The materials section

This page is part of the Resources for Sensors, Measurements, Instrumentation and related Sciences Library.



Sensors and sensors R&D is multidisciplinary. In this regard, materials science and mechanical engineering frequently play key roles. Clearly construction materials and properties impact sensor design and fabrication. However beyond that the material properties and behaviour of the measurand itself determine or impact the nature of the sensor and its operation, such as in spectroscopic instruments or flow sensors while some specialised materials such as piezoelectric materials, enable certain types of sensor. This section includes links to web sites which provide descriptions or property data on a wide range of gas, liquid and solid materials including biomaterials and smart materials.

Periodic table - courtesy of Mark Winter, University of Sheffield - there are a number of these on the web, this one is possibly the best.
Periodic table - another excellent site which also contains information on health and environmental effects - presented in five languages. <LS>
- the Online Materials Information Resource - features property data on over 12,000 materials - polymers, metals, ceramics.
Metalworking Links - courtesy of Weldaloy. <LS>
NIST Chemistry Web Book - "provides users with easy access to chemical and physical property data for chemical species…….the data provided in the site are from collections maintained by the NIST Standard Reference Data Program and outside contributors."
ChemFinder WebServer from CambridgeSoft Corporation.
Thermophysical Properties of Fluid Systems - NIST - density, Cp, enthalpy, internal energy, specific volume, Cv, entropy, speed of sound for water, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, ammonia, helium, methane, ethane, etc.
Nanomaterials at the NPL Materials Centre (MATC) An informative site. MATC is working on developing measurement methods for nanomaterials and understanding the behaviour of nanomaterials at the nanoscale.
Saturated Steam Tables Boiler Room Services, Inc.
Index to Physical Chemical and Other Property Data an extensive index to book and Internet references by letter ranging from "A,B,C" Constants/Coefficients to Young's modulus, provided by Arizona State University, Noble Library.
Prediction of thermodynamic properties of natural gas mixtures using 10 equations of state….. by Kh. Nasrifar, O. Bolland, Department of Energy and Process Engineering,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology. 2006.
TPSX Material Properties Database - provided by NASA Registration required.
Mechanical and chemical properties of major polymers, including medical polymers - provided by Plasticsusa.com.
Thermoplastic material selection guide for injection molding - Actech, Inc.
Corrosion Source - an extensive resource.
Cole Parmer chemical compatibility database - select your corrosive and your material and see what the compatibility is.
Chemical Database -
University of Akron.
Materials Safety Data Sheets Databases
- provided by MSDS Search.
Materials Science Catalog - from Sigma-Aldrich A series of extensive downloadable pdf sections including Biocompatible/Biodegradable Materials, Display & Photovoltaic Materials, Fuel Cell/Battery Materials, Magnetic Materials, Materials for Thin Films/Microelectronics, Materials for Lithography/Nanopatterning,Nanomaterials and Photonic/Optical Materials. This contenet-rich site also provides a Materials Science Technical Guide Archive featuring a series of highly specific additional downloadable texts along with a link to a Polymer Catalog & Reference Guide.
Materials Research Services - ceramics - provided by the Fraunhofer Institute.
Worldwide Composites Search Engine - Deltronix Enterprises.
Composite solutions - Owens Corning.
Saint-Gobain Crystals - Photonic Materials – developer and supplier of high purity single crystal materials, such as sapphire.
Acoustic materials properties - extensive data provided by Onda Corporation.
Rubber Types - used for precision industrial rubber components, courtesy of Metflex < SRC LE>
Dielectric constant reference guide - extensive list courtesy of ASI Instruments, Inc.
Hint: Recall that dielectric constant and refractive index are related quantities. For example, for non-polar materials the square of refractive index is numerically equal to the dieletric constant.
Refractive index of gases - from the Kaye & Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants - National Physical Laboratory site.
Refractive index of optical materials - which includes data for optical glasses, plastics and cements, calcite, crystal quartz and synthetics along with some liquids and other miscellaneous materials. (part of the same site as the previous reference)
Chalcogenide glasses - IR transmissive materials for IR optics - Unicore.
Amorphous Materials – IR transmissive materials for IR optics.
Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering - an
Institute of Physics Journal - abstracts available online.
Materials Research Society - includes the Journal of Materials Research
Div. of Materials Research, NSF.
Magnetic properties of materials - "an introduction for the designer of electrical wound components to the part played by materials within the magnetic field, and a summary of related terminology." - provided by
University of Surrey.
Magnetic properties of materials – Kaye and Laby.
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Society for Biomaterials
The European Society for Biomaterials


ISIS (Intelligent Sensing for Innovative Structures) program in Canada.
Force transduction materials for human-technology interfaces - paper by R. Fletcher , 1996, IBM Systems Journal. Discusses a range of materials suitable for electromechanical force transduction.
AUTEX Research Journal – textiles research.
The Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC),
Hong Kong Polytechnic University has research activities in intelligent textiles.
Smart Materials and Structures - an Institute of Physics Journal.
Quantum tunneling composites - electrical resistance drops exponentially with applied pressure - applications in switches and force transducers. Peratech.

Shape Memory Alloys -explanations and applications for SMA's - SMA/MEMS Research Group,
University of Alberta.
Shape memory alloys
Magnetostrictive Transducers, Actuators, and Sensors at Iowa State University

Back in Style: Magnetostrictive Sensors - by H. Kwun, - Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) - also includes a short article entitled Diagnosing engine problems with magnetostrictive sensors
Terfenol-D – has the largest known magnetostriction of any known material - Etrema Products, Inc.

Introduction to piezo transducers - courtesy of Piezo Systems, Inc.
Theory of piezoelectricity - APC International.

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The intent of this page is to provide a selection of potentially useful links.

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