Metalwork - Materials
The study of Materials has been a hobby of man for a long long time...pretty much since the start of the Stone Age. This period in our history was followed by the Bronze age, the Iron Age, then the Industrial Age, and eventually we got to where we are today.
In the 1960's the major break through was made with the discovery that non-metallic materials could conduct electricity. Not only that but one material in particular... Silicon... was found to be able to conduct electricity in ways that metals couldn't. "Amazing" I hear you say ! Well it was, this discovery led to the improvement in computers that ends with you sitting here reading this. Since then the study of Materials has become a science all of its own.
Just look around where you are sitting or at the kitchen to the right. How many different materials do you see ? I presume you can see the common ones like metals, plastics, and woods. There are also other types of materials such as the glass in your screen, or the brick wall you may be hitting your head against come exam time !
When, and if, you read through all of this section you will have a much better idea of why manufacturers choose different materials for different products. Take, for example, kettles, why were they always made from metal, but now are usually made from plastic?
In this section we will be looking at what makes up materials, how they are classed, the different types, and how they affect us in our own lives.