Have you ever considered the products in your life you couldn’t possibly live without? Most people might think of their smartphone or car, but they will not always consider the many components that help to power the technology they love today.
However, it is important to appreciate both the materials and manufacturing processes, which help to streamline the modern world. Check out the five materials that changed manufacturing forever.
You will find steel all around you. It is located within buildings, tools, appliances, vehicles, and even weapons. It is one of the most loved materials by manufacturers, as it offers a high tensile strength for a low cost, so it helps businesses produce high-quality, affordable products for their customers.
It is also an incredibly versatile material to work with, as you can choose between sawing or flaming cutting processes. While sawing is often perfect when working with small sections of steel, as James Dunkerley Steels Limited explains, flame cutting of steel products is better suited for the quick cutting of sheet steel.
Alloys simply refers to a combination of various elements, such as metal and carbon, to create a unique material. For example, steel is the perfect example of an alloy, as it a mix of iron and carbon. You’ll find various alloys from the coins in your pocket to the cheap manufacturing materials used every day that help to power both large and small companies.
Natural-occurring glass was viewed as an expensive, luxury item during the Stone Age, and was well-regarded as an effective cutting instrument. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that people realised the value of glass making. Nowadays, we depend on glass, as it can be found in everything from drinking cups and decorative accessories to eyewear and building materials.
- Carbon Fibre
When you think of durable materials, you most likely think of steel or metal. However, it is carbon fibre that has helped to transform aeronautics, vehicle design and now watchmaking, as the material is both incredibly strong and light.
Primarily composed of carbon atoms, the futuristic material is well-regarded for its high stiffness, chemical resistance, high-temperature tolerance, low weight and low thermal expansion. It is ultimately the ideal material for industries who face power and weight problems during manufacturing. Scientists are also currently working on a lighter, more affordable version of carbon fibre to power the automobiles of the future.
No material on Earth is more diverse than wood. Before there was carbon fibre and steel, the natural world was made from bark, bamboo, twigs, logs and sticks. It is, undoubtedly, one of the strongest, most flexible materials to work with due to its composite structure. While the likes of oak and hornbeam can be heavy and dense, the material can also be both soft and light, take bamboo and balsa as a prime example. Wood materials such as teak and mahogany are tough and resistant to change, while willow and laurel are incredibly flexible.