INTAD - Industrial Technology and Design Teachers' Association of Queensland INTAD - Industrial Technology and Design Teachers' Association of Queensland INTAD - Industrial Technology and Design Teachers' Association of Queensland
INTAD News   Technology Key Learning Area
 

Materials Technology

     
Materials - Overview

What are materials?

The characteristics of a technologically literate person includes understanding the nature of information, materials and systems and the relationships between them.

This section of the site is dedicated to developing an understanding of the materials commonly used to meet needs and extend capabilities.

Materials have many different qualities and can be classified as natural (eg. wood, stone, metal and clay), synthetic (eg. glass, concrete and plastics), and mixed (or composite) - natural materials modified to improve properties (eg. leather, plywood, composite boards and paper).

The qualities (the inherent or distinguishing characteristics, or properties) of the materials are what interest the designer. These can be discussed under three headings: the physical, chemical and organoleptic. (see Glossary below).

There are many questions that must be answered about possible material choices when designing and testing - prior to making. These web pages are intended to assist students (and teachers) to make appropriate choices and to provide users with quality hyperlinks on where to look for further information.

Material qualities & background information:

Natural  
  TIMBER
  METAL
Synthetic  
  PLASTICS
  ADHESIVES & SEALANTS
  CONCRETE (and Clay Bricks)
Composite  
  PLYWOOD
  COMPOSITE BOARD

Glossary

chemical properties Those determined by the atomic and molecular composition and structure of the substances involved. How a material reacts with the environment or other materials.

composite Formed of distinct parts or components, compound.

material The substance or substances out of which a thing is or can be made.

natural Produced or existing in nature.

organoleptic Relating to perception by a sensory organ. Involving the use of sense organs.

organoleptic properties Those forming a class which can not be included in either of the physical or chemical properties. They manifest themselves in the contact of substances with the organs of taste, touch, and smell, or otherwise affect the living organism.

physical properties Those which result from the relations of bodies to the physical agents, light, heat, electricity, gravitation, cohesion, adhesion, etc., and which are exhibited without a change in the composition or kind of matter acted on. They are color, luster, opacity, transparency, hardness, sonorousness, density, crystalline form, solubility, capability of osmotic diffusion, vaporization, boiling, fusion, etc.

synthetic Produced by chemical synthesis, rather than of natural origin.

system A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole. A functionally related group of elements - such as - a group of interacting mechanical or electrical components; or a network of structures and channels, as for communication, travel, or distribution.

 
 
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INTAD - Industrial Technology and Design Teachers' Association of Queensland