Materials Characterization—Vital and Often Successful, Yet Still a Critical Problem

  • Don Groves
  • John B. WachtmanJr.
Part of the Sagamore Army Materials Research Conference Proceedings book series (PHAE, volume 26)


A 1967 report of the National Materials Advisory Board (NMAB) on “The Characterization of Materials” gives the definition of characterization as follows: “Characterization describes those features of the composition and structure (including defects) of a material that are significant for a particular preparation, study of properties, or use, and suffice for the reproduction of the material.”

While it has now become evident that such characterization action as this is essential to build a stronger, more effective materials capability in this country, it is not yet as evident as to how best accomplish such work in the degree demanded.

This paper reviews some of the past history of materials characterization endeavors, the progress made toward the objective, the relevance of current and future scientific and engineering problems to continued and increased efforts, and the opportunities and roadblocks to progress in characterization.


Material Characterization Ceramic Powder Rapidly Solidify Amorphous Semiconductor Ceramic Processing 
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  1. 1.
    C. S. Smith, Materials, Scientific American, Vol. 217, No. 3, September, NY (1967),Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    W. Kohl, Personal Communication.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    P. B. Hirsch, An Enabling Technology. MRS Bulletin of the Materials Research Society, Vol. VIII, No. 6, November-December, Pittsburgh, (1983).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Don Groves
    • 1
  • John B. WachtmanJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.National Materials Advisory BoardNational Academy of Sciences-National Research CouncilUSA
  2. 2.Center for Ceramics ResearchRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA

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