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Materials Selection

Every product you design will have different materials requirements and different options for making an environmental choice - there are no easy solutions.

However, when selecting materials for your product there are a few basic rules to remember:

  • follow the simple hierachy - REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, AVOID
  • use as few types of materials as possible
  • reduce the quantity of material used in the manufacture of a product through sensible ribbing design
  • can you use a renewable material?
  • select materials which are compatible for recycling where possible - see recycling section
  • use materials with recycled content if appropriate:
    • it is important to create markets for recycled plastics
    • but recycled materials are often composites, so may be difficult to recycle.
  • The RoHS directive outlines a number of materials which should be avoided in product design
materials section
Interesting case studies

Although many of the case studies in the site involve a degeree of materials selection.  Below are a list of particularily intersting cases to be getting on with: