Chemical and physical data are often reported independently in materials property databases. However, when specific applications of these data are considered, it is easily recognized that such specifications have limited utility unless the interdependence of the chemical and physical information is also reported. In this paper, the chemical and physical specification of silicon carbide, with an anticipated application to corrosion, is used as a prototypic case study of the database design requirements. With respect to corrosion, the chemical data are needed in the context of the structural information; i.e., the chemical compositions of the bulk material, the surface layers, the grain boundary regions, and regional interfaces must be distinguished. Standards for the database structure will be discussed in the context of the efficiency of the storage and retrieval system, the interdependence of chemical and physical characteristics, and the effective use of the information in subsequent applications.
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