Since men first roamed the earth, they have used whatever nature has provided to survive. If wild animals did not eat them they had to be able to feed themselves and stay warm in the winter months. As they progressed, some of them decided that they would fight back and that wild animals would become their meals rather than the other way around.
The earliest weapons in man fight for survival were made from stone. It really is amazing how by using another stone to fashion a blade of sorts, they were able to make weapons that made it easier for them to find food and to survive. Now if a wild animal attacked, they had some way of fighting back and stood as much chance of success as the animal did.
Most children will know from their history lessons that wood was a very important companion for stone. Wherever wood was available, which of course, not everywhere, the maximum amount of relics showing human life have been found. This makes a great deal of sense. Wood is easy to work with, and is very versatile, even for the limited amount of knowledge and tools that men would have had at that time.
Originally, bronze was made by combining copper with arsenic, but this was later changed to mixing it with tin. The Bronze Age is seen as a very vital development for man, as this was the first time that two naturally occurring elements had been combined to create something new.
This was the first sign of much larger engineering industries. It was the time where things were heated up for the first time and making different alloys all began here.
Once the heating up and combining of metals began, many new and exciting things were produced, steel being one of them, There are so many things that can be made from steel includes household items. As the processes progress, and there is an interesting article about stainless steel here, things moved on very quickly. Steel was one of the main drivers for the Industrial Revolution and still today is used in most areas of our lives.
Materials For The Future
There will no doubt be new materials that we have not even yet developed, but for the moment there are already some that will be classed as important in future years.
Nanomaterial’s are already being used to perform many tasks. For instance, gold nanoparticles are used to treat cancer and nanoparticles of silver have proved to be good in fighting bacteria.
Science is investigating self-healing materials. Materials do not heal themselves as our bodies do, and they are seeking to find the answer so that self-healing materials can be produced.
Some of natures complex systems consume CO2 and emit clean air. Engineers are currently trying to replicate this in what has become known as an artificial leaf. An energy that can take in pollution and replace it with clean air would be an amazing step forward for this earth, and one that would be remembered forever more.