"Hey, that looks like play dough," exclaims one attendee.
"Because that's what it is," says the affable Dr Fairful, as if it was the first time he heard that, without a trace of rancor, no inkling of I-went-to-grad-school-for-this.
The serious side, I hear about Granta's material database, which interfaces quite nicely with Teamcenter. With GRANTA MI (Material Intelligence), a designer can pick a material from a database (either created on site using GRANTA MI, or from an extensive library which Granta can provide) and click on parts in an NX assembly. The material then becomes associated with that part. All of its considerable material properties, are then available for downstream application. For example, the analyst need a stress analysis doesn't have to plug in the values (including Young's modulus, tensile strength, density, etc,) he needs from a handbook -- they are already there. Want to save the environment like a good designer? Granta's Eco Footprint will figure out what the energy cost of the material used to make the part.
The cost of saving the world... and accessing all this useful material information? It's complicated, says Dr Fairfull, but a few thousand dollars could get all of it on your desktop. Of course, server-based enterprise solutions for multiple users would be a lot more, especially if you had to buy material libraries.
I do remember the days I'd pay anything to not have to extract the data I needed from MIL-HDBK-5.