Enabling technologies

Enabling technologies

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-653-7.ch004
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New Materials & Elements


Materials are substances or components with certain physical properties which are used as inputs to production or manufacturing (Randle & Engler, 2000). Basically materials are the pieces required to make something else. From buildings and art to cars, stars and computers.

A material can be virtually anything: a finished product in its own right or an unprocessed raw material. Raw materials are first extracted or harvested from the earth and divided into a form that can be easily transported and stored, then processed to produce semi-finished materials. These can be input into a new cycle of production and finishing processes to create finished materials, ready for distribution, construction, and consumption.

Materials can also be thought of as the basic building blocks from which we can produce other stuff, being it products, architectural elements, or full-scale buildings.

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