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materials for toysTYPES OF MATERIALS

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TYPES OF MATERIALS Michael.h. Wood is a remarkable natural material. It is strong and relatively stiff and light. Its properties compete well with those of artificial materials. The fastest bomber in World War II, the British De Havilland Mosquito, was made of wood. When German intelligence discovered that the Allies were making aeroplanes out of wood, they thought that it was because supplies of metal had run out-not realizing that wood had been carefully chosen partly because it had excellent properties for this design. Wood remains the preferred material for many applications in the building industry throughout the world, and also for much furniture. Stone is another natural material, once used for making simple tools and weapons, and subsequently almost exclusively for buildings and sculptures. ...read more.


Iron is alloyed with controlled amounts of carbon and other elements to make steel, which was crucial to the Industrial Revolution, and is still by far the cheapest and most widely used metallic material. Aluminium alloys are widely used where weight-saving or corrosion resistance is more important than material cost-for example, in aeroplanes and to some extent in cars. The whole of modern information and communication technology depends on semiconductors. These may be elements, such as silicon, or compounds, such as gallium arsenide, that have just enough electrical conductivity to make them useful for controlling and amplifying electrical signals. Silicon is universally used for digital switching devices such as those that are used in computers. For more difficult jobs, such as converting electrical signals to light or vice versa, semiconductor compounds are used, and it is possible to tailor the properties of components by growing alternating layers of different materials. ...read more.


Polymer boxes can be made with integral hinges that can be flexed many thousands of times, and polymer roasting bags can survive high temperatures in ovens. Silk is a natural polymer that is stronger than many artificial materials. Polymers are usually electrically insulating, but they can also be made with useful conducting properties, and polymer transistors and light-emitting diodes have been produced. Desirable properties of more than one material can be combined in composites. Glass-fibre-reinforced composites (fibreglass) are widely used to give high strength and stiffness without the fragility usually associated with glass. Many composites use carbon or polymer fibres in an epoxy matrix (the matrix is the material in which fibres or particles are embedded). The artificial material that is used in the greatest tonnage throughout the world is concrete, which is a composite of gravel, sand, and cement. Advanced composites are being developed that consist of ceramic fibres and different ceramic or metal matrix materials. ...read more.

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