Materials Engineering with Valves

An Introduction to Valve Materials Engineers and What They Do

Materials engineers study the behavior of materials and develop innovative materials for a variety of applications.


Materials engineering is one branch of the engineering profession, and is concerned with the understanding of the composition, creation, use, and behavior of matter in its various forms. Materials engineering can also be called materials science, and some of the branches of the discipline reflect a chemical or biological background.

Branches of Valve Materials Engineering

The branches of materials engineering cover both material types and material applications. Some of the primary branches include:

  • Metallurgy – The development, application, and study of metals. This includes developing and characterizing metallic alloys, metal working processes, heat treatment processes, and chemical processes involving metals.
  • Polymer Development – The development, application, and study of plastics and other natural and synthetic materials, including manufacturing processes, polymer characterization, and the development of components and processes that use polymers.
  • Composite Materials – The development, application, and study of materials that consist of two or more materials bonded together to form a cohesive structure, such as fiberglass
  • Microtechnology/Nanotechnology – The development, application, and study of materials and structures on a micro/nano scale, including micro-fabrication, micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), and molecularly fabricated materials.
  • Biomaterials – The development of materials to be used within biological structures, such as replacement joints
  • Semiconductor Materials – The development of materials for electronic components and the applications of these materials, including thin-film deposition, ion implantation, crystal growth techniques, and photolithography.

Other disciplines that rely on materials engineering concepts include mechanical engineering and chemical engineering in general, as well as ceramics engineering, materials characterization, and tribology.

Valve Materials Engineering Education

In most institutions, materials engineering is a division within the department of mechanical engineering, but some individual courses may be conducted within the chemistry or biology departments, depending on the specific branch.

Undergraduates following a materials engineering curriculum generally take base courses in calculus, physics, and chemistry; engineering courses in material properties, thermodynamics, and heat transfer, and then more specialized courses depending on the student’s specialization of interest.

Valve Materials Engineering Professional Societies

Because valve materials engineering can touch upon a variety of disciplines, including mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and biomedical engineering, there are a variety of professional societies that support the materials engineering branch. Some of these include:

  • American Society of Metals, ASM
  • Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, SAMPE
  • The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, IOM
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers, AIChE