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GLH: 23 Hours

IB BTN Topic 4.1 Properties of materials.png
Essential idea:
Materials are selected for manufacturing products based primarily on their properties: Metals, Timber, Plastics, Glass, Textiles, and Composites
Nature of design:
The rapid pace of scientific discovery and new technologies has had a major impact on material science, giving designers many more materials with which to choose from for their products. These new materials have given scope for "smart" new products or enhanced classic designs. Choosing the right material is a complex and difficult task with physical, aesthetic, mechanical and appropriate properties to consider. Environmental, moral and ethical issues surrounding choice of materials for use in any product, service or system also need to be considered.
Concepts and principles:
  • Physical properties: mass, weight, volume, density, electrical resistivity, thermal conductivity, thermal expansion and hardness
  • Mechanical properties: tensile and compressive strength, stiffness, toughness, ductility, elasticity, plasticity, Young's modulus, stress and strain
  • Aesthetic characteristics: taste, smell, appearance and texture
  • Properties of smart materials: piezoelectricity, shape memory, photochromicity, magnetorheostaic, electro-rheostatic and thermoelectricity
International mindedness:
Smart materials are likely to be developed in specific regions/countries and their benefits can be limited globally in the short term.
Aims:
Aim 2: Materials are often developed by materials engineers to have specific properties. The development of new materials allows designers to create new products, which solve old problems in new ways. For example, the explosion of plastic materials following the second world war enabled products to be made without using valuable metals.

IB BTN Topic 4.2a Metals and metallic alloys.png
Essential idea:
Materials are classified unto six basic groups based on their different properties.
Nature of design:
Typically hard and shiny with good electrical and thermal conductivity, metals are either too soft, brittle or chemically reactive for practical use and so understanding how to manipulate these materials is vital to the success of any application. Use in any product, service or system also need to be considered.
Concepts and principles:
  • Extracting metal from ore
  • Grain size
  • Modifying physical properties by alloying, work hardening and tempering
  • Design criteria for super alloys
  • Recovery and disposal of metals and metallic alloys
International mindedness:
Extraction takes place locally with added value often occurring in another country.
Aims:
Aim 5: Design for disassembly is an important aspect of sustainable design. Valuable metals, such as gold, and copper, are being recovered from millions of mobile phones that have gone out of use following the end of product life.
Some laptops and mobile phones can be disassembled very quickly without tools to allow materials to be recovered easily.

IB BTN Topic 4.2b Timber.png
Nature of design:
Timber is a major building material that is renewable and uses the Sun’s energy to renew itself in a continuous cycle. While timber manufacture uses less energy and results in less air and water pollution than steel or concrete, consideration needs to be given to deforestation and the potential negative environmental impact the use of timber can have on communities and wildlife.
Concepts and principles:
  • Characteristics of natural timber: hardwood and softwood
  • Characteristics of man-made timbers
  • Treating and finishing timbers
  • Recovery and disposal of timbers
International mindedness:
The demand for high-quality hardwoods results in the depletion of ancient forests in some regions/countries impacting on the environment in multiple ways.
Aims:
Aim 9: Designers have great influence over the materials that they specify for products. The move towards using timber from sustainably managed forestry gives consumers confidence that rare species found in rain forests have an opportunity to recover.

IB BTN Topic 4.2c Glass.png
Nature of design:
The rapid pace of technological discoveries is very evident in the manufacture and use of glass in electronic devices. Different properties have been presented in glass for aesthetic or safety considerations for many years but the future of glass seems to be interactivity alongside electronic systems. The structure of glass is not well understood, but as more is learned, its use is becoming increasingly prominent in building materials and structural applications.
Concepts and principles:
  • Characteristics of glass
  • Applications of glass
  • Recovery and disposal of glass
Aims:
Aim 6: The earliest found examples of glass objects come from the third millennium BCE, and up until the 1850s glass was considered a luxury item. Since then, glass has permeated and revolutionized many aspects of human life and culture in diverse fields such as the arts, architecture, electronics and communication technologies.

IB BTN Topic 4.2d Plastic.png
Nature of design:
Most plastics are produced from petrochemicals. Motivated by the finiteness of oil reserves and threat of global warming, bio-plastics are being developed. These plastics degrade upon exposure to sunlight, water or dampness, bacteria, enzymes, wind erosion and in some cases pest or insect attack, but in most cases this does not lead to full breakdown of the plastic. When selecting materials, designers must consider the moral, ethical and environmental implications of their decisions.
Concepts and principles:
  • Raw materials for plastics
  • Structure of thermoplastics
  • Structure of thermosetting plastics
  • Temperature and recycling thermoplastics
  • Recovery and disposal of plastics
International mindedness:
The raw material for plastics (mainly oil) is extracted in a country, exported to other countries where conversion to plastics takes place and these are re-exported at considerable added value.
Aims:
Aim 3: Early plastics used from 1600 BCE through to 1900 CE were rubber based. Prompted by the need for new materials following the first world war, the invention of Bakelite and polyethylene in the first half of the 20th century sparked a massive growth of plastic materials and as we identify the need for new materials with particular properties, the development of new plastics continues.

IB BTN Topic 4.2e Textiles.png
Nature of design:
The continuing evolution of the textiles industry provides a wide spread of applications from high performance technical textiles to the more traditional clothing market. More recent developments in this industry require designers to combine traditional textile science and new technologies leading to exciting applications in smart textiles, sportswear, aerospace and other potential areas.
Concepts and principles:
  • Raw materials for textiles
  • Properties of natural fibres
  • Properties of synthetic fibres
  • Conversion of fibres to yarns
  • Conversion of yarns into fabrics: weaving, knitting, lace making, and felting
  • Recovery and disposal of textiles
International mindedness:
The economics and politics of the production and sale of clothing by multinationals can be a major ethical issue for consumers and the workforce.
Aims:
Aim 5: There are many ethical considerations attached to the production of natural fibres. The strongest natural silk known to man is harvested from silk spiders and notoriously difficult to obtain, and labour intensive. In an effort to produce higher yields, scientists have altered the genome of goats so that they produce the same silk proteins in their milk.

IB BTN Topic 4.2f Composites.png
Nature of design:
Composites are an important material in an intensely competitive global market. New materials and technologies are being produced frequently for the design and rapid manufacture of high-quality composite products. Composites are replacing more traditional materials as they can be created with properties specifically designed for the intended application. Carbon fibre has played an important part in weight reduction for vehicles and aircraft.
Concepts and principles:
  • Form: fibres/sheet/particles and matrix
  • Process: weaving, moulding, pultrusion and lamination
  • Composition and structure of composites: concrete, engineered wood, plywood, particleboard, fibreglass, Kevlar®, carbon reinforced plastic, laminated veneer lumber (LVL)
International mindedness:
Many composite materials are expensive to produce and their dissemination globally is limited.
Aims:
Aim 1: As designers develop new products, they should always be aware of the materials available. In an effort to increase productivity and lose weight, carbon fibre parts are often glued together. The use of an epoxy adhesive rather than traditional fastening methods allows manufacturers to create complex shapes quickly and easily. These materials and methods are being transferred to consumer products.

IB BTN Topic 4.3 Scales of production.png
Essential idea:
The scale of production depends on the number of products required.
Nature of design:
Decisions on scale of production are influenced by the volume or quantities required, types of materials used to make the products and the type of product being manufactured. There are also considerations of staffing, resources and finance.
Concepts and principles:
  • One-off, batch production and continuous flow
  • Mass customization
International mindedness:
Mass customization enables global products to become individual items.
Aims:
Aim 9: The growing phenomenon of mass customization brings consumers into the design process, allowing them to make choices that make a product unique, to make it their own. Companies have developed “design stations” in their retail stores where consumers can create virtual 3D models, “try them out” using digital technology and place their order.

IB BTN Topic 4.4 Manufacturing processes.png
Essential idea:
Different manufacturing processes have been developed to innovate existing products and create new products.
Nature of design:
Designers sometimes engineer products in such a way that they are easy to manufacture. Design for manufacture (DfM) exists in almost all engineering disciplines, but differs greatly depending on the manufacturing technologies used. This practice not only focuses on the design of a product’s components, but also on quality control and assurance.
Concepts and principles:
  • prototyping, laminated object manufacture (LOM), stereolithography
  • Wasting/subtractive techniques: cutting, machining, turning and abrading
  • Shaping techniques: moulding, thermoforming, laminating, casting, knitting, weaving
  • Joining techniques: permanent and temporary, fastening, adhering, fusing
International mindedness:
More expensive modern processes tend to take place in technologically advanced regions/countries.
Aims:
Aim 8: Advancements in 3D printing have resulted in the ability to have a 3D printer at home. Consumers can download plans for products from the internet and print these products themselves.

IB BTN Topic 4.5 Production systems.png
Essential idea:
The development of increasingly sophisticated production systems is transforming the way products are made.
Nature of design:
As a business grows in size and produces more units of output, then it will aim to experience falling average costs of production—economies of scale. The business is becoming more efficient in its use of inputs to produce a given level of output. Designers should incorporate internal and external economies of scale when considering different production methods and systems for manufacture.
Concepts and principles:
  • Craft production
  • Mechanized production
  • Automated production
  • Assembly line production
  • Mass production
  • Mass customization
  • Computer numerical control (CNC)
  • Production system selection criteria
  • Design for manufacture (DfM): design for materials, design for process, design for assembly, design for disassembly
  • Adapting designs for DfM
International mindedness:
The geographical distribution of different modes of production is an economic and political issue.
Aims:
Aim 7: The design of a production system requires a complete understanding of a product, its function and the quality of finish. Each system can be unique and specific to the product it is creating, often requiring the designers to adapt their design to be manufactured using certain methods.

IB BTN Topic 4.6 Robots in automated production.png
Essential idea:
The development of increasingly sophisticated robotic manufacturing systems is transforming the way products are made.
Nature of design:
Designers should consider the benefits of increased efficiency and consistency when using robots in production and be able to explore the latest advances in technology to ensure the optimum manufacturing process is used. However, a good designer will also understand their responsibility to consider the moral and ethical issues surrounding increased use of automation, and the historical impact of lost jobs.
Concepts and principles:
Primary characteristics of robots: work envelope and load capacity
Single-task robots
Multi-task robots
Teams of robots
Machine to machine (M2M)
International mindedness:
The use of robots in automated production can depend on the local cost of manual labour.
Aims:
Aim 8: The introduction of robots to an assembly line has had a major impact on the labour force, often making skilled workers redundant in favour of a technician who can maintain and equip a large number of robots.

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