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Green Materials Selection

Thanks to advances in material science, today’s engineers and designers have more options for choosing greener materials. Choosing more sustainable materials often means making informed tradeoffs. To make an informed choice you need good data on a material’s environmental impacts, and you need to consider that data alongside other design requirements. 

Green Materials Basics

When considering the environmental properties of materials, look for materials that are abundant, non-toxic, have low embodied energy, and meet or exceed regulations.

You also need to ensure that the material has the right physical properties to get the job done and that it won’t drive up costs.

Tools for Green Material Selection

Having access to good materials data is critical for making these tradeoffs. The  Eco Materials Adviser tool, available as part of  Autodesk Inventor, helps inform material selection early in the design process. It is based on a comprehensive materials database from Granta Design and provides data about a material’s embodied energy, embodied CO2, embodied water, cost, RoHS compliance, and physical properties.  

Students can download Autodesk Inventor and other Autodesk software free of charge by visiting the Autodesk Education Community Download Center

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Designing a Sustainable Future

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