NOVELTY, OH - From the reassuring warmth of oak to the techno cool of anodized aluminum to the dynamism of spring steel, materials exhibit a wide range of personality traits. To match these materials to specific design challenges, the new www.mtrl.com online community and database inspires designers with authoritative and accessible “material about materials.”

The brainchild of ASM International, the materials information society, Mtrl.com offers materials solutions specifically for the design professional. “You’ll find aesthetic properties, engineering properties and environmental attributes that give shape and texture to great design,” says Laura Marshall, director of the ASM/Mtrl initiative.

Through a searchable materials database along with other valuable resources for designers, Mtrl.com translates the most respected materials knowledge available anywhere in the world, and provides it in a way that designers can use to inspire new ideas and cost effectively achieve them.

Chris Lefteri Design (UK) has worked closely with ASM and Granta Design Limited (UK) to provide extensive information and data for 250 materials ranging from bamboo to titanium. Information on more materials is constantly being added. Among the designer-friendly ways that information is presented: a “Personality Search” allows designers to look up materials based on emotions.

“It’s fun to explore this way, searching for materials that reflect a mood you’re feeling or trying to convey,” says Lefteri.

“Designers like materials that look cool, but they also need an understanding of materials and processes to achieve the full promise of a bold new design,” Marshall added. “Mtrl.com is the place to preview new materials, where designers can investigate all of the best options quickly and easily.”

In Cleveland, the home of Mtrl, faculty and students from the Cleveland Institute of Art and Case Western Reserve University played a significant role in refining the look and feel of the site. “Other sites provide engineering data about materials,” Lefteri says. “Mtrl.com provides design images and content that is more design friendly and useful to the design professional.” By improving a tangible link between the worlds of design and engineering, ASM/Mtrl is poised to become a significant resource for information and conversation about materials that will be invaluable to designers: from industrial and product design to architecture and interiors.

“We want to reach out to industrial designers and eventually branch out to architects and the building industry,” says Marshall. “Everyone who is active in design, from students to experienced professionals, will find value in the new site.”