The Weight Reduction Material Selector (WeRMS) is a tool which can help you make your design lighter. If your part or assembly is too heavy, simply enter the material it is made out of, the structural property you would like to keep constant, and the types of materials you are willing to consider as replacements into WeRMS. WeRMS will then generate a list of materials which can reduce the weight in your design and tell you about how much money each material will save or cost you per pound. WeRMS is a simple way to generate a lot of quick ideas for weight reduction.
This app is a comprehensive material selector which will consider a material of construction, and based on one of several available structural translations, perform an analysis which will identify the best path for saving weight in a part or structure. A set of calculations are performed to identify the relationship between cost increase and ultimate weight saving in percent. This system provides sliders used to determine which material systems are the early solutions (minimum weight saving at minimum cost penalty or even maximum cost savings) and which substitutions will provide the largest percentage weight saving at the greatest cost penalties.
This software is supported by a materials database which lists around 600 separate materials (metallic, ceramics, and organics) and evaluates several physical and mechanical properties. Many recognized source material databases were used to build the full set of necessary properties for evaluating relative performance. Any of the around 600 listed materials may be used as the starting basis for this comparison.
The “Structural Equivalence” is calculated, based on the following textbook translations:
- Equivalent Bending Stiffness
- Equivalent Bending Strength
- A Blend of Bending Strength and Stiffness
- Equivalent Uniaxial Strength
- Equivalent Uniaxial Stiffness
Several application filters are provided and seamlessly applied to limit the selection of available materials. As a first filter, the response may be separately restricted to the choice of a metal, a ceramic, or an organic (which are plastics and composites). Beyond this an applications filter is added to evaluate temperature, chemical, opacity, and impact performance. These are conveniently grouped as environments: Household, Hospital, Automotive, and Military; each with its unique set of requirements necessary for the successful introduction of the given material into this environment.
The use of this tool allows the user to rapidly identify the hierarchy of materials which will provide a weight benefit at the contained minimum cost penalty or maximized cost savings. It offers the advantage of a consistent and neutral price and properties database, and avoiding the need for a “trial and error” solution.