Material Selection

How do I pick the right material for my product?

Selecting the right materials to use for your project can be difficult. Today's technology offers manufacturers an almost unlimited number of materials.

Our engineers work with and research materials daily. They have the capabilities to select materials that will perform correctly for any design. They choose materials based on the fundamental mechanical engineering factors discussed listed here: environment, application/use, thermal effects, human factors, EMI/EMC compliance.

Material Properties

Some of the major factors considered in materials selection are strength, wear and corrosion resistance, thermal properties, UV stability, and optical properties.

Thermal analysis of a mechanical system designed by VPI.

Types of Materials

We work with standard and exotic metals, thermoplastics, elastomers, and composites. These materials have their advantages and disadvantages. Metals tend to be hard and resistant to environmental factors, but they are heavier than other materials. Composites like carbon fiber can be lighter and stronger than other materials, but more expensive. Our engineers choose materials that fit each design's need as well as your budget.


Another important factor in materials selection is finishing. Finishes can alter and/or enhance a design's look, feel and performance. They can be purely cosmetic or essential for strength and corrosion resistance. Typical finishes include coatings, platings, and surface treatments.

Engineering Capabilities > Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering