Intro to Materials 100

This class identifies the major categories of materials used in manufacturing and compares their general properties.


Class Name:
Intro to Materials 100
This class identifies the major categories of materials used in manufacturing and compares their general properties.
Number of Lessons:
Additional Language:

Class Outline

  • Objectives
  • Materials Today
  • What Are Properties?
  • Types of Materials
  • Properties of Metals
  • Alloy Metals
  • Ferrous and Nonferrous Metals
  • Uses of Ferrous Metals
  • Classification of Steel
  • Stainless Steels and Tool Steels
  • Properties of Plastics
  • Uses of Plastics
  • Properties of Ceramics
  • Uses of Ceramics
  • Properties of Composites
  • Uses of Composites
  • The Marketplace for Materials
  • Materials in the Future
  • Summary


  • Identify how materials are used in modern manufacturing.
  • Explain the importance of material properties.
  • List the four major types of materials.
  • Identify the properties of metals that make them useful.
  • Explain why alloys are used.
  • Distinguish between ferrous and nonferrous alloys.
  • Identify some common uses for steels.
  • Identify the primary variables that influence steel classification.
  • Describe the advantages of stainless steel.
  • Identify the advantages of tool steels.
  • Identify some advantages of plastics.
  • Identify common uses for plastics.
  • Identify some advantages of ceramics.
  • Identify common uses of ceramics.
  • Identify some advantages of composites.
  • Identify common uses for composites.
  • Identify factors that influence material costs in manufacturing.
  • Describe the relative importance of the four different types of materials.

Job Roles


  • CMfgT
  • CNC Lathe Operations
  • CNC Milling Operations
  • MSSC Manufacturing Processes and Production


Vocabulary Term Definition
abrasive A material or tool consisting of hard particles used to wear down, rub away, or machine material. Common abrasives are ceramic materials.
advanced composite A composite consisting of relatively expensive materials that is designed for special applications.
alloy A metal consisting of two or more materials. One of these materials must be a metal.
alloy steel Steel that contains added materials that change the property of the metal. Common alloy elements include chromium, manganese, molybdenum, and nickel.
brittle A material's unwillingness to be drawn, stretched, or formed. Brittle metals tend to break if subjected to these forces.
ceramic A hard, brittle material that can withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion.
chromium A shiny, hard, steel-gray metal used in ferrous alloys to add hardness and wear resistance to steel. Stainless steels contain large percentages of chromium.
composite A material that is a combination of other materials from two or more of the following groups: metals, plastics, and ceramics.
corrosion The deterioration of a metal or ceramic.
density The relative "compactness" of a material. Density is the mass of a material per unit volume.
elastomer A group of plastics that can stretch and then return to the original shape without permanent deformation.
engineered To intentionally apply science and technology in order to design, create, or improve a product.
ferrous metal A metal that contains iron. The most common ferrous metal is steel.
fibrous composite A composite that consists of thin slivers of one material embedded in another material.
hardness The ability of a material to resist penetration, indentation, or scratching.
internal structure The arrangement of particles, or atoms, within a material.
laminar composite A composite that consists of one layer of material binded on top of another material.
manufacturing The process of producing and shaping a product on a large scale, often through the use of large machinery.
mechanical properties The collection of properties that describe a material's ability to compress, stretch, bend, scratch, dent, or break.
melting point The temperature necessary to change a solid to a liquid.
metal A hard, strong material that conducts electricity and heat, is shiny when polished, and can be bent and formed into shapes.
nonferrous metal A metal that does not intentionally contain iron.
particulate composite A composite that consists of tiny particles of one material embedded in another material.
physical properties The collection of properties that describe how a material reacts to forces other than mechanical forces. Melting, freezing, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity are all physical properties.
plastic A lightweight material that typically resists corrosion and is easily shaped.
polymer The technical term for plastics.
properties A characteristic of a material that distinguishes it from other materials.
pure metal A metal that does not intentionally contain any other material.
stainless steel An alloy steel that is designed to resist corrosion.
steel A metal consisting of iron and carbon, usuallly with small amounts of manganese, phosphorus, sulfur, and silicon as well.
structural composite A composite consisting of common materials that are relatively inexpensive.
thermoplastic A group of plastics that can be softened by heat, hardened by cooling, and then softened by heat over and over again.
thermosetting plastic A group of plastics that is permanently hardened by cooling.
tool steel A type of steel designed with high wear resistance, toughness, and strength.