Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Materials are Poetic: Mtrl

holographic glass

In order to reach out to the design community, ASM, a US-based Materials Information Society, has set up /MTRL. Chris Lefteri Design was commissioned to provide a range of materials from the ASM collection, complete with extensive information and images, as a free on-line material database . So far, the database consists of 250 materials presented in a way that specifically targets designers and their needs.

I've seen many image databases in my time and  this one is a real find and especially useful as all our courses at Cardiff become  increasingly concerned with the physical  experiences of Materials and Making.

Mtrl is great fun and at the same time hugely informative. It is  crammed with well organised images and facts about materials and their properties. Here you can choose to search for images and information about materials by their 'form' (eg firm, powder, resin) 'personality' (eg dynamic , extreme, honest ), different types of ceramic, glass, plastic etc etc etc. It includes a section listing an unbelievable amount of 'additives and ingredients' (Floam anyone?).

Lightben transparent honeycomb core panel

It is  a lot more entrancing and unusual than you might expect of a materials database and is  at the same time of immense practical use. The database offers links from each type of material in the database to suppliers and also  gives  its eco standing (biodegradable/recyclable/renewable?)), its key features, all physical features,  its price range, major applications for use and  engineering properties. A veritable  alchemists shopping list..........

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