There are many problems in modern engineering practice that require a detailed knowledge of how materials respond to loads over extended periods of time in a variety of applications and designs. Metals, as well as soils and concrete, exhibit creep behavior under certain conditions and this phenomenon has been traditionally incorporated into engineering education and practice.
During the past few decades, polymers and their composites have increasingly entered the domain of engineering design. These are the time-dependent materials par excellence. Their inroads into mechanical engineering practice has multiplied the need for deepening of our understanding of the role of time-dependence in materials behavior.
The Division intends to include in its purview also other time-dependent materials such as metals and ceramics at high temperatures, as well as wood and soils.