Thursday, March 4, 2010

Research on Materials and Sustainability

Different Types of Materials



How they come about




  • Resists wrinkling
  • easy to launder
  • dries quickly
  • resistant to stretching and shrinking

Polyester began as a group of polymers in W.H. Carothers' laboratory. Carothers was working for duPont at the time when he discovered that alcohols and carboxyl acids could be successfully combined to form fibers.

Made from polyester fiber (chemicals substances mainly found in petroleum)

Used to make synthetic textile fibers (shirts, running shorts, track pants etc.)


-Stable to light

  • fire resistant
  • resistant to chemicals and moisture
  • enables creation of hard, glossy surfaces

The compound was invented in the 1830s by a German scientist and came into fashion as a material used to make plastics and laminates in the late 1930s.

Composed of carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen

Used for laminated coating, decorating surface


-Soften when heated

-re-harden upon cooling

  • have low moisture regain
  • low in density
  • wash and dry easily
  • resistant to bleaches, dilute acids and alkalies

In 1843 Ferdinand Redtenbacher (1809-1895) oxidized acrolein with aqueous silver oxide and isolated acrylic acid. Friedrich Beilstein (1838-1883) produced acrylic acid by distilling hydroacrylic acids in 1862.

Made from acrylic acid or acrylates

Can be processed into thermoformable acrylic sheet material



How it came about




uniform texture, works easy, finishes well. resists shrinkage,swelling and warping.

Pine trees throughout the world, have, since the beginning of time, been a key factor in the advancement of man kind. When cave men discovered fire, it was such a hot commodity that in order to keep their precious new discovery burning throughout the night, they would collect pine cones from the forests of towering pine trees and place them on the smoldering embers.

Used in house construction, paneling and trim.Also used for furniture, molding and boxes.


Fine textured, strong, easy to work with and resists shrinking and warping and finishes well.

The first historical accounts of walnut trees growing under civilized cultivation was in ancient Babylon (Iraq) about 2000 B.C.; however, walnuts have evidently been attached to mankind much earlier by excavations from cave fossils as suggested by archeologists.he Greeks were credited with the first certified improvements in the size and quality of the Persian today called English walnut trees through selection and cultivation. The Romans soon established the Persian walnut trees throughout most of Europe and much of North Africa, that have most popularly become known today as the English walnut trees.

Best used for gunstocks, solid and veneered furniture, novelties, cabinetry and wall paneling.


strong with good bending qualitie. durable and finishes well and resist moisture absorption.

Heroditus, the father of ancient history, recorded in the mid-400's B.C., that oak trees were reputed to have within their boughs, the gift of prophecy.It is not an easy task to write about the history of oak trees, because there are so many species, all having different stories of their own in historical development of tree lines, having evolved in different climates in different nations of the World.

Refer to the picture below

Used for furniture, trimming, boat framing, desks and flooring.




How does these metal come about?

Examples of the use of each materials


Lustrous, ductile, malleable, silver-gray metal, dissolves readily in dilute acids

It is formed by two major series of chemical compounds, the bivalent iron (II), or ferrous, compounds and the trivalent iron (III), or ferric, compounds.

The name "iron" comes from the Scandinavian "iarn". Iron can be reduced from several ores present in Nature. It is told that iron was produced for the first time when some pieces of ore, used in cook fires, reduced, when fires were kept long enough. After this, it was observed that higher temperatures (and wind) lead a better iron. This method was improved by several tricks until the creation of the furnace.

Magnet, hammer, screwdriver blade, iron ball


hard, strong, ductile, easy formability,

It is formed by a gray or bluish-gray alloy of iron with carbon

The iron we use today is much better than the iron that the Hittites made: today most of our iron is made into steel. Steel is iron with more carbon in it than regular iron. It is much stronger and more flexible (it doesn't break as easily). People first began making a kind of steel in India, around 250 BC.

Kitchen knife blade, armour, suits, screws, nails


soft or hard, light, corrosion resistance, durable, malleable


The metal originally obtained its name from the Latin word for alum, alumen. Finally, in 1807, Sir Humphrey Davy proposed that this still unknown metal be referred to as aluminum. This was then altered further to that of aluminium so to agree with the "ium" spelling that ended most of the elements. This is the spelling that is generally used throughout the world. That is, until the American Chemical Society in 1925 officially reverted the spelling back to aluminum, which is how it is normally spelled in the United States.

Transportation (automobiles, aircraft, trucks, railway cars, marine vessels, bicycles) as sheet, tube, castings etc.

Packaging (cans, foil)

Construction (windows, doors, siding, building wire)

A wide range of household items, from cooking utensils to baseball bats, watches.



How they come about



Natural Rubber

  • Elasticity
  • Plasticity strength
  • Durability
  • Insulator of electricity
  • Water resistant

  • The Native Americans of tropical South America's Amazon basin knew of rubber and its uses long before Christopher Columbus's explorations brought it to the attention of Europeans. The Indians made balls of rubber by smoking the milky, white latex of trees of the genus Hevea that had been placed on a wooden paddle, to promote water evaporation and to cure the substance.
  • Empirical (simplest) formula C5H8,
  • 2 to 4 percent protein
  • 1 to 4 percent acetone-soluble materials (resins, fatty acids, and sterols)

  • Waterproofing boots, shoes, and garments

Soda-lime Glass

  • Easy to melt and shape
  • Reasonably strong.

  • (Glass) It is generally believed that the first manufactured glass was in the form of a glaze on ceramic vessels, about 3000 B.C. The first glass vessels were produced about 1500 B.C. in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The glass industry was extremely successful for the next 300 years, and then declined. It was revived in Mesopotamia in the 700's B.C. and in Egypt in the 500's B.C. For the next 500 years, Egypt, Syria, and the other countries along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea were glassmaking centers.

  • 72 percent silica (from sand)
  • About 13 percent sodium oxide (from soda ash)
  • About 11 percent calcium oxide (from limestone)
  • About 4 percent minor ingredients
  • Containers
  • Electric light bulbs

Food Waste

  • Can be disposed ways not applicable to other wastes
  • It is a method to reduce the amount of waste produce.
  • Uneaten food
  • Food preparation wastes
  • Fertilizer

What is Sustainability?

Wikipedia: Sustainability is the capacity to endure

Macbook Dictionary: Sustainability is to be able to be maintained at a certain rate or level

Sustainable products are those products providing environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting public health, welfare, and environment over their full commercial cycle, from the extraction of raw materials to final disposition.

Example of sustainable products include raw materials like timber.

A sustainable environment is an environment in which all of the plants, animals and other forms of life in it are able to exist in the eco-system without any exterior aid or interference.

An example of sustainable environments are long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests.


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