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An Article from the January 2005 JOM-e: A Web-Only Supplement to JOM

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LETTER TO EDITOR

The Role of Materials in Sustainable Mobility—Examining Long-Term Vehicular Materials Usage

Randolph Kirchain, Joel Clark, Frank Field, and Richard Roth

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OTHER PRESENTATIONS IN THE SERIES

EDITOR'S NOTE: The symposium on Materials and Critical Societal Issues was held during the Materials Science & Technology 2004 conference in New Orleans, Louisiana in September 2004. The speakers' slides from several of the presentations were collected and converted to into portable document format (PDF) files, and a video presentation of "Material Engineering Challenges for the Society of Tomorrow: Housing, Transportation, Health, and Food Delivery Needs", is available for viewing as part of this month's JOM-e.

Although the definition and execution of global sustainability is still debated, a significant element will certainly be the effective management of material resources. The automotive industry—a major consumer across numerous metal and non-metal markets—will play a significant role. Furthermore, the growth of the world automotive fleet in developing and transitional nations will ensure that this consumption prominence will remain strong. Given that context it is illustrative to understand how current vehicle trends will affect the consumption of major engineering materials. This presentation examines several scenarios of emergent vehicle technology penetration including both material and propulsion changes. The implications of these shifts on primary consumption and secondary supply are discussed, and results from related studies on the evolution of fuel use and fossil resource consumption will be compared.

For more information, contact Randolph Kirchain, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue E40-421, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139; (617) 253-4258; kirchain@mit.edu.


Copyright held by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, 2005

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