesn't permit moisture to pass through and is widely available, so that I could put the medication in it and be sure the condensation from the cold packs won't affect it?

13:09 UTC


Adhesion and Chemistry help (Silicones, Urethanes, other)

I manufacture speciality costumes and props with a lot of silicones, urethanes, and off the shelf products for casting and mouldmaking.

Every shop I work at has it's own 'magic' formula to manage adhesion, but every project has different requirements, which then requires significant QA testing to ensure we can glue/paint to the surface. And sometimes it still fails.

I have reached out to 3M and Dupont, but they provide products only. I'm interested in attacking this problem from angles.

Where can I find someone to talk to about this problem, educate me on the chemistry/physics, and get into the details with? Is there a job title for this kind of person?

TLDR; Builder seeking Scientist. Must love longs talks about plastics, surface energy, chemical/mechanical bonding, and surface coating processes. Willingness and enthusiasm to talk about cyanoacrylate, space suits, and cool things YOU have seen on tv shows that rhyme with swar twek.

16:37 UTC


Jobs - Mat. Sci. In Germany

Hi! I am in my thesis phase of my materials science masters degree in Germany. I would like to get clarity on what kind of jobs are materials science grads hired for? What are their responsibilities like? How does having a PhD in materials science affect the job prospects of a materials scientists?

11:45 UTC


Im looking for magnetostrictive materials


I'm in a need for terfenol-d or galfenol. I have understood that terfenel-d is very brittle and it cannot be machined, e.g. cannot machine threads for terfenol-d rod. Galfenol should be more durable than terfebol-d?

Or if there is some other new exiting magnetostrictive materials available, let me know.

From where do people buy these materials? Suggestions? Any european providers?


19:39 UTC


Job Prospects

Hey guys! I am thinking about majoring in MSE for undergrad because it looks interesting to me compared to other engineering majors. However, I’ve noticed it seems to be a much lesser known/smaller field of study than others which leads me to ask, is there any benefit in majoring in mse over something like mechanical or chemical? Just want to get a good idea of the industry before I fully commit. Thanks!

18:11 UTC


Material Advice Needed for Injection Molding Process PLEASE!!!!

Hi everyone,

I'm part of a small startup. We ran into a bit of a hiccup, as we had a potential supplier lined up for the material we wanted to use for mass production, but unfortunately due to some logistics issues, we won't be able to source the material from them anymore. 

We've been prototyping with F-130 REV 1, but as we plan to mass-produce through injection molding, we know that F-130 Rev 1 is not suitable for this process. None of us are materials experts, so we could really use the advice of someone knowledgeable in this area.

We are now on the lookout for a material that meets these specifications:

  • Shore A Hardness: 30
  • Tensile Strength: around 1,050 psi
  • Elongation at Break: around 1,300%
  • Tear Strength: around 110 pli
  • Compression Set: 10%

Durability and any type of food or medical-grade material are not major concerns for us. I have also included the technical data sheet for the material we are prototyping with if that helps.

Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all for your help!

EDIT: The polyurethane material is being used for PROTOTYPING and not being considered at all for mass production. We are looking for a TPE that closely matches the mechanical properties of F-130 REV 1 A/B. The material we were considering before was from PolyMax TPE called T01-310B. 

21:01 UTC


Thoughts on the tradeoffs of materials in a lightweight camper design

I'm still researching, but I'm curious if any of you learned scholars already know the answers to all this (I bet some of ya'll do!)

Building a custom slide-in hard-top camper for new truck. Payload capacity is not fantastic, so trying to err on the side of light-weight materials so the stability of the truck over uneven terrain (e.g. overlanding) isn't compromised, fuel economy isn't too hampered (depending on aerodynamics lol), etc. The interior I'm not worried about, as the shell will be the majority of the weight and most difficult part to design/build.

Here's a really short recap of some materials I've found for the shell:

  • XPS: strong in compression but very weak in tension, not durable, very light
  • Steel sheet: strong, durable, way heavy
  • Plywood: strong, durable, heavy
  • Aluminum sheet: strong, lighter, less durable
  • Fiberglass: strong(?), even lighter, more durable
  • Fiberglass composite: stronger, more durable, heavier
  • FRP: durable, not designed to bear loads (cladding only), light
  • ACM: durable, not designed to bear loads (cladding only), light
  • Corrugated twinwall polypropylene: durable, not designed to bear loads (cladding only), light
  • Corrugated twinwall polycarbonate: durable, stronger but not designed to bear loads, light
  • Poor man's fiberglass (a composite of textile impregnated with glue on a substrate (often in these applications it's XPS foam) and then covered with paint): somewhat durable, can bear some loads, light (there's no real scientific data on these composites, just anecdotes from past use. can't tell if this is any lighter than composite fiberglass; definitely wouldn't be as strong or durable)
  • Corrugated FRP: durable, can bear some loads, somewhat light
  • Corrugated ACM: durable, can bear some loads, light
  • Polypropylene honeycomb: strong, durable, light
  • Fiberglass honeycomb: strong, durable, light
  • Aramid fiber honeycomb: strong, durable, light
  • Aluminum honeycomb: lighter than aluminum sheet, much stronger, possibly less durable (to point impact)?

I think that in general, composite fiberglass applied to XPS foam with a thin/light interior cladding would be the best combination of strength and durability with low weight. But it seems like composite fiberglass is heavier than aluminum sheet? And aluminum honeycomb is lighter and stronger than aluminum sheet? Considering some materials can be structural while others are less so, it's a little difficult to pick out which materials to use in which way (or combined with which other materials)

If anyone has any thoughts materials to use (in what configuration) within the realm of the budget of a typical truck-top camper, I'd love to hear your thoughts! (Also if anyone has an already-made comparison of these materials with things like weight, strength, durability, etc that would save me some time)


05:37 UTC


can someone help me with a project?

i want to make a paint using eaf slag as a pigment. is this a thing that already exists? if not, what components can i use to make the paint non toxic?

00:52 UTC


whoa... microscopy is doing some very cool things lately (link in comment below)

1 Comment
17:55 UTC


Fibreglass tabs slipping on instron mechanical testing machine

I’ve tried tightening it, and tapped sand paper on top of the tabs still didn’t work, it shows promising results until it just falls to 0 without actually failing the specimen. Any clues on how to overcome this?

16:01 UTC


Looking for acetly copolymer equivalent available in multiple colors

I have been making some rollers for a motion picture film scanner, from Delrin. They work really well and machine easily on a small lathe.

The machine these are installed on has about a dozen rollers, and I need to make a set for each film gauge (width) that the machine supports - so, a lot of them. In order to easily differentiate these, i was thinking I'd make them in different colors. Problem is I can only find black and white, and occasionally blue, acetyl copolymer rod stock.

Is there an equivalent material that I could try that is available in multiple colors? I would be buying this in relatively small quantities so having it custom made is probably well out of my budget.

These are not exposed to any moisture or chemicals. Ideally they won't build up too much static electricity (the Delrin seems to be pretty good about this), and they need to be machinable to a smooth finish on a lathe so they don't scratch the film. They need to be stable enough to hold a pair of sealed ball bearings, with a groove cut to accept a spring clamp that holds the bearing in place.

Any suggestions for other materials I should look at?

15:41 UTC


nylon alternatives

hey so im making a monofin replica of a jmb fx mermaid tail and from what i can gather they used nylon for the bone of the monofin then covered that with silicone.

i dont know how id be able to cast a nylon fishbone much less one strong enough to withstand swimming but also flexible enough to look realistic so im like tryna figure out some nylon alternatives.

what do you guy’s reccomend? also if u have any ideas on how to make casting a nylon fishbone feasible id love to hear it!

09:10 UTC


Materials Science Self-Study (Reading & Understanding Articles In Advanced Materials)

I recently discovered the journal Advanced Materials, by way of a recommended article in my Google News feed.

Truthfully, I had no idea materials science even existed prior to The Algorithm's gentle prodding; but now, having taken the time to skim through several back issues of Advanced Materials & a few Wikipedia articles, I feel like this would be an interesting subject to begin familiarizing myself with in my spare time.

I'm something of a polymath, so this isn't the first time I'll be teaching myself a semi-challenging academic subject. Having done this before, though, I know how important it is to solicit the feedback of more conventionally-educated practitioners at the outset.

That said ...

  • What textbooks, resources, etc. would you recommend I acquire to develop a foundational understanding of materials science. (By "foundational understanding", I mean (a) a broad overview of material science in toto, including its sub-fields & areas of specialization & (b) a solid understanding of the core concepts, techniques, fields, etc. intrinsic to all work in materials science, regardless of sub-field or specialization.)
  • Having acquired a foundational understanding of materials science, what additional textbooks, resources, practitioners, theorists, etc. should I look into as I begin to zero-in on one or more specialties that pique my interest. (The long-long term learning goal here would be the ability to read & understand articles in Advanced Materials that touch on the areas of materials science that interest me.)

I realize this is a big ask - and a fairly broad question - so my sincere thanks in advance to any Redditors willing to share their thoughts!

22:08 UTC


How to staggered plies?

Hi! I wonder if there is any standard for ply staggering, when the width roll of my CF is less than the panel dimension.

Thanks in advance

20:12 UTC


Petroleum Engineering graduation project.

Hello Everyone, I was wondering if anyone has a graduation project that I can learn from or use it as a reference. Thank you.

12:29 UTC


I think there was a mistake on assesment process of my final

I had my Mechanics of Materials final 3 days ago. I was expecting 65/100, but I got 45. There was a question about tensile stress, where we had a load-strain curve, and I was expected to find the yield stress and the ultimate stress based on that. The test specimen was cylindrical with a diameter of 5mm. I used the 0.2% offset method to determine the yield strength point on the load-strain curve, which was 4.2N (the unit of load was not written on the y-axis, but it was specified in the question as N).

I did all the calculations and found something like 213 kPa. I thought this was odd because we had been working with MPa all the time. I revised my calculations twice to see if there was a mistake, but there wasn’t. When I came home, I recalculated, and it was still in kPa. When the exam result came, I was shocked. I checked some load-strain diagrams on the internet, and the ones with values like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 had kN as a unit (except for a biology paper about bones). If it was kN, the answer would be 213 MPa. I think the professor might have graded it as kN instead of N. And that made him think my answer was 1000x off.

What should I do at this point?

edit: That question is exactly 20 points.

09:40 UTC


Looking for a material which could soak water easily and is anti skid ?

So today my grandfather fell down while coming out of the bathroom due to the slippery tile , so it worried me that it may happen again and i began started looking for a solution online i did come across some anti skid door mat available on amazon in my region but it is no good use for long term , then i started thinking about gym tiles ( rubber crumb titles ) but it lacks water soaking ability and will be wet for lot of time.

So guys i need some help to find a material which can act as a anti skid tile type solution out the batroom
( we cannot replace the original tile as it is very huge so just looking forward to stick something on the existing tile )

17:06 UTC


Is Materials Science and Engineering a good major for the pharmaceutical industry?

I'm currently a first-year biochemistry student and I love chemistry, but I want to change majors to something less bio and more chem and math. My ideal career is one that applies chemistry to drug development/manufacturing. I was looking into switching to Chemical Engineering but due to my lack of prerequisites, this major would take me (at least) five years to complete.

Materials Science and Engineering, on the other hand, would put me on track to graduate in 4 years. Much of the content looks interesting to me, but a major downside is that it only requires one quarter of Organic Chemistry. I haven't yet taken Ochem, but I was really looking forward to learning a full year of Ochem.

I'm planning on going to grad school, probably for a Masters, if that makes any difference. I'm mainly wondering if MSE would be the right major for me if I want to work with drugs and other organic compounds. Otherwise, would I be better off majoring in Chemistry and trying to work my way into pharmaceutical positions, or biting the bullet and taking an extra year or longer to pursue a Chemical Engineering degree?

Also, I might be totally misinformed when it comes to these topics, and since I haven't yet taken Ochem I can't be 100% sure I'll actually love it. All I know is: I love chemistry, I love math, and I love drugs.

20:14 UTC

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