WHAT DO WE DO WITH MATERIALS

Post 624 –by Gautam Shah

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We use objects for their many different qualities. Some are used for their structural properties, while others are useful due to their surface qualities. We try to find an object with the best combination of such attributes. Where such a combination is not easily or immediately available, we primarily try to change the object appropriately and secondarily we try to combine materials and create geometric compositions.

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Aerogel, extremely low density, low thermal conductive material. It is solid and feels like hard styrofoam to touch > Wikipedia image by Image policy

There are Four categories of essential qualities sought in objects for various purposes:

● Engineering Attributes:

Chemical -composition, phase, resistance, structure.

Physical -thermal, electrical, magnetic, gravity-metric, optical, acoustics.

Mechanical -stress/strength, form-ability, rigidity, toughness, durability.

Dimensional Features

Shape -camber, lay/orientation, out of flat, roughness, waviness.

Size -scale, proportion, orientation, nature of perception.

Surface Properties:

Colour -hue, tone, illumination, refractivity, reflectivity, opacity, transparency, fluorescence.

Texture -level and direction of illumination, perceptive organ, nature of contact, scale.

Pattern -random, rational, orientation of cut, original, altered.

Other Considerations:

Availability -local, seasonal, quality, quantity.

Costs  -access, procuring, conversion.

Conveyance  -distance, time, weight, volume.

Handling -safety, storage, containment

Manufacturing -conversion, processing

Spider_silk_cape.jpg

Spider silk Cape from Madagascar golden Orb spider silk > Wikipedia image by Cmglee

For a material to be purposeful two broad considerations are required.

  1.          What one does to a material?
  2.         How the material responds?

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Moulding the earth > Flickr image by Julien Harneis

WHAT ONE DOES TO A MATERIAL ?

We seek an object with a perfect combination of many different qualities. Our quest is however further complicated when we require materials in very large quantities, and of equalized quality. We need materials locally, and often immediately.

512px-laterite_quarry2c_angadipuram2c_india-_c_004

Laterite quarrying for stones at Angadipuram, India > Wikipedia image by Werner Schellmann

HOW THE MATERIAL RESPONDS ?

The material’s response is evident on three counts:

● Other Materials,

● Environment

● User.

● Other Materials: A material responds to other materials within its field. The reaction occurs both, in the presence or absence, of the environment and the user.

A material of a higher phase reacts more readily to a material of the lower phase -, e.g. solid to a liquid. Material with an ion charge reacts to a material with opposite ion charge. A material with lower latent energy becomes recipient.

The response of a material occurs more emphatically, through the surface, than anywhere else. Materials with their own surface systems respond in the same manner as their body would. However, applied surface systems with the same or of foreign materials show different reactions. The surface preparation, application method, and bonding techniques, all play their role in such reactions.

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Doughnut Shop achieving consistent finish > Wikipedia image by Neil T

● Environment: A material-object is affected by many features of the environment. The effects are local if directional (through specific orientation), or occur comprehensively. The constituents of the object also respond differently to specific effects of the environment. For such multilateral environmental demands, single, or mono material systems are inadequate. To serve such demands, separately as well as unitedly, multi-material-objects or composites are conceived. A surface material, covering the entity, forms its own environment for the entity. Here the situation can also be equated to material to environment response.

640px-aralship

Abandoned ship in the former Aral sea, Kazakhstan > Wikipedia image by Staecker

Effects of the environment substantially relate to the movement of earth-sun, and so have a time dimension. The time dimension makes such environmental effects to be temporary, permanent, recurrent, or variable. The effects of environment are structurally causative (capable of causing structural changes in a material), and also sensually attributive (capable of providing the sensorial experiences).

One perhaps cannot terminate the processes of nature, however, the effects of environment can be temporarily delayed or quickened and spatially diffused, or intensified, to programme the functioning of an object.

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Faux rustication > Flickr image by marctasman

● User: A user perceives a material-object in different terms like: Engineering attributes, Dimensional features, Surface properties and for Other considerations. A surface is the most proximate and tangible part of an object. A surface, is often the reason, why an object continues to survive in a particular setting.

surface-experience

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This was part of First chapter – Section 1 of my Notes on Surface Finishes Interior Design Notes

 

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