Materials science is probably the most versatile scientific discipline, encompassing physics, chemistry and most engineering disciplines (eg, mechanical, electrical, aeronautical, civil, etc). Therefore, it is imperative for any aspiring scientist, engineer or technologist to grasp the fundamentals of this discipline.
Although there are several books in press that cater for students in the wide area of materials science, this text, as the authors Donald Askeland and Pradeep Fulay note, aims to cater to the needs of students from different engineering disciplines and backgrounds.
The text is predominantly user-friendly and chatty in its approach and is ideal for students from either a materials science background or other disciplines; indeed, it is highly inconceivable that the reader will find this book in any way intimidating. For students pursuing a degree in materials science, this book would provide the perfect fundamental knowledge required for each area or chapter. For those from other disciplines, the text will most likely cover everything you would need to know in materials science and more.
Askeland and Fulay provide an impressively concise yet in-depth insight into all areas of materials science encompassing mainly physical and mechanical metallurgy; polymer science, ceramics and composites are also covered. The authors cleverly utilise illustrations to simplify abstract and potentially complex theories.
The book boasts worked examples as appropriate, which greatly facilitates comprehension. The examples cover the scientific principles, numerical calculations, material design, economic consideration and environmental implications. Very impressively, the text continually refers to the application of individual materials.
In such a diverse discipline as materials science, it is virtually impossible to do justice to the whole subject area without compromising certain areas. In the text there is little mention of timber and concrete - both of which are heavily utilised materials, especially in civil engineering. The addition of chapters considering these materials would have made this book the complete package. Quite possibly there is a bias towards metallurgy here.
In spite of this, the field of materials science is expertly dealt with; the book provides succinct yet comprehensive coverage. Acquisition of the text is highly recommended for any current or potential materials science undergraduate or postgraduate. In conclusion, would I buy this book if I were pursuing a degree in materials science or taking a module in this area? Definitely yes; indeed, I made extensive use of earlier publications by Askeland while I pursued my degree in materials science.
Who is it for? Undergraduates and postgraduates in any discipline incorporating materials science.
Presentation: Excellent balance between text, illustrations and worked examples to facilitate comprehension.
Would you recommend it? Yes, to anyone studying materials science at any level.
Essentials of Materials Science and Engineering
Authors: Donald Askeland and Pradeep Fulay
Publisher: Cengage Learning