The term "industrial materials" is a very broad generic descriptor that attempts to delineate or label any type of raw material used for the fabrication, production, manufacture, or configuring of a service or product. The use of this general term covers an extremely broad category of materials that are used in the manufacture of every type of item or product.
Regardless of the words, "industrial materials" being far reaching and general, the things that it describes can be placed into four categories, two of which are consumables and materials to be converted into other products. The consumables category refers to fuel, various liquids, and water. Raw materials that can be reshaped or reconfigured to function as part of a larger device are part of the category of industrial materials that can be converted into other products.
Consumables are the supplies that industries use to complete the manufacturing process but are not associated with or part of the end product. Industry runs on energy which can be electrical, fossil fuel, gas, or some other form of power source. Though this form of industrial material is never seen as a part of the final product, it is an essential and necessary part of product production.
At the other end of the continuum are the raw materials that are placed in the final product and are an important part of a products quality, usefulness, and ability to perform properly. There is a limitless list of raw materials that are used to manufacture quality products with minerals, metals, and ore being a major part of the group.
Industrial materials that are convertible into other shapes and forms are normally a single piece, such as a bracket, or part of a larger device. Their adaptability and ability to be configured makes them ideal to produce useful products. It is from this group that new innovations are developed and put to practical use.
Aside from the two groups of industrial materials that are used for making other products, the third group is both products and consumables, which is organic natural resources. This group includes animals harvested and grown for food, crops, and textiles. The members of this category come in many shapes and forms that are put to use for a variety of purposes as a final product or for processing before becoming a final product. Trees, for example, serve the due purpose of being a fuel as well as a building material.
Another aspect of industrial materials are ones that are manually processed to be sent on to be used to make other products. This group includes minerals that are mined and refined, such as aluminum, which are then used to produce thousands of different devices and equipment. The industries that fall into this category exist for the purpose of converting raw natural minerals into industrial materials for other industries to use to manufacture commercial and industrial products.
Though "industrial materials" is a very broad description of the materials that are used to make the items we use, it can be easily broken into the four groups of supplies, convertible materials, organic resources, and refinable minerals. By using these categorizations, it is easier to understand where industrial materials originate and how they are put to use. Having such an understanding can assist in developing a clearer grasp of industrial, manufacturing, and production processes.
An adhesive is a substance that is used to bind two separate items together and resist separation. However, depending on the chemical makeup, adhesive products may be used to fill seams or holes, waterproof, laminate, contain liquids or level surfaces. Adhesives are made up of an epoxy and a hardening substance with each compound specially designed with a specific task in mind. One may find a wide variety of adhesives at nearly any store because for each adhesive, the composition is carefully considered to ensure the proper adhesive and cohesive qualities.
Adhesives are used in a wide variety of engineering and manufacturing purposes in large quantities, and for a wide range of uses. Some of the ingredients used in creating adhesives are casein, starch, natural rubber, butyl rubber, amino resins, polyurethane, polyvinyl acetate, acrylates, silicones and more. Adhesive suppliers work with a multitude of chemical solutions to ensure their custom adhesive will perform the tasks efficiently. Learn more about adhesives.
Alumina ceramics are products made from the chemical compound with the same name, alumina ceramic. Alumina ceramic, also known as aluminum oxide, is a combination of aluminum and oxygen. It occurs naturally, most often as corundum, as crystalline form of the compound that, when gem quality, manifests as sapphire or ruby. Alumina ceramic is extremely hard and durable, resistant to compressive strength, resistant to weathering, resistant to chemicals, electrically insulating, highly dense and stiff and incredibly thermally conductive. In fact, it is up to twenty times more thermally conductive than the majority of other oxides. In addition, it is quite cost effective. These qualities make alumina ceramics ideal for a wide variety of industrial and commercial applications, including: automotive and aerospace engineering, medical instrument fabrication, prosthetic limb creation, ballistic ceramic armor creation, metalizing, seal ring fabrication, welding, plating and the pre-finishing of wood flooring.
Before coming any number of useful products, all alumina ceramics begin as granular powder. This powder can be used alone, but, as is usually the case, it can also be mixed with other substances and stabilizers, selected based on way or ways that they can improve the alumina. A common additive, zirconia, for instance, is added to the mix in order to increase the ceramic‘s fracture toughness. Examples of other additives include manganese oxide, titania, silica, copper and brass. Note that, when it is in its natural state, alumina is white, but when mixed with additional substances, it frequently changes color. For example, alumina ceramics that are around 96% pure are typically brown in color, while those alumina ceramics that are less pure, around 88% for instance, are usually pink. Learn more about alumina ceramic.
In the simplest terms, ceramic manufacturing is the technique of creating ceramic materials that can support a wide range of high-tech engineering products and machineries. As their name implies, these items are made from ceramics, usually clay and other non-metallic materials. The material components are mixed with highly pure chemical solutions to meet the strength of the machine they support. Learn more about ceramic manufacturing.
Glass cutting manufacturers, or glass fabricators, produce a range of glass types which are used across many industries in applications as diverse as transparent barriers, insulators, containers, optical and laboratory instruments. The properties of transparency, heat resistance and relative strength make glass a valuable manufacturing material for applications requiring these features.
Glass is an inorganic, amorphous solid, meaning that it retains its rigid, brittle structure without crystallizing. Prehistoric people used blades of volcanic glass, or obsidian. Iron age man traded glass beads made from the slag of their primitive forging processes. Today, manufactured glass is found in architecture, transportation, technology, and a wide range of everyday products. It is heat resistant, chemical resistant, corrosion resistant, pressure resistant, and strong. It can be reflective or refractive. Glass takes on a surprising variety of forms. It may provide transparent, translucent, or opaque barriers. It may be fabricated into vessels of any shape, size, or color. It is ground into fine optical lenses, formed into laboratory instruments, or used to create delicate "objects d'arte". It may be spun into fibers, pressed or poured into molds, blown, blocked, and laminated. Glass fabrication is almost as diverse, depending largely on the desired end product. Learn more about glass cutting.
Graphite is one of the strongest minerals in the world, with many applications in industrial production, from #2 pencils to EDM machinery. Because of its strength and durability, graphite has become one of the most common industrial materials in factories and other heavy machinery, out-performing plain steel as well as other carbon hybrids. However, graphite in its raw form cannot be used in any industrial applications. In order to make use of graphite, it must be machined.
Graphite machining is a process by which the graphite material is cut or shaped to suit a variety of applications and purposes. The graphite itself is almost impossible to cut and will dull most metals, so it's important to make sure that only diamond and carbide tools are used. However, because of this strength, using graphite has a number of benefits. The material won't rust or break down, is extremely strong, and can serve as a natural lubricant for bearings and other machine parts. This cuts down on the costs of other oils and lubricants. Learn more about graphite machining.
Lubricants, also known as lubes, are substances used to reduce friction (increase lubricity) and heat generated between two surfaces. They can also facilitate the transportation of particles, and heating and cooling forces. In addition, they can be used as a conductive agent to increase the flow of a current.
Lubricants are an essential part of the proper function and maintenance of machines and components with two or more moving parts that rub together. Some of the industries in which lubricants are used include: automotive, aerospace, marine, metal fabrication and food and beverage. Learn more about lubricants.