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New Materials Technology and Applications

From Linear to a Circular Economy_112620A
[From Linear to a Circular Economy - Government of Netherlands]


The Age of New Materials and The Materials Revolution



- The Materials Revolution

Three concurrent technological revolutions are going to dominate the last decade of the 20th century information technology, biotechnology, and new materials. Although the first two have been written about extensively in the west, new materials technology has been largely ignored. It is the Japanese who have quietly targeted new materials as the next growth industry.

Throughout history, materials and advances in material technology have influenced humankind. Now, we just might be on the verge of the next shift in this type of technology, enabling products and functions we never believed possible. The materials of the future have three key criteria to meet. They must be durable, lightweight, and economical. This is due to the simple reason that it is now recognized that our natural resources are finite. To be able to keep making technological advancements in the 21st century, societies need to adapt their manufacturing so they get as much done with as little as possible.

If chemistry is the central science, it comes as no surprise that chemical engineering underpins a broad range of technologies. The EITA focuses on the research areas in producing and manipulating chemicals to energy, medicine, electronics and advanced materials with new properties.


- Materials Needs for the Industries of the Future

Since the historical periods of the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age, the development of materials has helped expand the limits of human endeavor and achievement. In the 21st century, demands from such industries as aerospace and automotive are pushing the frontiers of material properties to more extreme levels.

Demands from industry are requiring that materials be lighter, tougher, thinner, denser, and more flexible or rigid, as well as to be heat- and wear-resistant. At the same time, researchers are pushing the boundaries of what we imagine is possible, seeking to improve and enhance existing materials, and at the same time, come up with completely new materials that, while years away from day-to-day use, take us down entirely new, technological pathways. It is, therefore, necessary for the technological marvels of tomorrow to consist of materials which can withstand the elements while also requiring minimal energy to operate. 

Some of the following materials may be decades away from being of use to the majority of us and yet others may change our world forever, This list is far from exhaustive and in no particular order. Aerogel, Graphene, Artificial Spider Silk, Carbon Nanotubes, MetaMaterials, Metallic Glass., Metal Foam, Transparent Alumina, E-textiles, Molecular superglue.


- Possible Research Topics




 [More to come ...]


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