Material properties can easily be found in a variety of different sources like handbooks or on websites like MatWeb with varying degrees of accuracy. Most materials respond differently depending on conditions such as temperature, processing conditions and strain rates to name just a few. For this reason, the analyst must be careful to choose properties that are appropriate for the FEA model under study.
Types of Materials
There are three common types of materials that the analyst needs to be aware of:
1) Isotropic - Properties are the same in any direction throughout the body. Common examples of isotropic materials are glass and metals.
2) Anisotropic - Properties differ in two or more directions. A very common example of an anisotropic material is wood.
3) Orthotropic - Properties are different in three mutually perpendicular directions. Orthotropic materials are a type of anisotropy. An example of a composite material is fiber reinforced polymers.