As much as these are inferior to majority of the metallic materials as far as temperature resistance and strengths are concerned, these have been used in corrosive environments as well as in other areas that require minimum wear, for example in small gear wheels that were initially manufactured from hardened steel, are currently produced from Teflon or nylon (Van Kesteren, Stappers and Kandachar, 2005). The performance of these materials is satisfactory; they are quiet and are in no need for lubrication. In this respect, therefore, prior to selection of material or even the designing of components, there is need for an individual to have sufficient knowledge of the process requirements, the limitations of operation like the non-hazardous and hazardous conditions, the continuous and the non-continuous operations, raw material availability together with the availability of spares and other alternate material (Rahman, Perera, Odeyinka and Bi, 2008).The material composition includes mineral and chemical composition, all of which constitute the major factors for material properties. Chemical composition is the chemical constituents and they give the material different properties (Abeysundara, Babel, and Gheewala, 2009). For instance, when the carbon content increases, it affects the hardness, strength and the toughness of carbon steel. Carbon steel rusts with a lot of ease, and there comes in place the stainless steel in addition to nickel, chromium, together with other chemical components to steel. Various inorganic non-metallic materials have a different mineral composition (Flórez, Castro-Lacouture, Sefair and Medaglia, 2009). Minerals are monomer compounds that have specific chemical structure and components (Rahman, Perera, Odeyinka and Bi, 2008). The mineral composition forms an integral factor for properties of some materials used for building, among which are an inorganic gel, natural stone and others.The micro-level structure observable using optical microscope is referred to as sub-microstructure or mesostructure.
Abeysundara, U.G.Y., Babel, S. and Gheewala, S. A., 2009. Matrix in life-cycle perspective for selecting sustainable materials for buildings in Sri Lanka. Build. Environ, 44, pp. 997-1004
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Chan, J.W.K. and Tong, T.K.L., 2007. Multi-criteria material selections and end-of-life product strategy: Grey relational analysis approach. Mater. Des, 28, pp. 1539-1546.
Flórez, L.; Castro-Lacouture, D.; Sefair, J.A. and Medaglia, A.L., 2009. Optimization model for the selection of materials using the LEED green building rating system. Build. Environ, 44, pp. 1162-1170.
Rahman, S.; Perera, S.; Odeyinka, H. and Bi, Y. A. 2008. Conceptual Knowledge-based Cost Model for Optimizing the Selection of Materials and Technology for Building Design. In Proceedings of the 24th Annual ARCOM Conference, Cardiff, UK, Dainty, A., Ed.; pp. 217-225.
Van Kesteren, I.E.H., Stappers, P.J. and Kandachar, P.V., 2005. Representing Product Personality in Relation to Materials in a Product Design Problem. In Proceedings of the 1st Nordic Design Research Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark
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