chap01 - Chapter A 1 / Introduction familiar item that is...

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Chapter 1 / Introduction A familiar item that is fabricated from three different material types is the beverage container. Beverages are marketed in aluminum (metal) cans (top), glass (ceramic) bot- tles (center), and plastic (polymer) bottles (bottom). (Permission to use these photo- graphs was granted by the Coca-Cola Company.) 1
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Learning Objectives After careful study of this chapter you should be able to do the following: 1. List six different property classifications of mate- rials that determine their applicability. 2. Cite the four components that are involved in the design, production, and utilization of materials, and briefly describe the interrelationships be- tween these components. 3. Cite three criteria that are important in the mate- rials selection process. 1.1 H ISTORICAL P ERSPECTIVE Materials are probably more deep-seated in our culture than most of us realize. Transportation, housing, clothing, communication, recreation, and food produc- tion—virtually every segment of our everyday lives is influenced to one degree or another by materials. Historically, the development and advancement of societies have been intimately tied to the members’ ability to produce and manipulate materi- als to fill their needs. In fact, early civilizations have been designated by the level of their materials development (i.e., Stone Age, Bronze Age). The earliest humans had access to only a very limited number of materials, those that occur naturally: stone, wood, clay, skins, and so on. With time they discovered techniques for producing materials that had properties superior to those of the natural ones; these new materials included pottery and various metals. Fur- thermore, it was discovered that the properties of a material could be altered by heat treatments and by the addition of other substances. At this point, materials utilization was totally a selection process, that is, deciding from a given, rather limited set of materials the one that was best suited for an application by virtue of its characteristics. It was not until relatively recent times that scientists came to understand the relationships between the structural elements of materials and their properties. This knowledge, acquired in the past 60 years or so, has empowered them to fashion, to a large degree, the characteristics of materials. Thus, tens of thousands of different materials have evolved with rather specialized characteristics that meet the needs of our modern and complex society; these include metals, plastics, glasses, and fibers. The development of many technologies that make our existence so comfortable has been intimately associated with the accessibility of suitable materials. An ad- vancement in the understanding of a material type is often the forerunner to the stepwise progression of a technology. For example, automobiles would not have been possible without the availability of inexpensive steel or some other comparable substitute. In our contemporary era, sophisticated electronic devices rely on compo-
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2012 for the course MATH 101 taught by Professor Chenzhiwen during the Spring '11 term at University of Macau.

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chap01 - Chapter A 1 / Introduction familiar item that is...

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