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For research on materials, try the ProQuest Material Science Collection of databases.
Engineering Village may also be worth consulting.
For data on materials properties (hardness, density, thermal conductivity, tensile strength, etc.), try ASM Handbooks and/or Knovel:Engineering and Scientific Reference Resources or Matweb.
The Material ConneXion® database offers a knowledge base with an eclectic collection of over 7,500 innovative materials and processes. The database is updated regularly and frequently with materials juried by a panel of material specialists. Coverage includes all disciplines of design development with the largest selection of sustainable materials and the only Cradle to Cradle materials library in the world.