Scientists, engineers, and students in materials science and engineering (MSE) perform extensive technical calculations and apply computers and some special programs for this. MATLAB® is a very popular software used in technical computing because of its efficiency and simplicity. This book presents a primer in technical programming in MATLAB with examples from the field of materials science, and addresses a wide MSE audience— undergraduate and graduate students and practicing engineers. It provides the MATLAB fundamentals with a variety of application examples and problems taken from materials engineering, physics of materials and properties of substances, and material phenomenon simulations that should facilitate learning the software language. I hope that many nonprogrammer students, engineers, and scientists from MSE field will find the software convenient for solving their specific problems.
The book accumulates many years of teaching experience in introductory and advanced courses in the fields of MATLAB, material properties, and tribology that were lectured for students, engineers, and scientists specializing in the area in question. I thank MathWorks Inc.,a which kindly granted permission to use certain materials. I am also grateful to the Elsevier Inc.b for permission to use the text, tables, figures, and screenshots from my previous book “MATLAB in Quality Assurance Sciences” (Amsterdam— Boston—Cambridge—Heidelberg—London—New York—Oxford—Paris—San Diego—San Francisco—Singapore—Sydney—Tokyo, 2015).
I would also like to express appreciation to Stephen Rifkind, ITA Recognized Translator, who edited the book. I hope the primer will prove useful to students, engineers, and scientists in MSE areas and enable them to work with the available fine software. Any reports of errata or bugs, as well as comments and suggestions on the book will be gratefully accepted by the author.
The world is material: all different natural objects, plants, products, machines, and even ourselves, are designed from various materials. Knowledge of the structure of matter as well as the ability to create newand better materials with the desired properties are among the most important goals of sciences and engineering in general and the science of materials in particular. Naturally, in materials sciences and engineering (MSE), as in other technological areas, calculations and computer modeling are widely used. For this purpose, various kinds of software are used. Among them, MATLAB® has become one of the most widespread and popular in programming for various technical applications. However, a student, teacher, or MSE specialist just beginning to use the MATLAB® soon discovers that each of the available MATLAB® books is designed for a wide range of specialists and that there is no textbook specifically aimed for the problems that are encountered in technical programming in the MSE fields. Overall, a large community of technicians needs a concise, comprehensive text that is easy to understand and provides quick access to the necessary tool. The presented edition aims to fill this gap.
1.1 Some history
The theoretical basics of the MATLAB® language were established in the 1970s by the mathematician CleveMoler and perfected by the specialists that joined him. First, the language was oriented to the adaptation of the mathematical packages of that time, LINPACK and EISPACK. In a short time, MATLAB® was considered by students and engineers an effective and suitable tool not only for mathematical but also for many technical problems.
The language was rewritten in C. Commercial MATLAB® versions have appeared since the mid-1980s in the general software market. By incorporating graphics and development of the special engineering-oriented means—toolboxes—MATLAB® acquired its modern outlines. In general, MATLAB® is a unique assembly of implemented modern numerical methods and specialized tools for engineering calculations developed over the past decades. MATLAB® competes with other software and has established its special place as the software for technical computations. Without going into detail, the following factors and their combinations provide advantages to MATLAB®:
• Versatility and the ability to solve both simple and complex problems with its easy-to-use facilities;
• Highest adaptability to different areas of engineering and science as reflected in a significant number of the problem-oriented toolboxes;
• Convenience and a variety of visualization means for general and specific problems, e.g., MSE problems;
• Quick, simple access to well-organized, extensive documentation.
1.2 Purpose and audience of the book
The purpose of this primer is to provide MSE students, academicians, teachers, engineers, and scientists with a guide that will teach them how to create programs suitable for their professional calculations and present the results in descriptive, graphical, and tabular forms. It is assumed that the reader has no programming experience and will be using the software for the first time. In order to make the primary programming steps and use of commands clear to the target audience, they are demonstrated by problems taken from different areas of materials science whenever possible. Among the variety of available software, MATLAB® distinguishes itself as the tool for technical analysis and calculations. It is renewed and refined in parallel with the developments in modern technology. Modern material sciences specialists intensively used computers with some special programs, and therefore need a universal tool for solving specific problems from their area. Thus, the book serves as a guide to MATLAB® with examples from the field of material engineering and is addressed to undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students as well as nonprogrammer technicians that want to master the MATLAB® program to solve problems arising in their areas.
Most of the existing books on the various aspects of MATLAB® can be roughly divided into two kinds: (a) MATLAB® programming books and (b) advanced engineering, science, or mathematics books with MATLAB®-introductory section/s. The first category assumes that the reader is already familiar with math methods and concentrates on programming technique. The second category is generally devoted to special subjects on a somewhat advanced level. This book is different in that it assumes the reader possesses a modest mathematical background and introduces the programming or technical concepts together with a traditional approach. MATLAB® is then used as a tool for subsequent computer solutions, applying it to mechanical and material science problems. An additional distinction of the book is its relatively compact size combined with a variety of examples from a broad range of modern and classical mechanics and material sciences, which help solidify the understanding of the presented material.