Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Han P. Bao

Committee Member

Derya A. Jacobs

Committee Member

Billie M. Reed

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

Sebastian Y. Bawab


The immediate adaptation of newly developed materials--with unique and highly desirable properties--is hampered by several factors, including: (1) high material cost and limited availability, (2) lack of information on them, including prior experience in their design and manufacture, immature manufacturing processes and general uncertainty in their behavior patterns, (3) unique handling issues, such as excessive manual labor, high process temperatures, toxicity, disposal problems, limited working lives, and low damage tolerance

Therefore, in spite of their significant benefits, potential users tend to shy away from the widespread use of new materials, instead preferring conventional and tested materials forms.

This dissertation is on a methodology developed to compare manufacturing complexity of new materials with that of conventional ones. It entails development of a 5 level multi-attribute hierarchy of 18 factors and several processes that influence the manufacturing risk of new materials. A Manufacturing Complexity Factor (MCF) and a Delta Complexity Factor (DCF) are developed to compare new materials with older, traditional ones. The Analytic Hierarchy Process is used to judiciously assign weights to all factors and sub-factors.

Materials are assigned "ranks" based on information available about their unique properties and requirements. From the rank and attribute priorities, values for MCF/DCF can be obtained. Since information available is often limited, the ranks assigned to materials are not highly accurate values. The Monte Carlo simulation technique is used to take away some of the uncertainty in the ranks of the newly developed materials and generate a more "robust" MCF/DCF value.

Sensitivity of the method to varying inputs is examined. An attempt is made to compare this practical methodology with two popular approaches, one used for analyzing the complexity of composite materials and another that develops manufacturing complexity factors for given input parameters. It is shown that the methodology in this dissertation generates results not possible by either of the other two methods.