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Materials That Shape Our World

Posted on May 3rd, 2016 by in New Materials & Applications


It’s not too grand to say that the history of human civilization has been defined by materials. We refer back to entire eras of time by citing the most advanced materials available in that period. Stone, Bronze, Iron, Silicon, etc. Throughout history, our ability to understand and craft different materials has been at the centre of the way human life has been lived.

Materials define civilization… It is materials that push technology through, they change the whole way we live. The 21st century will also be like that. The question is which material will dominate?

Mark Miodownik – Author of Stuff Matters

In this video by Sandvik Coromant we can take a look at some of the potentially game changing materials which could radically define the way we live, what’s coming next and what will it take to get there.

When thinking about the materials of the future, Graphene is usually the one that jumps to the forefront of people’s mind. And with good reason too.

There’s a huge amount of money being invested in research and development of graphene. The EU has funded the Graphene Flagship program with 1bn Euros over a ten-year period. China is also pouring huge sums of money into development and is currently leading the way in terms of number of graphene-related patents registered. There’s a new paper on Graphene published every few days and things are showing no signs of slowing down.

But as with any and every other new idea, new concept or new material, everything hangs on our ability to do something with it. To make something. To industrialize it. Knowing or understanding the science is a great foundation, but it isn’t enough. For anything new to survive it needs to move from interesting to useful.

And so it is with Graphene, too. While high hopes are pinned on the material and rapid progress is being made, the make or break for graphene will be in our ability to incorporate it into our product design and manufacturing processes.

As engineers and innovators, it’s our responsibility to move new ideas and concepts from interesting to useful. We’re here to turn abstract into practical and science into engineering. It’s our job to make things happen.

[Materials] are a dream that we’ve realized. Everything is possible. It’s just that we have to make it happen.

Mark Miodownik – Author of Stuff Matters

So whether we’re working with cutting edge materials or something which seems a little less exciting, it’s the materials that we choose that will shape the world around us.

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