CES EduPack Bulletin Tips, September 2012

This month:

TIP 1. Project sharing

Projects can be saved and shared with students and colleagues. This can be used, for example, to save a selection project you are working on, or a custom subset of materials, or a nicely labeled chart. These .ces files can be shared with your students to get them started, or you could require your students to submit their own project files as part of your assessment of their work.

Just like in any other program there are save, new and open options in the file menu:

Choose save in the file menu...


We have created project files for you to download from the Teaching Resource Website.

Examples include:

  • Well-known Materials Subset,
  • Cladding Selection Project,
  • Pitch and Brightness Chart.

Browse the project files on the teaching resources website 


TIP 2. Viewing and using functional data

Some CES EduPack databases contain functional data, in which the property is recorded not simply as a single value or range, but as a function of, for example, temperature or time. For example, the figure shows a MaterialUniverse aluminum alloy datasheet in the CES EduPack Aerospace Edition (for more information on this data, see tip 3 below).

Taking a closer look at the mechanical properties, the values presented for Young's modulus (69.5-76.6GPa) record that property at 24.1°C, which is the default parameter for temperature in the EduPack system. The property is presented as a range because the record is for a generic material, covering a range of specific alloys and treatments.

How functional data is presented in a CES EduPack datasheet

The graph icon to the right of the property data indicates the presence of functional data. Clicking on that icon reveals the following graph, which shows how the material's Young's modulus changes with temperature.

Functional data—shows the variance of Young's Modulus with temperature

It is simple to change the parameters being used in a CES EduPack session. Either:

  • Select the 'Project Settings...' option on the 'Select' dropdown menu. This opens a dialog box that allows any parameter to be changed, OR

  • Click the 'Parameters' link under any property entry on a datasheet (for example, under Young's modulus in the first image above). This opens a dialog box such as the one shown below, allowing parameters that relate to that property to be set.

Dialog which appears if you click the 'Parameters' link beneath a property that offers functional data

For example, if we now change the value in the dialog box above to 100°C, the data range displayed on the datasheet changes to:

Datasheet with the temperature parameter set to 100C

Note the different range for Young's modulus (65.8-72.5GPa).

If we now made a materials property chart to compare the properties of different materials, perhaps as part of a materials selection project, the properties at the new temperature parameter of 100°C would be used. In this way, we can quickly create property charts and perform selections at different temperatures—as in the example below.

Selection charts showing tensile strength at room temperature (left) and at 340°C (right) for aerospace alloys. Using model-based selection, the effect of temperature can be readily incorporated into the selection process. Selection charts showing tensile strength at room temperature (left) and at 340°C (right) for aerospace alloys. Using model-based selection, the effect of temperature can be readily incorporated into the selection process.

Selection charts showing tensile strength at room temperature (left) and at 340°C (right) for aerospace alloys. Using model-based selection, the effect of temperature can be readily incorporated into the selection process (click to enlarge).

TIP 3. Accessing MMPDS aerospace alloy data

The MMPDS data (previously known as Mil-Handbook-5) is the regulator-approved, authoritative US source of design-quality data for aerospace alloys. Students moving into industry in high performance engineering sectors such as aerospace, nuclear, defense, or energy are likely to encounter this, or similar, information. For advanced teaching and advanced project work, CES EduPack allows you to familiarize students with the MMPDS data. It also offers a digested version that is particularly useful in teaching.

MMPDS-05 data in CES EduPack

The screenshot above shows the MMPDS data. To access it, you will need the CES EduPack Aerospace Edition. This provides a range of specialist datasets (or "Tables" in EduPack database terminology) including the Mil-Handbook-17 composites data, and the PMP (Preliminary Materials Properties) Mil-Handbook data. In the example above, we have selected the core MMPDS data by choosing "MMPDS-05" in the Table dropdown menu. We have then navigated to a specific data record for an aluminum alloy—7075, with specific heat treatment (T6), processing, geometry, and statistical basis for the data. Note the "graph" icons alongside some properties in the datasheet. These (as described in tip 1, above) indicate the presence of functional data describing the variation of the property—in this case, with temperature and time. Clicking on the such icon reveals the underlying graph, as illustrated below.

Functional data from the MMPDS database

While it is helpful to familiarize students with this very detailed, specific, design-quality data, such data is too fine-grained for many teaching applications—for example, for supporting a materials selection exercise at undergraduate or masters level. Here, the need is often for more generic data. Granta provides this through its MaterialUniverse data. In the Aerospace Edition this includes a data table in which Mil Handbook data (MMPDS alloys and Mil-Handbook-17 composites) has been rolled-up into a smaller number of records, each representing a materials type.

Mil-Handbook data in MaterialUniverse

The screenshot above shows this data. To access it, select "MaterialUniverse" from the Table dropdown. Then choose "Mil Handbook Materials" from the Subset dropdown. Note that the "tree" for navigating the data does not go as deep as it did for the MMPDS data above—it stops at a specific heat treatment. In the record (for 7075 wrought aluminum, T6) note that properties are represented as ranges, rather than single values, since each record represents a series of specific alloys. Such data is much more suited to student projects and investigations of materials property space—for example, creating property charts such as the one below.

Mil Handbook materials—Young's modulus v Tensile strength

More on the specialist data available with CES EduPack 

TIP 4. Using the new 'find similar tool' in CES Selector 2013
(for advanced teaching and research)

CES Selector is built on the same principles as the software provided with CES EduPack. With advanced features, it is ideally suited to advanced teaching and research. It can be combined with a wide range of industrial databases such as the ASME BPV Code materials, MMPDS aerospace alloys, CMH-17 composites, and CAMPUS and Prospector Plastics (previously known as 'IDES Plastics'). Additional features include the 'Performance Index Finder', which makes it quick and easy to specify complex objectives for a selection project, and the new 'find similar' tool, demonstrated here.

The 'Find Similar' button identifies potential replacement materials (as shown top right). 
Appropriate candidates can be examined more closely with the comparison tables (shown bottom right: differences greater than 10% are highlighted).

In this example, a particular UK steel grade needs to be substituted:

The 'find similar' button, at the top of the datasheet, suggests potential replacement, ranked by nearness.

You can then assess candidate materials in a comparison table. This helps avoid problems by automatically highlighting significant differences in performance between the reference material and others in the table.

The 'Selection Project' button allows you to plot potential materials on a property chart, apply further constraints to refine your search, and explore the trade-offs between different options.

Read more about CES Selector for research and advanced teaching here 

What's new in CES Selector 2013