Matériaux & Techniques
Volume 102, Number 5, 2014
Matériaux et société / Social value of materials (SAM8)
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||13 November 2014|
Sustainable materials management on the basis of the relationship between materials’ properties and human needs
The University of Tokyo, Tokyo
2 National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
3 Hiroshima University, Hiroshima 735-8524, Japan
4 Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
5 The Society of Non-Traditional Technology, Japan
Received: 17 June 2014
Accepted: 21 October 2014
Materials are produced and used to fulfill the needs of human activities. The properties of materials provide functions via social systems consisting of assembled products. Regarding a function, several materials can provide the same function. In actuality, the most preferential material is selected at the time and has changed over time due to technology development, resource prices, regulations, and so on. For instance, the function of lights has been provided by filaments, phosphor and LED, which have properties of thermal radiation, fluorescence and an appropriate band gap for electroluminescence, respectively. In order to consider sustainable materials management, it might be of importance to clarify the relationship between the needs of human activities and the properties of materials. However, it is not enough to discuss the relationship. The objective of this paper is the construction of a framework which can clarify connections between human needs and materials’ properties. In our framework, we considered all possible materials, even those which are not commercialized at present. Therefore, the framework was constructed on the basis of fundamental principles related to the properties. There are two main outcomes when all the information is prepared along with the framework. One of them is messages for technology development. The well-organized information focusing on a property can find a direction of technology development in a long-term perspective. The other is messages for social development. The overall information in the framework can summarize and categorize human needs. We can find which activity will encounter some restrictions even if technology could be developed, at least on the basis of currently known scientific knowledge. The framework consists of seven hierarchical categories; (1) candidate materials or substances which provide the property, (2) the fundamental principle related to the property, (3) the main property of materials, (4) parts and components requiring the property, (5) the finished products or markets requiring a function provided by the property, (6) modes of social systems which fulfill human needs and for which the products or markets are employed, and (7) the basic needs of human activities.
Key words: Millenary perspective / principle of property / social system / human needs / enumerations of materials’ properties
© EDP Sciences, 2014
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