Sustainability & Materials

Sustainability

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Packaging

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I looked at the packaging because it is crucial for designers when packaging a product. The packaging must not use excess otherwise it would take up too much shelf space. This is a problem when there is multiple sets of the same products, the designer must put as much of the products onto the shelf as possible. This also accounts to products that for example are in the household. The owner wont want a product that takes up lots of room because then it would be hard to move around in inside the house and also it wouldnt make the surrounding look nice. Therefore, designers sometimes incorporate a mehcanism that collapses and compresses the product so that it can fit into various places without moving stuff around. 

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Materials 

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Wood

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Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees. It has been used for centuries for both fuel and as a manufacture material. There is two types of arrangements of wood: Softwood and Hardwood.

 

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Softwoods

Softwoods come from coniferous trees where it has needles as an alternative of leaves. They are known to grow faster than hardwoods and are much cheaper and easier to manipulate. 

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Hardwoods are slow growing trees which tends to make them harder and more expensive. Though not all hardwoods are hard, Balsa which are used for model planes and other toys. 

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Hardwood and Softwood Images. Source: http://www.mr-dt.com/materials/softwoods.htm

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Flat pack

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Ready-to-assemble furniture or flat pack furniture, is a method of furniture that requires buyer assembly. The components are packaged into a carton which contains instructions and appropriate hardware needed for the buyer to follow in order to build the piece properly.

Benefits to Flat Pack Furniture:

-       This process is popular for consumers that want to save money by assembling the product by themselves and therefore no need for delivery costs.

-       It is simple to assemble and needs very simple tools

-       Makes the consumer feel a sense of satisfaction when they build it by themselves

-       It is environmentally friendly because that there isn’t much manufacturing power and energy. Also there is now more space available in the cargo. Therefore, more products can fit and that means less journeys to deliver. Cheaper and eco-friendly. 

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Plastics

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Plastic is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic materials used in a huge, and growing, range of applications. 

Everywhere you look you will find plastics. We use plastic products to help make our lives cleaner, easier, safer and more enjoyable. You will find plastics in the clothes we wear, the houses we live in, and the cars we travel in. The toys we play with, the televisions we watch, the computers we use and the CDs we listen to contain plastics. Even the toothbrush you use every day contains plastics!

Plastics are organic, the same as wood, paper or wool. The raw materials for plastics production are natural products such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and, of course, crude oil. Plastics are today’s and tomorrow’s materials of choice because they make it possible to balance modern day needs with environmental concerns. 

The term ‘’plastic’’ is derived from the Greek word ''plastikos'' meaning fit for moulding, and ''plastos'' meaning moulded. It refers to the material’s malleability, or plasticity during manufacture, that allows it to be cast, pressed, or extruded into a variety of shapes - such as films, fibres, plates, tubes, bottles, boxes, and much more.

There are two broad categories of plastic materials: thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics. Thermoplastics can be heated up to form products and then if these end products are re-heated, the plastic will soften and melt again.  In contrast, thermoset plastics can be melted and formed, but once they take shape after they have solidified, they stay solid and, unlike thermoplastics cannot be remelted.

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What types of plastics are there and what are they used for? 

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Metals

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Metal is a solid material which is normally firm, glossy, flexible, fusible, and supple, with good electrical and thermal conductivity.

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Metals are used in:

  • Transportation -- Cars, buses, trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes.
  • Aerospace -- Unmanned and manned rockets and the space shuttle.
  • Computers and other electronic devices that require conductors (TV, radio, stereo, calculators, security devices, etc.)
  • Communications including satellites that depend on a tough but light metal shell.
  • Food processing and preservation -- Microwave and conventional ovens and refrigerators and freezers.
  • Construction -- Nails in conventional lumber construction and structural steel inother buildings.
  • Biomedical applications -- As artificial replacement for joints and other prostheses.
  • Electrical power production and distribution -- Boilers, turbines, generators, transformers, power lines, nuclear reactors, oil wells, and pipelines.
  • Farming -- Tractors, combines, planters, etc.
  • Household conveniences -- Ovens, dish and clothes washers, vacuum cleaners, blenders, pumps, lawn mowers and trimmers, plumbing, water heaters, heating/cooling, etc.

Website: http://matse1.matse.illinois.edu/metals/ware.html

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