This paper discusses key principles for the development of materials property information management software systems. There are growing needs for automated materials information management in various organizations. In part these are fuelled by the demands for higher efficiency in material testing, product design and engineering analysis. But equally important, organizations are being driven by the need for consistency, quality and traceability of data, as well as control of access to sensitive information such as proprietary data. Further, the use of increasingly sophisticated nonlinear, anisotropic and multi-scale engineering analyses requires both processing of large volumes of test data for development of constitutive models and complex materials data input for Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) software. And finally, the globalization of economy often generates great needs for sharing a single “gold source” of materials information between members of global engineering teams in extended supply-chains. Fortunately, material property management systems have kept pace with the growing user demands and evolved to versatile data management systems that can be customized to specific user needs. The more sophisticated of these provide facilities for: (i) data management functions such as access, version, and quality controls; (ii) a wide range of data import, export and analysis capabilities; (iii) data “pedigree” traceability mechanisms; (iv) data searching, reporting and viewing tools; and (v) access to the information via a wide range of interfaces. In this paper the important requirements for advanced material data management systems, future challenges and opportunities such as automated error checking, data quality characterization, identification of gaps in datasets, as well as functionalities and business models to fuel database growth and maintenance are discussed.

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