Energy & Green Tech

See-through film rejects 70 percent of incoming solar heat

To battle the summer heat, office and residential buildings tend to crank up the air conditioning, sending energy bills soaring. Indeed, it's estimated that air conditioners use about 6 percent of all the electricity produced ...

Energy & Green Tech

Biofuel from a container

More than four billion tons of crude oil are produced every year, and electricity from wind, solar and hydropower plants cannot entirely supplant fossil sources of energy. At best, renewables could cover the energy needed ...

Engineering

Making cement sustainable

Cement production accounts for up to nine percent of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Sabbie Miller, assistant professor in the Department ...

Energy & Green Tech

New materials are powering the battery revolution

There are more mobile phones in the world than there are people. Nearly all of them are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are the single most important component enabling the portable electronics revolution ...

Engineering

It's too soon to call 3-D printing a green technology

Over the past decade 3-D printing has captured the imagination of the general public, engineers and environmental visionaries. It has been hailed as both a revolution in manufacturing and an opportunity for dramatic environmental ...

Energy & Green Tech

Air pollution haze can put a dent in solar power

Ian Marius Peters, now an MIT research scientist, was working on solar energy research in Singapore in 2013 when he encountered an extraordinary cloud of pollution. The city was suddenly engulfed in a foul-smelling cloud ...

Engineering

Engineering team designs technology for smart materials

University of Virginia mechanical engineers and materials scientists, in collaboration with materials scientists at Penn State, the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, have invented ...

Energy & Green Tech

New efficiency record for organic photovoltaic cells

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has established a new efficiency record for organic photovoltaic cells. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their approach ...

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Material

Material is synonymous with Substance, and is anything made of matter - hydrogen, air and water are all examples of materials. Sometimes the term Material is used more narrowly to refer to substances or components with certain physical properties which are used as inputs to production or manufacturing. In this sense, materials are the pieces required to make something else, from buildings and art to stars and computers.

A material can be 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.

An example of a raw material is cotton, which is harvested from plants, and can then be processed into thread (also considered a raw material), which can then be woven into cloth, a semi-finished material. Cutting and sewing the fabric turns it into a garment, which is a finished material. Steelmaking is another example—raw materials in the form of ore are mined, refined and processed into steel, a semi-finished material. Steel is then used as an input in many other industries to make finished products.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA