Landfill And Material Recycling In Malaysia

The generation of solid waste, and particularly Municipal Solid Waste, is a consequence of modem living and an increasingly urbanized society. Solid waste prevention and management is one of the keys to sustainable environment and development. Waste is defined as an object the holder discards, intends to discard or is required to discard [1-2]. Something becomes waste when it loses its primary function for the user. Waste is therefore relative to this primary function. However, and this is the second perspective, what is considered waste with regard to this primary function may be useful for a secondary function. In other words, somebody’s waste is often somebody else’s (secondary) raw material [1]. Solid waste can be typically classified as: municipal solid waste including plastic waste (MSW), construction and demolition waste (C&D), hazardous solid wastes (HW), bio-medical waste (BMW), and electronic waste (e-waste) [3]. Municipal solid waste (MSW) management comprises of practices ranging from waste collection to final disposal which is connected in numerous ways to many other environmental, economic, and social issues with most of the answers having broader implications. Sustainable waste management is about using resources more efficiently both at the raw and finished state [4-7]. Looking from the perspective of sustainable waste management practices and the environment, the technologies or policies on MSW management should embody a reasonable balance of feasible, cost-effective, environmentally beneficial, and socially sensitive solutions to the problems. It means that a sustainable waste management practice does not only achieve a specific goal in MSW management, it takes into account the demands of the specific situations where the proposed solution is to be implemented [8]. Solid waste management is a major challenge for Malaysia to address in the light of her Vision 2020 which lays out the direction for Malaysia in becoming a fully developed nation. The National Vision Policy (NVP), developed to meet the challenges posed by Vision 2020, incorporates key strategies of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and the National Development Policy (NDP). A key thrust of the NVP is pursuing environmentally sustainable development to reinforce long-term growth, which presents challenges to established policies and practices in the rapidly expanding area of solid waste management” [9].
Waste Management Concepts
There are a number of concepts about waste management which vary in their usage between countries or regions. The following are some of the most general, widely used concepts:
Waste hierarchy: The waste hierarchy is the “3R” concept where the “R” stands for reduce, reuse and recycle, it classify waste management strategies according to their desirability to achieving waste minimization. The waste hierarchy remains the cornerstone of most waste minimization strategies. The aim of the waste hierarchy is to extract as much as possible the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of waste [10-12].
Polluter Pays Principle: the polluter pays principle is a principle where the polluting party pays for the impact caused to the environment. With respect to waste management, this generally refers to the requirement for a waste generator to pay for appropriate disposal of the unrecoverable material [10-13].
In Malaysia context, the waste hierarchy is the practice adopted for municipal solid waste management [14-19]. It is a major focus of the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Act 2007.
Municipal solid waste MSW management is a major challenge in urban areas throughout the world with greater effect in the rapidly growing cities and towns of developing countries [20]. Globally, municipal solid waste generation was about 0.49 billion tons in 1997 with an estimated annual growth rate of 3.2-4.5% in developed nations and 2-3% in developing nations [21]. In Asia region, MSW generation has been increasing at a rate of 3 to 7% per year as a result of population growth, changing consumption patterns, and the expansion of trade and industry in urban centres. The generation of municipal solid waste by the public is a function of socio-economic background (buying power), cultural background, locality (urban or rural setting) and the environment awareness. The generation and the composition of solid wastes vary according to size/population and income level [22-24]. Malaysian population has been in the increase at a rate of about 2.4% per annum since 1994 [25] due to industrialization, urban migration, affluence, population growth, tourism and high influx of foreign workforce/students which has lead to massive developmental projects such as building the latest designs of residential and business buildings, construction of spacious highways, tourist resorts and so on [7, 22, 26-27]. The growing population comes with increased generation of municipal solid waste (MSW), which requires proper management to protect the people and the environment. As the solid waste generation increases in Malaysia, it puts a pressure on and shortens the duration time of, the existing landfill [28]. In Malaysia, waste collection varies from city to city with about 80% generated waste collection in Kuala Lumpur while a general average estimate of about 70% of waste generated in Malaysia is collected and 1-5% of waste is recycled (from the collected waste) while the remaining is taken to the disposal sites [29-30]. The major MSW management practice in Malaysia is waste disposal to landfill with approximately 80-95% of the total collected waste sent to landfills [31-34]. Current waste disposal method of landfill needs improvements to prolong the landfill life and to minimize the problem of land scarcity [31]. In 2007 about 26 million tonnes of waste were produced in Malaysia of which 30% were municipal solid waste (MSW), 34% from construction, industrial waste – 23%, Hazardous waste – 9% and 1% waste generation from public places [35]. The average amount of MSW generated ranges between 0.5 and 0.8 kg/cap/day for rural areas and smaller towns [22, 27, 36] while households of major cities and the capital Kuala Lumpur produce about 1.7 kg/cap/day – 1.9 kg/cap/day [9, 14, 22, 37]. The daily MSW quantity was 17,000 tonnes per day in 2002 and by year 2020, the quantity of MSW generated is estimated to increase to over 30,000 tonnes per day [14, 23, 26, 32, 36, 38-39]. MSW management operations absorb large portions of municipal operating budgets, of which as much as 60% are for collection and transfer of the wastes for disposal [8, 29]. For a better understanding and planning of solid waste management, information on the quantity of solid waste generated in an area is fundamental to almost all aspects of solid waste management [40].

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Malaysia Waste Characterization
The municipal solid waste (MSW) in Malaysia is made up of waste from households, commercial, institutes, landscape conservation, street cleansing, and industry construction and even tourist activities [14, 30, 32-33, 38]. Characteristics of MSW vary from city to city and season to season [8]. The solid wastes of rural towns in Malaysia are significantly different from those of large cities, having more organics (food wastes) but few plastics. In industrialized cities MSW is quantified and characterized by municipal authorities at regular intervals. Malaysian municipal solid waste (MSW) generated consists of different constituents such as biodegradable materials (food waste, Garden waste, Animal waste and Material contaminated by such waste) which has high moisture content and a bulk density above 200 kg/m3, resistant polymers, paper, Wood, Textiles, Leather, Plastic, Rubber, Paint, oil, grease, chemical, organic sludge, glass, ceramic, mineral soil, concrete, and masonry (construction debris) [7, 14]. In the MSW waste analysis by Saeed [22], it shows that about 48% of municipal solid waste generated are from residential, 24% commercial generated waste, 11% from street cleaning, 7% from landscape conservation, 6% from institutional waste and 4% from industry and construction [32].
A waste characterization study for the city of Kuala Lumpur shows that the main components of Malaysian waste were food, paper, and plastic which comprise 80% of overall weight [22, 24, 38] with high moisture content ranging from 52.6% to 66.2% [22-23, 29, 41-43]. High moisture content in waste reduces energy value of waste and creates extra cost in the use of the waste as refuse derived fuel (RDF) or even incineration because the waste might need to be dried before incinerating. Similarly increasing pressure and temperature in the pile of solid waste or landfill favours the growth of leachate from solid waste which if not controlled might enter into the ground and surface water and can be dangerous for human health [22, 24, 44]. From literature, the waste composition seems to be variable. However, the main part of Malaysia MSW is organic waste; according to data from the ninth Malaysia Plan, Malaysia MSW composition is estimated about 45% of food waste, 24% of plastic, 7% paper materials, 6% of iron and glass while others made up the remaining percentage [32-33, 45]. Table 1 shows the average composition by weight percentage of components of MSW generated by various sources in Kuala Lumpur [22] while Table 2 depicts the daily generation of Municipal solid waste by states in Malaysia from year 2000 to year 2010 [46].
The current generation indicates 60% increase over the past 10 years. The larger amount of Malaysian MSW is recyclables which include paper, plastic, glass, metal and aluminum [46-47]. Recyclable items represent over 40% of the total waste volume which without retrieval activity, these valuable materials will be disposed off into landfill. The implications of this practice are the lost of these resources and the rapid utilization of the landfill space. Thus, it will reduce the length of the life-span of landfills in the country. The existing waste disposal habit among Malaysians sees a very high potential of diverting waste via recycling. One obstacle in material recovery practice is that Malaysian MSW is highly commingled. As a result, the waste contains high moisture content and reduces the value of the recyclable items. Sorting at waste generation source will help in reducing the difficulty of high moisture content and improve recycling and resource recovery, thus extending and maintaining low level of pollution from landfill.
Solid waste management in Malaysia is the responsibility of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (MHLG) with a regulatory body known as National Solid Waste Management Department under this ministry (MHLG) which was established in 2007 [36, 45, 48]. Local authorities are responsible for public cleansing and have to dispose all collected waste in a sanitary way[36]. MSW management involves waste collection, transportation, disposal and monitoring of the disposed waste to protect the environment. It was found from literature that waste collection in Malaysia is more effective and efficient in the richer communities than poorer ones [36]. In view of achieving an improved system for all local authorities and realizing that the lack of appropriate policy is a factor that averts sustainable waste management in the country, the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Bill (SWPCM) was approved in 2007 [14-15, 26, 36, 45, 48-49]. Solid waste management is one element of the ninth Malaysia plan. This plan implies the upgrading of existing unsanitary landfills, the construction of new sanitary landfills and the construction of transfer stations with material recovery facilities with aim of strengthening the institutional capacity of respective agencies as well as creating a society that is committed towards waste minimisation and achieving a recycling target of 22% by 2020 [29, 36, 50]. The Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Act 2007 was gazette on 30 August 2007 with the focus to pave away for federal take-over of solid waste management and privatization of solid waste handling. Consequential amendments were also made to three other policies [14].
Challenges in Solid Waste Management
Lack of appropriate policy is the main constraint to sustainable waste management in Malaysia [46]. As a result, the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Bill (SWPCM) was approved in 2007 with the aims of providing an act and regulate the management of solid waste and public cleansing in order to maintain proper sanitation in the country [26]. The following are the commonly identified problems which affect the proper handling of solid waste on the side of the management authorities:
Inadequate service coverage and operational inefficiencies of services,
Limited utilization of recycling activities,
Inadequate landfill disposal, and
Inadequate management of hazardous and healthcare waste.
Waste Management Process and Practices
Waste Collection, Transportation and Disposal Service in Malaysia
Municipal solid waste collection schemes of cities in the developing world generally serve only a limited part of the urban population [4, 21, 39, 51-57]. The people facing more problem of poor waste-collection services are usually the low-income population living in peri-urban areas [58-59]. In Kuala Lumpur, 80-90% of the generated MSW is collected; however over 60% of the rural population in Malaysia does not have any waste collection service and this has lead to many illegal small dumping sites [9]. The most common waste collection process in Malaysia is the door-to-door collection system where trash bins are collected from every household. Inhabitants of high-rise buildings or of informal settlements have to bring the waste to communal waste containers [36]. Waste separation has not been a common practice in Malaysia and this leads to the collection of all types of waste in one bin [36]. The solid management responsibility (collection, transportation and disposal) of 48 Local Authorities has been privatized since 1st January 1997. Idaman Bersih Sdn Bhd manages the waste for northern region of Peninsular Malaysis, Alam Flora Sdn. Bhd manages the waste generated in the Central and Eastern Region of Peninsular Malaysia while Southern Waste Management Sdn. Bhd manages the waste in the Southern Region of the peninsular [14, 45]. The frequency of household waste collections is normally three times a week whereas waste from shops and commercial premises are collected daily [9]. From [60], about 50% of the overall national waste amount collected is open dumped, 30% is landfilled, 10% is composted, 5% is recycled and 5% percent is incinerated. There are about 7 mini-incinerators with capacity between 5 to 20 tones per day owned by the government (located in Pulau Pangkor, Pulau Langkawi, Pulau Tioman and Cameron Highlands) [61] and a private operated incinerator by Recycle Energy Sdn Bhd at Semenyi with a capacity of 1000 Metrics tones per day [23].
Waste Recycling and Composting
Waste minimisation is the bed rock of sustainable and sound waste management with global focus on realising a “Material Cycle Society”. It is the desire to reduce waste generation at source, minimise the amount of waste disposed at landfills and to maximise the efficiency of resource utilisation. Recycling is a practice that utilises raw and finished products more efficiently and effectively. Recycling of inorganic materials from Malaysia municipal solid waste has been a practice by informal sector although such activities are seldom recognised, supported, or promoted by the municipal authorities [8]. Recycling in Malaysia became a government programs in the early 1990s and the first official recycling campaign was launched in October 1991 in Shah Alam, Selangor by the Minister of Housing and Local Government [5]. Twenty local authorities were identified as the lead agencies to promote recycling. This recycling campaign is to be part of the “Clean and Beautiful Program” launched by the ministry earlier. In 1992, the minister announced that all city and municipal councils would be required to launch recycling programs. On December 2000 the government re-launched the national recycling campaign with 29 local authorities participating. The second phase of the new recycling program was launched on 11 November 2002 with 95 local authorities participating. The target was “to reduce waste generation to a minimum rate of 22% by the year 2020” [5, 23, 62-63]. The present recycling program also involves waste management companies, waste recycling firms, Non-Governmental Organizations, shopping mall management companies, schools, hospitals, and religious organizations. During 2001-2003, the government spent MYR25 million on awareness campaigns and another MYR11 million purchasing and building an infrastructure to support the program [5]. Recycling campaigns were also carried out by the local authorities such as printing flyers and brochures and holding public briefings. They also provide recycling bins for paper, glass, and aluminium in strategic places, such as shopping centres, schools, and transport terminals. After more than ten years, the official recycling figure is just 5%, although there are reports of higher than 5% recycling. For example, in 2003 Penang Island’s recycling rate was 9.8%, up from 3% in 2000 [5, 9]. Many Malaysians seem to treat recycling bins as an ordinary waste-disposal bin. Indeed, it was so bad that the Penang State government has taken back most of the bins as almost all the recycling bins contain all sorts of waste [5]. Although a large amount of Malaysian wastes could be recycled, less than 5% of the total (almost 10,000 tonnes per day) is actually separated and recycled. There is a good demand for waste plastics, paper and glass, with resale prices of about US$60 per tonne, US$44 per tonne and US$32 per tone, respectively. Recovery of only 5% of the available waste plastics, paper and glass is estimated to yield a total of about US$3.4 million per year. Recommendations to increase recycling are discussed in the paper [64]. More priority is given to recycling in Malaysia than composting.
Composting is defined as the biological decomposition of organic matter under controlled aerobic conditions to form a stable, humus-like end product. The process is facilitated by a diverse population of microbes, whose population dynamics vary greatly both temporally and spatially, and generally involves the development of thermophilic temperatures as a result of biologically produced heat [65-66]. Composting is applicable to MSW or separately collected leaves, yard, and food waste in Malaysia. The benefits of recycling and composting are: the processes cut down the need for disposal capacity and lowers emissions from landfills and incinerators as well as reducing litter. Secondly, the use of recycled materials in industry reduces energy use and emission; lessens impact when raw material is extracted or manufactured, and conserves raw materials [67]. Recycling also provides a supplementary income source for the lower income group while compost product are used to improve the soil quality [68].
Malaysia Waste Potential for Recycling:
Recycling in the context of solid waste may be defined as the reclamation of material and its reuse which could include repair, remanufacture and conversion of materials, parts and products. Reclamation of materials from solid waste is not something new [69]. It is the beneficial-reuse of products that would otherwise be disposed off. It diverts waste from overloaded landfills besides providing raw materials that consume less fuel during the manufacturing process. It is an important aspect of an efficient and effective solid waste management system [61]. To understand the composition of MSW in Malaysia, an assessment of the waste generated and recyclable potential of Malaysia municipal solid waste conducted for Kuala Lumpur city by Saeed et al [32] shows from their prediction from the current trend of waste generation in Kuala Lumpur city that the MSW has a good potential of recyclables. Table 1 shows the recyclable components and their percentage share and recycling rate in tons per year. The results indicate that, food (organic) waste is the major component followed by mix paper and plastics. But unfortunately the attention paid by the authority towards this direction is not sufficient enough to tackle this issue. The Agenda 21 [70], defined environmentally sound technologies as a technology that protect the environment; moreover, recycling most of the wastes and handle residual wastes in more acceptable manner. Since 1993 a major effort of recycling was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government but unfortunately limited recycling activities taken place [67].
Though recycling activity in Malaysia is rising up, the recycling industry still needs to be enhanced. The Malaysian’s attitude towards recycling is higher, but only few practice it [71].
Attitude to the Environmental and Level of Waste Management Awareness in Malaysia
Environmental problems are caused directly or indirectly by the patterns of production by industries, patterns of consumption and behaviour of the consumers [72]. Attitude is a mental and neural state of readiness, which exerts a directing, influence upon the individual’s response to all objects and situations with which it is related [73]. Attitudes to the environment are rooted in a person’s concept of self and the degree to which an individual perceives himself or herself to be an integral part of the natural environment [74]. The shaping of attitude and values, commitment and skills needed to preserve and protect the environment begins at an early age of which educators play an influential role in developing new patterns of behaviours for individuals [72]. In Malaysia, recycling program has been widely initiated since 1993. However, to date the recycling rate in Malaysia is only five percent [75]. A survey by Said et al. [72] using drop and collect method was conducted for 285 school teachers who were randomly selected from ten regular government schools in the state of Selangor, Malaysia to determine the level of knowledge, environmental concern and ecologically conscious consumer behavior and identify the extent of involvement in nature-related activities of school teachers. The result if the survey illustrated the presence of high level of environmental concern among the teachers, fair environmental knowledge but generally poor in understanding of the underlying causes of environmental problems. The practices of environmentally responsible behavior were not in concert with the level of concern and knowledge and the respondents were not actively involved in nature-related activities [72]. Another assessment of the level of environmental knowledge among households in Selangor, Malaysia was conducted by Haron et al [76]. The study examine the sources of their environmental knowledge, determine factors that lead to different levels of knowledge and analyse the relationship between knowledge and environmental attitude, behaviour and participation. The results of the study indicate that, in general, respondents’ basic or general environmental knowledge was high. However, when questioned on various scientific environmental terms, the majority of the respondents were not familiar with most of them. Respondents indicated that their main sources of environmental knowledge and information were newspapers, television and radio. Lower levels of education were reflected in the level of environmental knowledge. Participation in environmental activities had a positive influence on knowledge. The study also found that knowledge correlated positively with environmental attitudes, behaviours and participation [76]. An investigation/comparison of gender with attitudes towards the environment and green products was conducted by Chen and Chai [77] and the result of their investigation shows that there were no significant differences between gender in their environmental attitudes and attitudes on green products. The second part of the study investigated the relationship between attitude towards the environment and green products. Result revealed that consumer attitudes on the government’s role and their personal norm towards the environment contributed significantly to their attitude on green product. Further investigation revealed that personal norm was the most important contributor to the attitude towards green product. However, environmental protection did not contribute significantly to consumers’ attitudes on green product [77]. The media in Malaysia has played a major role in communicating ideas and information on environmental issues but quite unfortunate, at the national level, people are still reluctant to adopt certain measures to reduce their waste disposal impact on the environment [78]. Studying the effectiveness of media messages towards pro-environmental behavior of Malaysians, Besar and Hassan [78] explain the relationship between message response and people’s recycling knowledge, attitudes and recycling practice in the workplace context. The analysis inferred that both external motivational (exposure and attention) and internal motivational (involvement and interest) factors are the message response determinant variables that influence message effectiveness. They identified that one area which requires immediate public voluntary participation is in waste management, especially the 3Rs practices. The work suggests that there is poor public participation in environmentally friendly behaviors, namely recycling, as people do not response accordingly to the intended message. They noted that communication and proper enforcement of the law will help boost the recycling rates among the public. An investigation was conducted on the antecedents of recycling intention behaviour among secondary school students using Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) by Mahmud [75]. The sample consists of 400 randomly selected Form Four students. Three factors that influenced the intention behaviour as hypothesised by the author include specific attitude, subjective norms and perceived behaviour control. The result shows that perceived behaviour control was the strongest predictor of intention behaviour. Subjective norms are the second strongest predictor of intention to recycle. Specific attitudes were indirect predictor of intention behaviour, via the mediation of subjective norms and perceived behaviour control. The researcher suggested that environmental education in Malaysia school system should focus on elements that can effectively inculcate a pro-environmental behaviour among students [75]. A model to determine and analyze the factors that could affect knowledge, attitude and behavior of the urban poor concerning solid waste management was developed by Murad et aj [79]. They collected primary data residents of low-cost flats of Kuala Lumpur city, Malaysia. The empirical results of the study provide evidence to the effect that knowledge, attitude and behavior of the urban poor communities concerning solid waste management are adequate and satisfactory and the low socio-economic profile of the urban poor has not been proven as causal to environmental degradation [79]. In a review on the image and environmental disclosure, challenges in environmental information management and some of the strategic implications of environmental reporting as an important tool for improved environmental management with a short case study was presented by Sumiani et al [80]. In the case study of 50 companies in Malaysia, 36 reported some kind of environmental information in their corporate annual reports where most of the companies that gave environment report where ISO certified companies. The study concluded that ISO certification has some level of influence towards voluntary environmental reporting behaviour amongst the sampled Malaysian companies, specifically on ‘pollution abatement’ and on ‘other environmentally related information’ categories of environmental information. Making reference to Saeed et al [32], It is obvious that the Malaysia cities are still lacking in terms of efficient waste treatment technology, sufficient fund, public awareness, maintaining the established norms of industrial waste treatment, etc.
Recycling is a relatively new exercise in Malaysia. Even though recycling has been introduced years back, lack of public awareness caused a slowdown in the progress of the recycling exercise. Lack of sufficient recycling facilities or the inappropriateness of the facilities’ location contributed further to the slowdown. Over 20,000 tonnes of solid waste is being discarded daily. The Ministry of Housing and Local Government sets a recycling goal to be 22% by 2020. A study on the success of recycling exercise in Subang Jaya, Malaysia was conducted by Chenaya et al [81]. The collection rate of recyclables in Subang Jaya is estimated to be 0.43% in 2004 which shows poor recycling activities and was traced to poor awareness of the residents of the area. The study formulates and analyzes various strategies to increase the awareness among the residents and to increase the existing facilities. They employ the outranking analysis and use a new exploitation procedure based on eigenvector using the “weighted” in- and out- preference flows of each alternative from outranking relation in a PROMETHEE context [81]. It was found that environmental education should be made a part of the education and civil system.
Waste-Energy Recovery and Incineration
Municipal solid waste resource recovery is a practice where waste with good heating values are derived from the waste by mechanical or manual process and used as fuel (RDF – Refuse Derived Fuel). Solid waste resource recovery is not a common practice in Malaysia. Malaysia waste if properly sorted will create a good opportunity for resource recovery considering the percentage of paper, plastic, wood and textile materials. Promoting waste sorting from source and composting of organic waste will reduce the moisture content of Malaysia solid waste and enhancing the opportunity of resource recovery. RDF can be used as fuel to plants for electricity generation in the country, thus decreasing the greenhouse gas emission from energy utilization by changing from fossil fuels to a partly renewable fuel or incinerated to generate heat for industrial purpose. Incineration is a controlled burning of wastes at a high temperature, sterilizes, stabilizes and reduces waste volume which may be used as disposal option, when the waste composition is highly combustible. It is one of the most effective means of dealing with many wastes, to reduce their harmful potential and often to convert them to an energy form. It reduces volume up to ten-fold and thus is becoming particularly attractive in metropolitan areas. Some of the municipal managers are looking to the development of municipal incinerators around the periphery of their cities as a first solution in many countries [82]. Incineration requires appropriate technology, infrastructure, and skilled workforce to operate and maintain the plant [83]. Waste incineration is thermal treatment of waste mainly employed for hazardous waste treatment as a standard. MSW incineration in Malaysia is until now only realized as small-scale incinerators on islands, namely Langkawi, Pankor, Tioman and Labuan. The installed seven mini-incineration plants have a capacity of 5-20 tons per day and are operated only once per week due to high operation costs. For Kuala Lumpur one waste gasification plant with a capacity of 1,500 tones per day was planed but never realized because of social protests [14, 36]. The energy potentials of municipal solid waste in Malaysia was assessed by Kathirvale et al. [22] and found that The calorific value of the Malaysian MSW ranged between 1500 and 2600 kcal/kg. From their evaluation of the amount of energy t

Use of Wood as a Building Material

Wood is quite unique when compared to most building materials used today given that its material makeup is a result of naturally grown biological tissue (ill.18). Thus, the material makeup and structure of wood is significantly different than that of most industrially produced, isotropic materials. Upon close examination, wood can be described as an anisotropic natural fiber composite. In contrast to isotropy, which constitutes identical properties in all directions of a material, anisotropy concerns the property of being directionally dependent. For instance, one can see this in the way that wood can bend easily in the tangential axis (ill.19) which is the direction perpendicular to its grain direction. When examining wood from any given angle, one can identify material characteristics and behaviours specific to that angle, relative to the material’s main grain orientation. That is to say, should one examine the material properties of wood at an angle 45 degrees to the main grain orientation, one will discover properties extremely different than those obtained from an angle 90 degrees to the main grain orientation.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

The directionally dependent property of wood is a result of the horizontal or vertical orientation of the individual cells and the arrangements of growth layers in a tree.[1] Throughout architectural history, this inherent heterogeneity of wood as well as its complex material characteristics have often been characterized as deficiencies by architects, engineers and members of the timber industry.[2] This can be traced to the fact that most designs and construction methodologies used today require the use of materials bearing minimal variations in their properties and behaviours in order to satisfy the need for isotropic structures.
In contrast, this thesis views wood’s complex material makeup and its capacities as significant advantages rather than deficiencies. Furthermore, it aims to understand these interesting characteristics of wood and employ them through an informed design process.
In addition to these complex material properties, wood also presents many favorable characteristics including diversity, weight, strength, appearance, workability, cost and availability. Another factor that makes wood a very appealing material today concerns its overall ecological advantages. In light of the environmental challenges that the built environment is facing today, it is becoming increasingly recognized that very few building materials can rival wood’s environmental benefits. Wood is a natural, renewable material that holds a very low level of embodied energy. It is known for its ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by storing CO2 and also by substituting for materials with a high carbon content[3]. In this manner, the use of wood actually produces a positive carbon footprint.[4] Wood is also an extremely energy efficient building material in its production. For example, wood requires 50 times less energy in its manufacturing than steel to ensure a given structural stiffness as a whole.[5]
Unlike many natural resources, forests consist of a renewable resource. With careful forest management, one can ensure that forests thrive and continue to provide the many benefits to which we have become accustomed. Foresters can calculate an ‘allowable cut’ of trees per year for any given forest area that will secure a stable harvest. Tree farming is yet another way of sustainably satisfying today’s demand for wood. Programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have engineered a breed of super trees that can grow at rapid speeds in order to create a substantial amount of bio mass in a single given acre. These engineered trees are being farmed at tree farms such as the Boardman Tree Farm LLC, and are redefining modern forestry (ill.20). The Boardman Tree Farm plantations are located in eastern Oregon, United States, where dry desert land has been transformed into a thirty thousand acre farm. This plantation currently has seventy million trees and is capable of producing half a million trees every year to satisfy demands. The plantation harvests five acres of trees every day in order to maintain this continuous cycle.[6]
As a result of wood’s naturally-grown origin, its unique material composition accounts for most of its properties and characteristics.[7] The aim of the thesis is to explore some of the potential ways of utilizing the material properties and specific material characteristics of wood in the design field. In order to do so, the heterogeneous structure of wood must first be understood in greater detail.
Wood can be defined as a low-density, cellular, composite material and as such, does not readily fall into a single class of material, but rather overlaps a number of classes. In terms of its high strength performance and affordability, timber remains the world’s most successful fiber composite. On the microscopic scale, one can describe wood as a natural fiber composite.[8] (Ill.21)
Wood cells are comprised of layers, upon which cellulose microfibrils function like fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin and hemicelluloses, reinforcing the assembly as a whole. Due to this makeup at the microscopic level, wood shares a number of properties with materials like: synthetic composites, reinforced plastics, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Similar to wood, these materials are characterized with relatively low stiffness in combination with relatively high structural capacity. In other words, wood contains innate elastic properties especially well-suited for construction methods that seek to employ elasticity in achieving complex lightweight structures from initially planar elements.
What follows is intended as a brief overview of the material composition of wood. Understanding the anatomical aspects of wood is imperative to the research and investigations that have been conducted.
In contrast to building materials that are specifically designed and manufactured to suit the needs of an architect or an engineer, wood is a result of the biological tissue functions that take place in a tree. Although there exists a wide variety of species of trees in the world, all trees, despite their diversity, share certain characteristics. Trees are all vascular and perennial which means they are capable of adding yearly growth to previously grown wood. The growth process of a tree occurs in the cambium, a thin layer of living cells between the bark of the tree and the inner stem structure. (Ill.22) Cambial cells have thin walls and divide themselves lengthwise to grow into two new cells. Following the cell division, one of the two cells enlarges to become another cambial mother cell while the other either matures into a bark cell or forms towards the inside of the cambium to become a new wood cell.
When the primary wood cells reach maturity and develop into their mature size, a secondary wall is constructed from long chain hemicellulose and cellulose molecules. The long chains of cellulose molecules are oriented in a direction parallel to the long axis of the cells and reinforced by lignin (ill.23). Lignin is an integral part of the wood’s cellulous structure because it provides support for the cells. It is also the material that gives rigidity to plants.[9] The distribution and orientation of the cells along with the material structure of the cell walls determine most of the resulting characteristics and properties of wood.[10]
Trees are characterized into two types: softwoods and hardwoods (ill.24). The terms ‘softwood’ and ‘hardwood’ do not signify softness or hardness of wood. The two terminologies are related to the botany of the species and to the way in which a tree grows. The differences between the two types of wood can be seen in the cellular structure of the materials. In the relatively simple cellular structure of softwood, nine tenths of the wood volume consists of one cell type called “tracheid”, while the remainder consist of ray tissues. Tracheids are fiber-like cells and have a length-to-width ratio of 100:1, meaning that they are approximately one hundred times longer than they are wide. The tracheid cells are arranged parallel to the stem axis located in the radial layers of the tree and are responsible for the transport of water and minerals throughout the tree.
In contrast, a much greater variety of cell types and arrangement configurations are present in hardwoods. In addition to tracheids, hardwoods also contain vessels, rays and fiber cells. Vessel elements in hardwood have a large diameter and thin walls, containing no end-to-end walls. As a result, they are arranged in an end-to-end formation that is parallel to the stem axis of the tree, forming continuous channels that carry sap through the tree. Unlike vessels, fiber cells are much smaller in diameter and have thicker cell walls and possess closed tapered ends (ill.25). In both softwood and hardwood, the structure, distribution and orientation of cells are the determining factors of the anisotropic, structural, and hygroscopic characteristics of wood.[11]
The anisotropic and hygroscopic characteristics of wood resulting from its internal cellular structure have traditionally been regarded as problematic in the practices of architecture and structural engineering, especially when compared to more homogeneous, stable, industrially produced isotropic materials like steel, plastic or glass. In design approaches within architecture, engineering and timber industries, knowledge of wood’s material composition and characteristics has mostly been employed to counterbalance its complex material behaviours.[12] For instance, the development of engineered industrial wood products (ex: MDF, or cross-laminated-timber) came as a response to the heterogeneous composition of wood. These wood products are capable of producing a material that is much more homogenous and which provides isotropic material characteristics.
Unfortunately, the design opportunities that could be made possible using the innate heterogeneous characteristics of wood are too often overlooked in today’s construction projects. In fact, particularly in North America, the construction material of wood is often no longer referred to as such. Instead, wood is referred to as a dimensional building element, such as a ‘2×4’. The aim of this research is to propose an alternative approach to design which views wood’s complex material composition and related behaviours as advantageous rather than problematic. Such an integrated design approach can perhaps contribute towards a renewed appreciation for the behavioral capacities of wood and the rich design opportunities that can be realized thanks to the natural anatomy of this material.
Three-ply plywood and veneer are unmistakably industrially-produced materials. However, unlike other industrially-produced materials such as steel, glass, plastic, MDF or particle board, three-ply plywood and veneer are anisotropic materials. This signifies that the properties and behaviours of these materials vary significantly in relation to the fiber direction. For example, veneer and plywood encounter considerable differences in stiffness depending on the grain direction. The compressive strength of wood differs significantly depending on grain direction, as do most of its other mechanical and material properties. The following section details the manufacturing process of veneer and plywood in order to better understand the material exploration that will be presented in Chapter 3.
Plywood may appear to be a relatively new industrially-produced wood product, however its concept is in fact very old and can be traced back to more than 5,000 years. Before the word “plywood” was invented in the 1920s, the process was referred to as veneering. One of the earliest traces of plywood was found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun, an Egyptian Pharaoh who ruled around the year 1334 BC. The discovered pieces of plywood were remains of coffins made of six layers of wood, each 4mm thick and held together by glue and wooden pegs.[13] The plywood remains were fabricated using the same fundamental techniques as today. Like modern plywood, the grains of the layers where arranged perpendicularly with each layer for strength[14] (ill.26). From this period onwards, veneering techniques became increasingly widespread throughout the world. Thanks to the development of tools and technology over the years, veneer thicknesses were reduced and new adhesives (ex: glue made from bone, sinew and cartilage) were used to bond the layers together with heat.[15]
Although plywood is made much in the same way today, modernized adhesion techniques and tools used in its production have improved significantly, making it one of the most affordable and easily-produced building materials. Both hardwoods and softwoods are used in the production of plywood. The typical sequence of operation involved in the production of plywood is as follows:
There exists a long standing discourse on the subject of sheet materials in architecture, in part because these are so ubiquitous in conventional construction. Expanding the understanding of these materials is valuable to the architectural profession, as it allows one to discover new potentials concerning materials which are already familiar. Being a sheet material, plywood thus offers many advantages as a subject of research and experimentation. Like other sheet materials, it can facilitate the creation of complex geometry using initially planar elements. Three-ply plywood is the material of choice for this thesis due to its ability to offer high amounts of flexibility in one direction, without compromising its strength. Three-ply plywood, as previously described, is made up of odd layers, two of which are oriented in one direction, while the center layer lies perpendicularly to the outer layers. Thus, due to the predominant fiber direction present in the two outer layers, three-ply plywood possesses a natural tendency to bend perpendicularly to this grain direction. The core of the assembly, otherwise known as the center layer, provides strength to the assembly by offering resistance to the predominant fiber direction. As a result, the plywood assembly is less likely to break or snap when being bent because it is reinforced by one interior sheet containing fibers running perpendicular to the outer layers.
Knowledge of the manufacturing process for plywood is important for this research because it provides an introduction to lamination techniques that can be further utilized in the material investigations and implementations that will follow. The process described above elaborates on the procedure involved in the mass-produced manufacturing of flat plywood sheets used in the building industry. However, the process of lamination need not strictly apply to planar surfaces, but also to the development of three-dimensional forms.

[1] J. M. Dinwoodie, Timber: Its Nature and Behaviour (London: E&FN Spon, 2000).
[2] T. Herzog, Holzbau Atlas (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2003).
[3] A. Alcorn, Embodied Energy Coefficients of Building Materials (Wellington: Centre for Building Performance Research, 1996), 92.
[4] Joseph Kolb, Systems in Timber Engineering: Loadbearing Structures and Component Layers (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2008), 19.
[5] J.E Gordon, Structure (Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2003).
[6] “A Resource That Lasts Forever,” last modified July 23, 2014,
[7] Barnett and Jeronimidis, Wood Quality and its Biological Basis (Oxford: Blackwell CRC Press, 2003).
[8] “Composite Materials – Natural Woods.” Last modified July 23, 2014,
“Composite materials, sometimes referred to as composites, are materials composed of two or more component parts. These component parts may have different physical or chemical properties and when carefully inspected, they appear as separate parts, bonded together, forming a composite material.
[9] R. Bruce Hoadley, Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology (Newtown, Conn.: Taunton Press, 2000).
[10] R. Wagenführ, Anatomie des Holzes : Strukturanalytik, Identifizierung, Nomenklatur, Mikrotechnologie (Leinfelden-Echterdingen: DRW-Verlag, 1999).
[11] R. Wagenführ, Anatomie des Holzes : Strukturanalytik, Identifizierung, Nomenklatur, Mikrotechnologie (Leinfelden-Echterdingen: DRW-Verlag, 1999).
[12] T. Herzog, Holzbau Atlas. (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2003).
[13] Lucas A. and Harris, Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries (Dover Publications; 4th edition, 2011), 451.
[14] H. Taylor John, Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt (Chicago: U of Chicago, 2001), 218.
[15] L. Patrick Robert and Minford J. Dean, Treatise on Adhesion and Adhesives (CRC Press, 1991), 3.

Development of Interactive Science Learning Material

Project Objective
Tab-Based Interactive Science Laboratory for school’s Students.
The objective of this project is to use create an interactive science laboratory on the tab for the students in grade 3, 4, and 5 of the primary stage. The proposed application is supposed to help the students in such grades to implement and interact with the scientific experiments mentioned in their science books using augmented reality and graphics in a risk-free environment

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Problems Definition
Being citizens of third world countries, It has been heard since very beginning of life that getting high marks in school will ensure future & help in getting admission in faculties of universities that are of high demand. Moreover, it has been guaranteed with jobs after graduation. No scope for creativity, zero innovation & invention. Most people only concentrated on official jobs but they don’t think about development and interact much with nature. It is said as proverb that learning in childhood is similar to stone inscription that’s hard to be erased. The problem is that people are motivated wrongly since childhood & not knowing the main aim for education and learning. This is the main problem of third world countries that leads to the opposite direction of development. The problems remain as they were. The main aim for education and knowledge and learning is to use them properly to solve daily life problems, to have a better life by doing researches and make progress in natural science. In one word, to survive and live in this world it is obligatory to know about its nature and exploitation of it for existence. If children are motivated by this reason then there will be no excuses for aggravation. Moreover, interaction with nature is a great factor that can make big differences. As this application will be related to virtual lab interaction that satisfies the needs of the pupil of primary stage, so it is necessary to discuss about the importance of lab and lack of labs’ effect in Egypt. It’s proven scientifically that picture is the best way to memorize things. So lab is definitely the most suitable place to learn the most because everything here is real or can be seen. Moreover, as it has been mentioned before that anything learned in the beginning of childhood will be always remembered. For example, it’s seen that plant is guided by fences to grow it in one direction. So they grow up as strong rooted tree. Similar to plant, pupils of primary stage must be directed in this way. They must be given chances to attend lab in order to understand the natural science easily and in it’s way practically by interaction. So they will grow up as a well educated person. However, as Egypt is a third world country, labs can’t be provided in most schools because of lack of funding, intention etc. For that reason I am going to create virtual lab interaction application to help our primary stage’s pupils. So it’s time to figure out the reason of superiority of Western education.
Motivation of Western Science Related Education & It’s superiority
Western education is characterized by the right motivation for children with right direction and direct interaction with nature. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. This proverb is well explained by Western education practically. For example, a person does something certain when he needs to do it or forced. If problems are on his way, then he thinks more creatively until he reaches to his destination. We as human beings work or solve our problems for only one purpose and that is our existence. Western education successfully penetrates through the logic of children with idea that you must or have to study or have enough education in natural science because of your survival. Moreover, with additional weapons such as lab for interaction with nature and creative stuffs that successfully encourages them to learn natural sciences. So Western (European) education leads its nation towards the path of continuous development.
Previous Work
Virtual lab interaction application is not a new idea to do projects on. There are many past projects that are presently in use by many research centers and universities. Followings are examples of projects that are widely used by many institutions.
The Virtual Lab Series
The Virtual Stickleback Evolution Lab has won several awards, including top honors in the Pirelli International Award competition, which recognizes it as the best multimedia products designed to use the Internet to educate about science and technology. BioInteractive’s series of virtual labs provides students with the opportunity to practice the skills and techniques of scientific research in a fully interactive, virtual environment.
Virtual lab online
Moreover, Virtual lab online applications is designed by Indian public universities under the governance of Ministry of Human Resource Development to support students and to ease the burden of problems.
Now it is obligatory to discuss about the proposed solution of problem. Before moving to the other points of analysis, it’s needed to conclude the point of problems or complains that because of poor education system that unsuccessfully delivers the aim or purpose of education, many students are forced to study subjects that are not in very need. Now, as it has been written previously that one of the main differences between two education systems is lab or interaction with the curriculum. The simple solution of our problem is building labs in schools. However, as this project is been done specifically about Egypt, this is almost impossible to be implanted. There are many reasons behind impossibility such as lack of funding in education field, lack of honest intentions etc. The main reason is the lack of honest intentions of government or in other words though it may have honest intentions, failure is always on their way because of implementation technique and future planning. Moreover, this is a long time process that can do nothing instantly for our problem. So it’s time to think for other alternatives. As in this part of project, the proposed solution is to create an Android application of virtual lab interaction. Virtual lab interaction application is where students of primary stage can do experiments on their Android tablets. Nowadays, tablets are in very affordable price and are very popular with middle class families. In very near future, tablets will be all over and in every one’s hand. Moreover, most of tablets are run by Android OS. So virtual lab interaction will be very useful to our students of primary stage. This application has many good features such as it’s environment is completely safe and doesn’t contain any hazardous or dangerous materials compared to real labs. Moreover, it’s user friendly interaction and easy movement of scientific materials eases the process of learning and saves time greatly compared to the real one. It’s must to be mentioned that I am going to add other features such as videos of experiments, puzzles and small quizzes. Moreover, whole the curriculum will be explained in very simple and organized way with animations and pictures and followed by small quizzes.
Interactive Science Laboratory Description & Properties
This application is similar to portable lab. It’s the virtual lab for tablets to handle experiments, simulate & analyze with different kind of lab tools.
Virtual Reality
In this application, it is possible to conduct real life experiments & it enables the parallax effect from different angles so users will get experience like a real lab.
Risk Free Conduct dangerous experiments without worrying about anything like breaking beakers or getting cut by broken glass.
Deeper Learning Utilization different label helps to get the precise mass, temperature, thickness and volume of each substance in holders.
Required Equipment
Language : java
Operating System : Android
IDE : Eclipse , Android Studio
Application Framework : libGDX
Timetable indicating the activities and their target dates




1 Month


1 Month


2 Month


2 Week

Documentation & Presentation

3-4 weeks

Activities Target Result
Analysis Phase
The Analysis Phase is where defines complete Strategical direction all over the tab-based interactive science laboratory project lifecycle & break down high level project needs to more detailed requirements. It’s required to gather requirements in this phase which simply asks at what is needed for this project. So analysis phase will identify gaps between reality and goals.
Design Phase
This design phase will identify architecture, blueprints & how the application looks like. The design phase shows how those functions will actually be implemented in the system. This phase will utilize gathered information of analysis phase. This is the phase where identify what the application needs, how to use it, how much current idea of application needs to change based on requirements. In this tab-based interactive science laboratory project design phase is going to have scenario & drawing of each experiments. It will explains every single details of each experiments, what will happen when users press button, how to interact with application etc. So it’s needed to be careful in design phase, as any flaw or error can lead a failure application.
Implementation Phase
After completing design phase it’s time to start implementation. So main focus of developing or actual coding will start in this phase. It will take the longest time in whole project. Basically for this tab-based interactive science laboratory application the core programming language will be java & special development application framework called libGDX. libGDX uses some third-party libraries to provide its functionality, these include Lightweight Java Game Library, OpenGL, FreeType, mpg123, Vorbis, SoundTouch Audio Processing Library, Box2D, OpenAL, and Kiss FFT etc.
Testing Phase
This phase provides information about quality of the application, ideally testing will exercise the system in all possible ways. It reveals bugs, detect flaws in application, identify logical error etc. The main goal is to evaluate the system as a whole, not its parts.
Documentation & Presentation Phase
It is the final phase which is going to take approximately 3-4 weeks. It’s needed to make presentation & write dissertation 70 – 80 pages which should contain abstract, methodology, results, conclusion, references.
Benefits & Advantages

No more lab required, just need a tablet.
Risk free so learning process is fast & fearless.
Hands on experience so student learn by doing experiments.
Every experiments add some new features with very interesting and user friendly interface & a lot of multimedia.
No complex setup or installation required.
Every experiments is like scenario of a story so the student will never feel bored & easy to understand. So this application teach them, help them in doing experiments , & test their capabilities of doing scientific experiments.
Generally student has

School Book – where they can only see experiments picture and imagine.
External Book – some extra exercise nothing more.
School Lab – limited time access & not risk free environment.

This application will implement the experiments more than once in a risk free environment, students are required to use them interactively & learn the experiments by themselves, this application is going to test students capabilities through some exercises and quiz’s & by this way it is possible to get all benefit without any disadvantages. At last it can be hoped & expected that tab-based interactive science laboratory project can serve primary level students well & students will get benefitted from this application.
Reference Lists

“Chemical Reactions.”Chemical Reactions. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.Retrieved from
” And, Les.PHASE 7: TEST PHASE(n.d.): n. pag. Web.. Retrieved from Phase 07 Integration and Test Phase Multiple Hardware.pdf
“Biochemistry and Molecular Biology EducationVolume 29, Issue 4, Article First Published Online: 10 OCT 2008.”Development and Evaluation of Virtual Labs and Other Interactive Learning Tools.Retrieved from
Christou, Ioannis T., Thanassis Tiropanis, Sofia Tsekeridou, and Konstantinos Roussos. “Grid-based Interactive Virtual Scientific Experiments for Distributed Virtual Communities.”International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning20.6 (2010):Retrieved from
“KET Virtual Physics Labs.”KET Virtual Physics Labs Blog Posts RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.Retrieved from
“Lizard Evolution Virtual Lab | HHMI’s BioInteractive.” N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2014. Retrieved from


Material Culture in Education Essay

This study explores the role of material culture in arts and design class at colleges in Singapore. Normally, students in a contemporary graphic design class face many difficulties particularly in interactive creation of arts and design. Basically, this study tends to identify and analyze the advantages of using material culture in a contemporary graphic design class. Furthermore, this paper also attempts to design an effective curriculum that will satisfy the needs of using material culture in a contemporary graphic design class.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Concurrently, graphic design schools today face ever-increasing demands in their attempts to guarantee that students are well equipped to enter the workforce and navigate a complex world. Research indicates that material culture can help support learning concerning culture and past histories, and that it is especially useful in developing the higher-order skills of critical thinking, analysis, and scientific inquiry. But the mere presence of material culture in the classroom does not ensure their effective use when it comes in adding validity and substance to graphic design study. This study explores the various ways material culture can be used to improve how and what student learn in the classroom particularly in creative design and arts. Moreover, this paper pointed out the use of material culture as an effective learning tool in studying past history and culture is more likely to take place when embedded in a broader education reform movement that includes improvements in teacher training, curriculum, student assessment, and a school’s capacity for change.
In this study, the researcher investigated several variables that may influence the development and progress of students in different contemporary graphic design classes at colleges of Singapore. These included perceptions of problem difficulty, creative designing, value of art, and quality of work. The researcher believes that enabling the students to use material culture aided by the procedure in graphic design will result in effective learning and understanding in creative design and provides quality design and art.
This research will analyze and investigate the role of material culture and personal perception of the students in Singapore. This shall include a discussion on the positive and negative variables related to material culture and contemporary graphic design, an analysis of performance of the students in school in relation to material culture was also conducted. Particularly, the research will focus on examining the role of material culture in contemporary graphic design provided by the school instructors/administrators. Basically, the results of the study will lead the researcher to the development and devise an effective curriculum in arts and design with respect to material culture in graphic design.
Problem Statement
This researcher finds the necessity for a study that specifically tackles the effects of material culture in contemporary graphic design at Colleges in Singapore. Specifically, this study intends to explore the significant impact of this material to the Colleges in Singapore that are related in contemporary graphic design. It will present the performance of the students by identifying weaknesses and inefficiencies and recommending solutions.
Basically, the problem of this study is about conventional methodology in teaching which used a dry lecturer is really dull and takes a lot of time to finish a modular or syllabus of each topic depending on lecturer capabilities, skills, availability, mood and student indulgent of what their thought. That is not effective for students to get an effective way to learn, there is a need to get a new and effective approach since material culture may now touch the cultural and historical value of a certain art or design. The purpose of using material culture in a contemporary graphic design class is to develop a better learning than conventional method in colleges but through the early resistance, it emphasized their ability to appreciate art and learn it cultural and historical value perform the complex tasks needed in contemporary graphic design. Through material culture student can develop a bond and understanding of one’s traditional cultures that motivate visual communication students to create strong cultural identity graphic design. Moreover, this study will try to answer the following queries:

Can understanding of one’s traditional cultures motivate visual communication students to create strong cultural identity graphic design?
Can material culture add validity and substance to graphic design study?

This study seeks to understand fully how students’ awareness of their traditional cultures might be the factor that motivate them to research and explore their cultures as a graphic design topic.
This paper will work on the following hypothesis:

Material culture in graphic design class in colleges plays significant effect to the students’ awareness of their traditional cultures.
Material culture in graphic design class in colleges has significant effect to the memory retention of the students when it comes in studying traditional culture. Since it is exciting, challenging and fun to use, then it encourages students to study the material culture again and again.
Material culture has significant effect to the learning improvement of the students since it attaches to one’s traditional culture.

Definition of Key Terms
Graphic Design- Graphic Design is the process and art of combining text and graphics and communicating an effective message in the design of logos, graphics, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, and any other type of visual communication (
Material Culture- Material Culture is a term often used by archaeologists as a non-specific way to refer to the artifacts or other concrete things left by past cultures. An archaeologist thus can be described as a person who studies the material culture of a past society (
Art- Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, sculpture, and paintings (
Education- Education encompasses the teaching of specific skills, and also something less tangible but more profound: the imparting of knowledge, good judgment and wisdom. One of the fundamental goals of education is to impart culture across the generations socialization. (
Knowledge- Knowledge includes, but is not limited to, those descriptions, hypotheses, concepts, theories, principles and procedures which to a reasonable degree of certainty are either true or useful. (
School-A school is a type of educational institution. The range of institutions covered by the term varies from country to country. (
Review of Literature
World history has witnessed the birth, development, and achievements of the most talented people. These people have their distinct gifts and area of mastery – literature, politics, arts, science, and so forth. Still, much of their success can be traced back to the kind of life and personality they had. Childhood experiences, support from people around them, environmental influences and personal motivations often determine how a gifted person makes use of his innate abilities to become an important figure in his chosen field of expertise.
The world of arts is one of the most interesting topics of study. This field usually includes some of the most peculiar people who can express their personalities through unique paintings, sculptures, and drawings.
Art education is culturally identified as a subject area that enables students to use their imagination and creativity to produce pieces of artwork from a wide variety of materials. This identification may also include the study of famous artists and their well-known artwork (Oliver, 2010). On the other hand, the cultural identity is constructed through various signs and symbols that the culture attribute to art education.  Symbols include art making materials (The Culture of Education in the Visual Arts, 1999). These materials that are attached to one’s culture were known as “material culture”.  Material cultures are becoming known to the teachers in contemporary graphic design because of its motivational effect to their students in studying culture and art.
In graphic design class, art symbol with respect to materials are crucial. An example of art education symbols are the variety of medias- both two and three dimensional that are used to illustrate subject matter. In addition to more practical symbols of art education are the humanitarian symbols which may include connecting with artists and their work, both contemporary and historical (The Culture of Education in the Visual Arts, 1999).              The art and crafts around communities, in stores and on posters will always be a symbol of a reflection of art education (The Culture of Education in the Visual Arts, 1999).
Another facet of creating a cultural identity is to reflect on the cultural rituals that are often associated with art education. The most apparent rituals include the various processes that are employed to make art.  It is important to remember that such rituals/processes are influenced by the geographical location of the school district (Oliver, 2010). Another cultural ritual attributed to art education is the physical demonstration that the art teacher must provide for students in order to teach them specific techniques. This demonstration often includes safety precautions as rituals that the students will then strictly employ to create art without hurting themselves with the tools in the making (Oliver, 2010).
Other ritual distinctive to art education is the practice of critiquing students’ art work, often done by the whole class in order to provide constructive feedback and criticism of the finished piece of art.   One final ritual that should be imperative to an art education program is class field trips to museums, galleries, and artists’ studios that connect the learning of art in the school to actually viewing art in the community (The Culture of Education in the Visual Arts, 1999).
It is important to connect these cultural rituals and symbols of art education to not only show how they produce a cultural identity, but also form a sense of social solidarity among students, teachers, and communities (Oliver, 2010).
The visual arts or the graphic designs are arts that we see. It has its own language-the language of feelings, emotions and ideas without words. We could discover the world outside and inside us through visual arts. The visual artist through unspoken can communicate with us when he creates visual work of arts like painting. Paintings and works of art in general are meant to move us, especially in ways that words often can’t.
Graphic designs inspired by material culture play a major role not only in academic purposes but also in health and medicare related aspect and in the community as well. It develops the intelligence and the overall personality of the students. Moreover, graphic designs inspired by material culture also provide meaningful self-expression of all students. It is used in therapy procedures for aiding child development. It assists in educating disabled children, especially those who are blind and have hearing problems. And finally, visual arts also help in building communities and mural projects. In studying graphic designs inspired by material culture, it shows that visual arts and cultural identity are related. The cultural identity is constructed through various signs and symbols that the culture attribute to art education. 
This section of the research proposal discusses the methods to be used.  This illustrates the method of research that identifies its applicability. Likewise, the section illustrates how the research was to be implemented and how to come up with relevant findings. Moreover, this methodology part of the research underwent into several stages. In the research design, the researcher collected data from students and teachers in some Colleges in Singapore that are using material culture in their graphic design class. At the time of data collection, the researcher gathered and sum upped the data acquired from these resources.
Study Setting
In accordance to the goal of this study i.e. to investigate the role of material culture in contemporary graphic design, the researcher decided to conduct the investigation in 10 Colleges in Singapore. Basically, in these 10 chosen schools in Singapore, a random sample of 10 students each will be chosen. The students to be included should be familiar to graphic design and material culture.
Research Design
Generally speaking, there are two research positions, often call paradigms, which researchers can choose from. The first is the quantitative paradigm in which researcher attempts to understand causal relationship of existing phenomena or attempts to discern the validity of the theory in a particular social context (Creswell, 1994). And since one of the purposes of this study determine the role of material culture in contemporary graphic design, the quantitative research position is taken here because it is appropriate for the research purpose.
Aside from this, the second approach, called the qualitative paradigm, is not chosen. Actually, as indicated in the paper of Daymon & Holloway (2002), the qualitative design the researcher assumes this position and attempts to understand a particular social phenomenon by using the actors’ frame of reference. In addition, data are presented not in numerical form but in actual words which is in contrast to the aim of this research.
There are few research strategies that often used for conducting research such as survey, case study, action research, Ethnography etc. According to Yin (2003), there are three conditions to be considered for choosing an appropriate research strategy i.e. :

The type of research question
The extent of control an investigator has over actual behavioural events.
The degree of focus on contemporary as opposed to historical events

From the paper of Saunders, et al. (2007), survey approach often uses questionnaires to collect a large amount of data from a sizeable population in a highly economical way. Therefore, the survey approach is usually able to apply a more representative sample among a massive population for the study, trying to achieve generalisibility of the results. The case study, however, according to Denscombe (1998), is an investigation that focuses on detailed, in-depth descriptions and analysis of one or a few organisations. This approach is normally use to explore the phenomenon by in-depth data gained in the research context. This implies that the research results gained by case study cannot be generalized to a larger population due to that the investigation range is limited. By considering this limitation of case study approach, the researcher opted to choose the survey method.
Population and Sampling Plan
The sample size consists of students, who are the logical key informant related closely to the issue under investigation, as well as the teachers numbering to 10 subjects.  There is no reason to believe that 10 teachers is not a large enough sample size because ultimately it is this individual who works directly with the issue and teachers has the most intimate knowledge of the subject. Basically, the survey respondents are asked regarding their perception towards material culture and graphic designing and student’s performance. In essence, Guilford & Fruchter (1973) argued that in choosing sample sizes, the Slovin’s formula should be considered. Therefore, in selecting the sample size (100 students) in this paper was identified by Slovin’s formula. The Slovin (1960) formula is given as:
e= needed error margin (percent requirement for non-precision due to the use of the sample as an alternative of the population).
N= size of population
n = size of sample
Data Collection Procedures
Yin (2004) provides six different sources of data collection that is commonly used in case study methodology, which include documentation, archival records, interviews, direct observation, participant observation and physical artifacts. The data collection method uses survey and interview that is to take place with the students and teachers, as these are the closest people working with the subject under scrutiny here – Material culture – and should serve as the key informant.
In addition, students are also surveyed to understand how they feel about the use of material culture in their graphic design class since the teacher may provide biased information, however accessing the students is subject to the permission of the teacher who acts as the gatekeeper. If surveying the students is possible the survey that students will fill out will be left on the teachers’ desk where they can fill it out and return it to a drop box in a closed envelope without a name or other identifying information. The questions for the employees are created after a thorough review of literature.
For documentation that refers to secondary information about the material culture and graphic designing, such considerations have been taken to reduce concerns as they would otherwise pertain to bias or the reliability and validity of the findings. Relying on documentation are used even if the students do participate since it strengthens the findings further (Yin, 2003). Documentation specifically includes performance reports and records, or books and journal articles discussing material culture and graphic design.
Accessing of the teacher is going to take place by first, sending the school an outline of the study and ethical content forms and arrange meeting, through the telephone or MSN given geographical constraints, to explain what it is the research wishes to do and how it will benefit the organization. Ultimately, what the researcher wants to do is discern how training is able to increase students’ performance and the mechanisms that school in Singapore has in place to assure this. Executing the above step is useful since the gatekeepers are going to want to protect the interests of their students and the organization (Holloway & Walker, 1999). Overall, the approach above is based on negotiation, which as researchers note, “Access is negotiated and re-negotiated throughout the research process” (Gubrium, & Holstein, 2001, p. 301). The teacher was also assured that confidentiality – by not releasing information that they do not want to be released — and anonymity – by using pseudonyms for students, participants and settings — will be secured (Daymon & Holloway, 2002). It is not unreasonable for the teacher to participate in the study given the steps executed above which are suggested by research methodology practitioners.
Finally, research questions are based from the literature as is suggested by research methodology practitioners.
Data Analysis
To determine the perceptions of the student respondents pertaining to material culture and graphic design, the researcher a set of guide questions for the interview and prepared a questionnaire. A non-threatening questionnaire in nature that can be completed within 30 minutes are considered. The respondents graded each statement in the survey-questionnaire using a Likert scale with a five-response scale wherein respondents are given five response choices. The equivalent weights for the answers are:
When the entire information consumer responses have been collected, the researcher used statistics to analyse it; and was assisted by the SPSS in coming up with the statistical analysis for this study. For the details gathered from journals, an evaluation was drawn in order to identify the role of material culture to contemporary graphic design. Moreover, this research will utilise the several statistics in order to determine the differences between their perceptions towards the impact of material culture on student’s performance and art appreciation.
As stated above, the researcher was aided by the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) in the making and creation of the statistical analysis for this study. SPSS is one of the mainly and extensively accessible and potent statistical software packages that has a extensive range of statistical practices, which permits a researcher to sum up information (e.g. calculate standard deviations and means), identify whether there are major differences between groups (e.g., ANOVA & t-tests), observe relationships among variables (e.g. multiple regression & correlation) and graph output (e.g. line graphs, bar charts, pie chart, etc.) (Sauders, Lewis & Thornhill 2007). 
Concluding Remarks
This study will be a significant endeavour in promoting culture awareness among graphic design students. This study will be beneficial to future leaders. By understanding the needs of the students and the benefits of quality education, these practitioners will be assured of a larger progress performance. Moreover, this research will provide recommendations on how to value students as they are taking a large part in the overall performance of the school quality education.
This study would also be of help to those school and market scientists who are interested in finding out the social implications of the boom and the bust phases of the school industry. Moreover, educators can gain from this study, as they find the connection between how they have designed their curriculum and what are the actual needs of the citizens.  In that way, they would be able to make immediate changes, if necessary, or continued improvement of their programs, through further studies.
Furthermore, it is hoped that this study would help the students to improve learning and appreciation skill through Material culture in Art and Design at colleges in Singapore because Material culture has many advantages/effectiveness such as retention and motivational factors in accordance to the leaning behavior of student. Thus, student can go deeply into each topic areas they need to learn without lecturer involvement because material culture is related to the history of the arts they are perceiving. Moreover, this paper introduced important changes in our educational system and gives a huge influence to the way we communicate information with students. It would make them as an active participant in their own learning process, instead of just being passive learners of the educational content.  Apparently, this research also hoped can provides an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the factors that impact on the students’ experiences of material culture in learning process.
Finally, this study would benefit future researchers in the field of the, education, arts and design management, business and the social sciences since it depicts the future of the school industry and its varying effects to many sectors of society.
This study will only cover material culture as part of studying contemporary graphic design in arts and design for the college students in some colleges in Singapore. Basically, this paper will only cover students selected from semester 1, conducted from some colleges in Singapore. As there are numerous issues surrounding the school, this research will primarily examine program development and performance progress. The outcome of this study will be limited only to the data gathered from books and journals and from the primary data gathered from the result of the questionnaire survey and interview that will be conducted by the researcher. As the research was completed in a relatively short period of time other factors and variables are not considered. This might have an impact on the results of the study.  Basically this research study will enable the researcher to design a quality curriculum that will satisfy the needs of the students.
(1999). The Culture of Education in the Visual Arts. Retrieved March 24, 2010, from
Creswell, J.W. (1994). Research design. Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.
Daymon, C. & Holloway, I. (2002). Qualitative research methods in public relations and marketing communications. Routledge.
Denscombe, M. (1998), The Good Research Guide, Buckingham, Open University Press.
Guilford, J.P. & Fruchter B. (1973). Fundamental Statistics in Psychology and Education, 5th Edition. New York: Mc Graw-Hill.
Holloway, I. & Walker, J. (1999). Getting a PhD in health and social care. Wiley.
Oliver, S. (2010). The Importance of Visual Arts in Schools. A Free Article. Retrieved March 24, 2010, from
Sauders M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A.(2007). Research method for business students, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow.
Yin, R.K. (2003). Case Study Research Design and Method (2nd ed), Sage, Thousand Oaks.

States and Properties of Crystalline Material

The crystalline state:
In general, solids might be classified in crystalline or amorphous. On the one hand, the crystalline solids comprise a regular set of molecules, atoms or ions into a rigid lattice which is characteristic of each substance. Thus, most crystals are anisotropic (the cubic system is an exception), namely, depending of the direction in which their properties are measured they can change. On the other hand, the amorphous solids were considered to be disordered crystalline solids (Stachurski, 2011) but many amorphous solids do not have a crystalline form, therefore, amorphous solids could be defined as substances with a random arrangement of atoms or molecules. Thus, amorphous solids are isotropic because their properties do not vary with the direction they are measured. Some examples of amorphous materials are glass, metals, polymers or thin films. Amorphous solids are less stable than crystalline ones and they can be converted into a desirable shape by molding them (Colfen and Meldrum, 2008). This provides them importance in the crystallization field since they can work as amorphous precursors to form crystalline phases.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Crystalline material can be divided in single crystals and polycrystalline materials. On the one hand, a perfect single crystal could be defined as a crystalline solid with a continuous and unbroken lattice and with no grain boundaries. However, single crystals without defects or dislocations are very difficult to find in the nature or to synthetize in a laboratory. Thus, single crystals with curved surfaces are characteristic of many biominerals. Moreover, a definition just based in the crystal lattice imperfections is not possible because for example a polycrystal or a mesocrystal show the same diffraction of a single crystal, making it difficult distinguish them. Therefore, a practical definition for a single crystal was given by Colfen and Meldrum (2008) such “a single crystal is a solid body with a large coherence length, which shows a diffraction behaviour characteristic of a perfect three-dimensional alignment of its building units”. On the other hand, a polycrystalline particle is formed when single crystals or grains are agregated together in random orientations.
A substance with the ability of crystallizing into different crystal structures shows polymorphism. The different polymorphs of a substance are chemically identical but exhibit different physical properties. Polymorphism is important in different fields such as pharmaceuticals, pigments, foods or agrochemicals because the properties of the solid-state structure depend on the polymorph. Hence, the study of how to predict and control the polymorphism is a field of high interest. Changes in the temperature, solvent or the use of additives can be used to control the formation of different polymorphs. Examples of different solids that present polymorphism are Calcium Carbonate which can crystallize in three polymorphs namely calite, aragonite and vaterite, or Carbon with its two polymorphs graphite and diamond.
The crystals can be classified into different general systems according to the table below.

Table1. The seven crystal systems. Copied from ref.
Different polymorphs can have different crystal system, for example the Silicon dioxide crystallize in three polymorphs namely cristobalite (regular), tridymite (hexagonal) and quartz (trigonal). They also can present different habit which is the shape that a crystal adopts depending on the occupation of each crystal face and the grade of growth of each face. The crystals might grow faster in one direction than in another and it confers them different forms or habits. Unless is not the most common, some polymorphs can have the same crystal habit.
Many crystals show some form of aggregation or intergrowth that is indicative of impurity. These composite crystals may appear in symmetrical forms or in random clusters. Some kinds of aggregation are the parallel growth or the twinning. In the parallel growth one form of a substance grow on the top of another form, the faces and edges of these forms are parallel. Twinning is a way of intergrown between two individuals with similar form which are joined symmetrically about an axis or a plane.
2. Crystallisation:
The solubility of a substance is the maximum quantity of solute that is dissolved in a given amount of solvent. When the concentration of the solution exceeds the solubility, the solution is supersaturated and the precipitation is driven. The supersaturation, S is defined with the following equation where c is the concentration of the species and ksp is the equilibrium molecular solubility product.

2.1. Classical or primary crystallization:
Once the system is supersaturated, the first particles can grow from solution when a critical nucleus of the new phase is formed. This is the crystallization process in which nucleation is followed by crystal growth.
2.1.1. Nucleation:
The nucleation is called classical when the systems do not contain crystalline matter. In classical crystallization the crystal is formed under low reactant and additive concentrations and it is driven under thermodynamic control. Classical nucleation can be divided into two groups.
Nucleation if the first formation of the solid phase and is caused by the molecules, atoms or ions aggregation in a saturated solution where the nucleus prefer grow than redissolve.
The nucleation can occur spontaneously or being induced artificially and it can be divided in two different types:
On the one hand, the homogeneous nucleation occurs when in a supersaturated solution a stable nucleus is formed spontaneously. It is a difficult process where the molecules are coagulated and become orientated into a fixed lattice. A stable nucleus can be result of following collisions between the molecules in solution. Moreover, all the molecules have the same size before growing which is called the critical size rc. The particles smaller than rc will redissolve and the particles larger than rc will continue to the next stage, the crystal growing.
On the other hand, the heterogeneous nucleation is induced by surfaces, dust or foreign nuclei present in the solution. This kind of nucleation is common at lower supersaturation levels and is more frequent than homogeneous nucleation which is not a common event because is practically impossible to have a solution completely free of foreign bodies. The barrier of energy decreases in heterogeneous nucleation because there are surfaces available to nucleation in solution. However in a solution with impurities homogeneous nucleation can also occur despite of the heterogeneous one will dominate.
2.1.1. Crystal growth:
When a particle larger than the critical size is formed in a supersaturated solution, it starts to grow into a larger size crystal. Crystal growth is a process based in a diffusion of solute molecules or ions from solution to the particle surface followed by an integration process. Therefore, the two principal steps of the crystal growth are:
-Diffusion and/or convection mass transport from the liquid phase to the crystal surface.
-Surface integration by the incorporation of material into the crystal lattice. This process starts when the particle adsorb a growth unit on its surface. Secondly, the solvation shell of the crystal is lost and the growth unit diffuses into the adsorption layer. Finally, when the growth unit finds a point to be built into the lattice, the solvation shell is completely lost and the growth unit is incorporated to the lattice.
The rate of the crystal growth makes variations in the shape of the crystals. Thus, depending on the growth rates, the crystallographic faces of a crystal change. Moreover, crystals with different sizes are obtained depending of the predominance of nucleation or crystal growth.
2.2. Non-classical or secondary crystallization:
When the nucleation can be induced by the presence of existing crystals is called non-classical nucleation. In this nucleation, the concentrations of reactant and additives are higher. The high amount of precipitating material produces that crystal nucleus can be formed and grown to nanoparticles which can be aggregated and form polycrystalline particles. However, the nanoparticles aggregation process can be controlled by the use of additives to produce single crystals. Thus, solute crystals present or added in a supersaturated solution make that the nucleation occurs more easily and in a more reproducible way. The single crystals formed by non-classical nucleation are always formed from precursor nanoparticles which can interact and orient themselves into crystalline register. Finally these nanoparticles are attract by der Waal forces and can fuse together into a homogeneous single crystal. The shape of this single crystal is difficult to predict because this process occurs usually by a fast and kinetically controlled pathway. Meldrum and Colfen (2008) described some crystallisation processes that take place by a non-classical nucleation such as the formation of intermediary clusters, the crystallization via amorphous intermediates or the mesocrystallization. The mechanism of non-classical nucleation involves transient particles precursor which are difficult to detect. Thus, the crystallisation is independent of ion products or solubility because the precursor particles are formed independently at different locations. An interesting case of precursor particles are the mesocrystals which are defined as “colloidal crystals that are build up from individual nanocrystals” (Meldrum and Colfen, 2008). Mesolcrystals are difficult to detect because they have practically the same morphologies and diffraction patterns than single crystals. It was shown that single crystals can be formed by non-classical nucleation via mesocrystal precursor in presence of inhibitor additives which assist the crystallisation through intermediates (amorphous, metastable or mesocrystals).
A schematic representation of classical and non-classical crystallisation pathways is shown in Figure .. Pathway (a) shows the classical crystallisation (in blue) where nucleation clusters appear after nucleation step and they grow to form primary nanoparticles which are amplified to form single crystals. In green is shown the non-classical crystallisation where different intermediates can be formed. The primary nanoparticles can be oriented and interact forming iso-oriented crystals that fuse to form single crystals (b). Primary nanoparticles can also be stabilized and form mesocrystals that fuse to finally form single crystals (c). Finally, amorphous particles can be formed transforming in complicated morphologies (d).

Figure 3. Schematic representation of classical (blue) and non-classical nucleation (green).
Copied from reference

Variation of Deflection of a Simply Supported Beam with Load, Beam Thickness and Material

Table of Contents




Stress (

Strain (

Young’s Modulus (

Second Moment of Area of a Beam (

Relation between Stiffness, Thickness and Load

Pure Bending




For Steel and Brass beams:

For 6.4 mm Aluminium beam:

Result Analysis:

Graph 1

Graph 2

Relation between Stiffness & Thickness:

Graph 3

Comparing Theoretical & Practical Values of ‘k’

Material Properties:

Graph for Steel & Brass:

Graph 4



Bending of beams under load is a common phenomenon observed in daily life situations and is a very important factor to be considered while designing a structure or a component.

The objectives of this experiment are to prove that – stiffness and the beam thickness are proportional, the relationship between modulus of elasticity, stiffness and the beam dimensions. Finally, to show that beams with different materials and thickness have different stiffness values. There are many experimental methods for this and this experiment is done with simply supported beam arrangement.

This experiment mainly focuses on the deflections shown by beams with different materials and thicknesses. By plotting graphs for deflection (z) and load (W), it is observed that the graphs are straight lines for all the beams tested. This proves that the beams have deformed in their linear, elastic region and that ‘z’ is proportional to ‘W’.

Also, for same thickness of beams with different materials (Steel, Brass and Aluminium), it is observed that the steel beam has the highest stiffness value followed by brass and then aluminium. This confirms that the material property (Young’s Modulus) can determine the stiffness.

Bending in beams is a fundamental characteristic which must be considered while designing any structure or a component. This phenomenon is observed in daily life situations and are caused by stresses generated due to loads applied. These stresses in-turn cause distortion in the length of the beam. If the beam bends in its elastic region, there is no permanent deformation in its length i.e., the beam gets back to its original length when the load is removed. Along with stresses and strains, the material property also plays a key role in determining the stiffness of a beam.



Stress (

It is the force applied to a component over a specific area and is given by,
Stress σ=FA

Strain (
):It is the force applied to a component over a specific area and is given by,
Strain ϵ=δll

Young’s Modulus (
):It is the measure of stiffness of a material. (A material with higher stiffness has the higher value of Young’s Modulus).

If a graph is plotted between Stress and Strain, the gradient gives the Young’s Modulus.

Second Moment of Area of a Beam (
):For a rectangular cross-sectional beam, the second moment of area is given by,

If a graph is plotted between Stress and Strain, the gradient gives the Young’s Modulus.

Relation between Stiffness, Thickness and Load

A beam with high thickness deflects less for a given load (W) than a less stiff beam. Stiffness depends on the material and dimensions of the beam. Stiffness (S) is the ratio of applied load to the deflection (z),
S=Wz N/m

Stiffness is proportional to thickness cubed, so the ratio of the stiffness to the thickness cubed is constant,

Pure Bending

When a beam is loaded such that it bends only in the plane of applied moment, the stress distribution and curvature of the beam are related by,

Also, deflection of a beam subjected to a point load can often be expressed in the form of,

The main component of the beam apparatus is its steel frame which holds the beam, load cell supports, moving digital deflection indicators and the cantilever support. This whole setup sits on a level bench.

The digital deflection indicators measure the deflection of the beam at any point. The cantilever support holds the beam at one end. Load cells measure distance moved but have a calibrated support spring so that each 10N of downward force moves the indicator by 1 mm. They can act as reaction force indicators when not locked and simple beam supports when locked.

A weight hanger holds the weights to load the beam at any desired point on the beam. There is a graduated scale at the top of the apparatus which helps in applying loads at repeatable distances. Storage hooks helps in the storage of unused beams.


Draw two blank result tables to record the deflections of the beams for different loads and thicknesses. One table is for the steel and brass beams, the other for aluminium beam because the aluminium beam quickly bends out of the range of deflection indicator with large weights. So, smaller weight divisions must be used in a separate table.

Measure the length, thickness and width of the beam and mark it at mid-span of its length using a pencil.

Choose a suitable reading close to the centre of the graduated scale of the apparatus to match with the pencil mark on the beam.

Set up the beam and two load cells. Make sure that the two load cells are equidistant from the centre of the beam and their locking pins are fitted.

The centre mark on the beam must be directly under the scale reading chosen instep 3.

The beam will now have an overhang on both the ends.

Hang the weight hanger at the centre of the beam.

A digital indicator is now placed on the upper cross member such that its contact rests directly above the weight hanger and check whether the stem is vertical and there is enough travel downwards.

Zero the indicator and start applying loads to the weight hanger in increments of 5N for steel and brass beams and 2N for aluminium beam.

For each load and thickness of the beam, take the readings of the deflection in the respective tables.

The deflections recorded for different beam thicknesses and loads are tabulated below.

For Steel and Brass beams:

Load W(N)

Deflection z (mm)

Steel6.4 mm


4.8 mm


3.2 mm


6.4 mm































For 6.4 mm Aluminium beam:

Load W(N)

Deflection z (mm)













Result Analysis:

To find the stiffness of each beam, plot a graph taking deflection (z) on Y-axis and Load (W) on X-axis and find the gradient of each graph. This gradient is equal to the inverse of the stiffness (1/S). The gradients of all the graphs are recorded in a table and their respective stiffnesses are calculated.

Graph 1

Graph 2

Relation between Stiffness & Thickness:


Thickness (mm)


Stiffness (N/mm)





















Stiffness S=Wz N/m

This graph is plotted by taking the stiffness value at constant load of 10N for different thicknesses. (6.4 mm, 4.8 mm, 3.2 mm)


Stiffness (Highest Value)







Graph 3

Comparing Theoretical & Practical Values of ‘k’

Material Properties:


Young’s Modulus (E)


Mild Steel

210 x 103 MPa

4.76 x 10-6


105 x 103 MPa

9.52 x 10-6


69 x 103 MPa

1.45 x 10-5

Graph for Steel & Brass:

Graph 4

Values obtained by Gradient of the Graph 4:













We know that Second Moment of Area for a rectangular cross-sectional beam,
I=bd312=19*6.4312= 4980.74 mm4

for load acting at the centre of a simply supported beam.

Therefore, the theoretical value of ‘k’ is

The graphs for all five beams are straight lines which confirms that the deflection is proportional to load and that they are deformed in their linear, elastic region.

Among Steel, Brass and Aluminium, steel beam has the highest value of stiffness followed by Brass and Aluminium. This proves that Stiffness can be determined by the material and its Young’s Modulus.

The beam with highest thickness (6.4 mm) has the highest value of stiffness followed by4.8 mm beam and 3.2 mm beam. This shows that the Stiffness and thickness of the beam are related and the linearity of the graph of S Versus d3 proved the equation,


     SM1004 User Guide

     Mechanics of Materials, SI Edition. Textbook by Dr. James Gere and Barry J. Goodno

     Images from

Tensile Test to Determine Material


Aim & Objectives


–          To determine the material of the different specimens by seeing how they respond to stress.


–          To determine the specimen’s modulus of elasticity, Ultimate Tensile Stress (UTS), Percentage of Elongation, Percentage of Reduction in Area, Stress, Strain,



The usage of a material depends on its strengths and its properties. The Tensile Test can determine the mechanical properties of a sample such as Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS), Percentage of Elongation, Percentage of Reduction in Area, Yield Point, and Fracture Point (Necking). These properties can then be used to determine the Stress Value, Strain Value, and Youngs Modulus. These properties are important as it can determine whether a material is brittle or ductile.

Stress= ForceArea      σ=FA


σ = Stress, in Newton/millimetre2 (Nmm-2) or converted into MNm2

F = Force, in Newtons (N)

A = Cross-sectional Area, in mm2
Strain= Change in lengthOriginal length      ε=∆LL0 


ε = Strain, no units

∆L = Extension or change in length, in millimetres (mm)

L0 = The original length, in millimetres (mm)
Youngs Modulus= StressStrain    E= σ ε 


E = Youngs Modulus, in Pascal (Newton metre2, Nm2)

σ = Stress, in Newton/millimetre2 (Nmm-2)  

ε = Strain, no units
Percentage of Elongation=Lf–LiLi×100%

Percentage of Elongation, no units

Li = Initial Gauge Length, mm

Lf = Final Gauge Length, mm

Percentage of Reduction in Area= Ai–AfAi×100%


Percentage of Reduction in Area, no units

Ai = Initial Area (mm2)
Ultimate Tensile Strength= Maximum LoadOriginal Cross Sectional Area=FA


UTS = Ultimate Tensile Strength, in Newton/millimetre2 (Nmm-2) or converted into MNm2

F = Force, in Newtons (N)

A = Cross-sectional Area, in mm2
Density= MassVolume p=mV


P = Density, in kilograms/Volume (kg.m-3)

m = Mass, in kg

V = Volume, in m3


Theory – Tensile Test of Materials

The Tensile Test works by having a hydraulic testing machine which applies a controlled load and displacement on the sample.

Method (Equipment & Procedures) & Materials


– Extensometer – A device which clamps onto the test piece at two locations. As the specimen extends, the extensometer also extends, and it measures the change in distance.

– Instron 3382 – A tensile testing machine which applies tension or compression for tests up to 100kN and is used with the software “BlueHill 3”. Used for the flat specimen

– Instron 1342 – Similar to the Instron 3382 except it’s used for circular specimens (specimens A, B, C)

– Safety Goggles


– A flat specimen with an initial length of 82.1mm and an initial thickness of 3.13mm.

– Circular specimens A, B and C with initial lengths of 87.49mm and initial diameters of 13.92mm. Has a gauge length of 50mm.


The specimen should have measurements and be prepared according to Data Sheet S191 [4].

Before placing the specimen into the machine, the following data should be recorded:

– the diameter of the gauge

– the length of the gauge

The specimen is placed in the tensile testing machine and should be clamped.

A small load is applied to ensure that the specimen is held in place.

The extensometer is fitted to where the marks/lines are according to Data Sheet S191 [4].

The machine is started but before the material fractures, the machine should be stopped to remove the extensometer.

The machine is then started again until fracture occurs which signals the stop of the procedure.

The specimen should be removed from the machine and the following data should be recorded:

– the diameter at the neck/fracture point

– Put the broken specimen together and measure the total length of the gauge

Test is repeated for other specimens A, B and C.

The data is sent to a software called “BlueHill 3” and the data is for the Load (kN) and Extension (mm). This data can be exported as an excel file where the stress and strain values can be calculated.







Specimen A

Figure 1 – Load and Extension data of specimen A


Figure 2 – Stress and Strain graph from calculations from Figure 1. 




Plastic Region


Line Parallel to straight part of the graph.

Yield Point

Figure 3 – Stress Strain graph showing yield point 

Elastic Region


Initial Length (mm)


Final Length (mm)


Initial Diameter (mm)


Final Diameter (mm)


Original Cross-Sectional Area (mm2) = 152.18

Final Cross-Sectional Area (mm2) = 85.6

Grip Diameter (m)


Grip length (m)


Mass (kg)



Stress at Yield Point = 0.25

Strain at Yield Point = 0.0037

Maximum Load = 48.458752


Youngs Modulus= StressStrain=0.250.0037=67.57
kNmm2 = 67.57GPa (GNm2)

Ultimate Tensile Strength= Maximum LoadOriginal Cross Sectional=48.458752152.18=0.318
kNmm2 = 318MPa

Percentage of Elongation=Lf–LiLi×100%= 101.24–87.4987.49×100%=15.72%

Percentage of Reduction in Area= Ai–AfAi×100%= 152.18–85.6152.18×100%=43.75%
Density= MassVolume=0.0369π0.0095620.0481=2671.9



Specimen B

Figure 4 – Load and Extension data of specimen B

Figure 5 – Parallel line which crosses extension axis at 0.1% of gauge length (50mm),0.1%= 0.05.

Yield Point

Elastic Region






Figure 4 – Load and Extension data of specimen B

Fracture and neck

Plastic Region


Initial Length (mm)


Final Length (mm)


Initial Diameter (mm)


Final Diameter (mm)


Original Cross-Sectional Area (mm2) = 152.18

Final Cross-Sectional Area (mm2) = 151.09

Grip Diameter (mm)


Grip length (mm)


Mass (kg)



Load at Yield Point = 28.9kN   0.1% Proof Stress = 0.19

Extension at Yield Point = 0.47mm Strain at Yield Point = 0.0094

Maximum Load = 42.830109


Youngs Modulus= StressStrain=0.190.0094=20.2
kNmm2 = 20.2GPa (GNm2)

Ultimate Tensile Strength= Maximum LoadOriginal Cross Sectional=42.830109152.18=0.281
kNmm2 = 281MPa

Percentage of Elongation=Lf–LiLi×100%= 87.94–87.4987.49×100%=0.51%

Percentage of Reduction in Area= Ai–AfAi×100%= 152.18–151.09152.18×100%=0.72%
Density= MassVolume=0.0971π0.0095620.0481=7030.86


Specimen C




Plastic Region



Initial Length (mm)


Final Length (mm)


Initial Diameter (mm)


Final Diameter (mm)


Original Cross-Sectional Area (mm2) = 152.18

Final Cross-Sectional Area (mm2) = 81.71

Grip Diameter (mm)


Grip length (mm)


Mass (kg)



Stress at Yield Point = 0.42

Strain at Yield Point = 0.0021

Maximum Load = 81.377167


Youngs Modulus= StressStrain=0.420.0021=200
kNmm2 = 200GPa (GNm2)

Ultimate Tensile Strength= Maximum LoadOriginal Cross Sectional=81.377167152.18=0.535
kNmm2 = 535MPa

Percentage of Elongation=Lf–LiLi×100%= 100.38–87.4987.49×100%=14.7%

Percentage of Reduction in Area= Ai–AfAi×100%= 152.18–81.71152.18×100%=46.3%
Density= MassVolume=0.1046π0.0095620.0481=7574



Specimen’s A and C are ductile materials as they have a plastic region on the stress strain graphs meaning that they will have permanent deform after the elastic region and extend in length. After reaching the UTS, the specimen begins to neck and then fractures.

Specimen B is a brittle material as it has no plastic region. When the UTS is reached, the specimen fractures immediately resulting in a minimal extension and minimal neck.

For Specimen A, the Young’s Modulus was calculated to be 67.57GPa. This suggests that the material is aluminium as the Young’s modulus for aluminium is 69GPa. This is further reinforced by the fact that the density was calculated to be
kg/m3 and the density for aluminium is 2600-2720kg/m3 suggesting that it may be an aluminium alloy and not pure aluminium. [1][2]

For Specimen B, the Young’s Modulus was calculated to be 20.2GPa and the density was calculated to be
kg/m3. It’s unsure which material it is but neodymium is the closest as it has a Young’s Modulus of 37.5 and a density of 7010kg/m3. [1][3] However, there are metals such as Zinc and Tin which are similar.

For Specimen C, the Young’s Modulus was calculated to be 200GPa and this suggests that the metal is steel or a variant of steel. The Density also matches steel as it was calculated to be
kg/m3 and the density of steel is about 7700kg/m3. Iron also has very similar numbers however they are slightly higher than Steel.[1][2][5]

The results are valid however the results of Specimen B seem abnormal.

This may be due to parallel line of the 0.1% strain being done incorrectly and not being completely parallel.

The Load Extension graphs appear to begin from the origin point of 0 however due the tensile testing machine clamping onto the specimens, force must be exerted so there will be a minimal amount of force before the test begins.

The Software “Bluehill 3” exports the data from the tensile testing machine into Load and Extension. There are hundreds of values meaning that the use of a computer to convert the load extension values into stress strain values are required. However, if there are incorrect areas, we wouldn’t know, and it’d be near impossible to hand check every value.


Overall from our calculations and comparisons to other sources, we can conclude that the material of Specimen A is aluminium, Specimen B is Neodymium, and Specimen C is Steel.




Which Geosynthetic Material Increases Durability in Unpaved Roads?

Geosynthetic are evolving as a material choice in the field of civil engineering because of the extensive advantages. They are reliable, durable, eco-friendly and cheaper. There are six types of geosynthetic material available. The main function includes providing the surface with drainage, separation, filtration, reinforcement, stiffening, barrier and protection. A lot has been researched on how geosynthetics improve the durability of the unpaved roads but not a lot has been researched on which is the best choice among the six materials for unpaved roads. The purpose of this paper is to answer that question with the help of research that is done already and methods used to reach the said answer. The existing work will show how the geosynthetic material will increase the strength of the subgrade; where and how to place the material in the subgrade during the testing to maximize the result and get the best of them. Geosynthetics have been known to increase the life of the pavements when placed at the correct depth, angle, position and the type of subgrade in the question.  This paper will also help in determining which particular material provides the maximum strength, durability in the unpaved roads. Geosynthetics are efficient in soaring the load carrying capability and degrading rut depth. (Gali & M Nair 2014)

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

 Geosynthetics’ most important application is to increase the CBR of the soil by providing the reinforcement the soil needs. CBR value is very important in determining the type of material to be used to strengthen it. A subgrade with low CBR value allows for geosynthetics to have better benefits than the subgrade with high CBR in terms of improved strength. (Singh, Trivedi & Shukla 2019a)

The modulus of base course is increased of geosynthetic materials when the interlocking with aggregates interaction minimizes lateral movement of the particles. This leads to reduction of vertical subgrade deformation.(Calvarano et al. 2016)

This interlocking can be seen in geocells, geogrids and geotextiles. A common test used to check the durability of the unpaved roads is California Bearing Ratio or CBR test. This test is carried out in laboratory using a sample of the subgrade and testing it after and before using the various types of geosynthetic materials.(Singh, Trivedi & Shukla 2019a)

Geosynthetic materials have found to have reduced the thickness of the road and proves to be cost and performance effective.(Gali, M Nair & S. Hemalatha 2010)

Many things need to be checked for a geosynthetic material to be suitable for an unpaved road; like, binding property, drainage, strengthening of the non-bituminous, CBR results etcetera.

Apart from the reinforcement used to strengthen the unpaved roads, the thickness of the unreinforced road needs to be acknowledged and be of the correct thickness to provide the maximum strength.

Given by
     (Hufenus et al. 2006)

In the CBR mould, a geosynthetic material is placed at the bottom half of the height of the specimen or near the load. While some researchers believe that the maximum effect of reinforcement is obtained by placing it at the centre of the CBR mould. (Singh, Trivedi & Shukla 2019a)

The maximum strength of the subgrade is increased or is at its maximum when a geosynthetic reinforcement is kept at the middle of the CBR mould. (Singh, Trivedi & Shukla 2019b)

The geosynthetic material can be added in either single layer or double layer depending upon the need of the pavement, which increases the CBR value of the subgrade. With the single layer reinforcement, the CBR value is increased by 5-60% and double layer increases it by 112-325%. This increase depends upon where the material is placed and which reinforcement is used. (Singh, Trivedi & Shukla 2019b)

Geosynthetic materials lose about 30% of their strength in the first 20 years. Geogrids are thicker and may lose less strength than others. (Barksdale, Brown & Chan 1989)

As you can see, the research shows the various tests done on unpaved roads using different geosynthetics but there isn’t a clear answer as to which material is best suited for the unpaved roads, of course a lot depends upon the type of subgrade, moisture content, thickness of the road, drainage capacity and the material of geosynthetic used. What the previous research has shown is that CBR test is done to check for the penetration value before and after using geosynthetic material.

What this paper will do differently is choose a subgrade, prepare a CBR mould, check the CBR value of the subgrade. Place the geosynthetic material at the most appropriate position as shown by the research done, measure the CBR value for each of the material and compare the result. Whichever provides the maximum result is best for that type of subgrade and soil in question. This test can be done with different soil types and different unpaved subgrades. This can save valuable time and effort in choosing which material is best for which type of soil and the subgrade.



Barksdale, RD, Brown, SF & Chan, F 1989, Potential benefits of geosynthetics in flexible pavement systems, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C.

Calvarano, LS, Palamara, R, Leonardi, G & Moraci, N 2016, ‘Unpaved Road Reinforced with Geosynthetics’, Procedia Engineering, vol. 158, 2016/01/01/, pp. 296-301.

Gali, M, M Nair, A & S. Hemalatha, M 2010, ‘Performance of geosynthetics in unpaved roads’, International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, vol. 4, 04/01, pp. 337-49.

Gali, M & M Nair, A 2014, ‘Geosynthetics in unpaved roads’, Indian Journal of Geosynthetics and Ground Improvement, vol. 3, 07/01, pp. 3-12.

Hufenus, R, Rueegger, R, Banjac, R, Mayor, P, Springman, SM & Brönnimann, R 2006, ‘Full-scale field tests on geosynthetic reinforced unpaved roads on soft subgrade’, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, vol. 24, no. 1, 2006/02/01/, pp. 22-23.

Singh, M, Trivedi, A & Shukla, SK 2019a, ‘Strength enhancement of the subgrade soil of unpaved road with geosynthetic reinforcement layers’, Transportation Geotechnics, vol. 19, 2019/06/01/, pp. 54-57.

Singh, M, Trivedi, A & Shukla, SK 2019b, ‘Strength enhancement of the subgrade soil of unpaved road with geosynthetic reinforcement layers’, Transportation Geotechnics, vol. 19, 2019/06/01/, pp. 54-60.


Inorganic Porous Material for Remediation of Texas Environment


 In this experiment, we tested how much red dye zeolite and magnetized zeolite could absorb compared to charcoal. First, we had to synthesize two different types of zeolites, magnetized and unmagnetized, and create solid forms of each type. Once the solids were formed, we could grind up and use to absorb the red dye. We then established an experiment to calculate how much red dye zeolite, magnetized zeolite, and charcoal was left in solution. After analyzing, we can conclude that charcoal is the most effective inorganic porous material in absorbing red dye from water.


 PAHs are formed by incomplete combustion and released into the environment through coal and gasoline, as well as organic substances such as wood and Tabaco. Humans encounter PAHs regularly, but an overexposure to these hydrocarbons can lead to serious health problems, which is why scientist are looking into ways to eradicate PAHs from the environment. A Zeolite is a crystalline structure that help break down large organic molecules into smaller molecules through a process called catalytic cracking1. With this unique structure, it is hypothesized that inorganic porous materials such as zeolites and charcoal will absorb the PAHs and take them out of water. Resulting in an experiment that compares how well each of the porous materials can absorb red dye, which has a similar structure to PAH.

Materials and Methods

 The first step was to synthesize the non-magnetized Zeolite. Starting off, we put 50 mL of 3.0 NaOH solution into a 250 mL beaker along with a magnetic stir bar. Then, 3.73 g of sodium aluminate was added to the solution. The beaker was then placed over a hot/stir plate where it was heated and stirred until all solids were completely dissolved. The ring stand was setup with a thermometer that would be lowered into the solution, without touching the bottom of the beaker. While the solution was heating, 50mL of distilled water was boiled in a 150mL beaker, then 2.65 g of sodium silicate was added into the boiling water. The beaker was then placed on the extra hot plate and stirred by hand until the solids were completely dissolved. Each solution was brought to a boil, once both reached a boil, the sodium silicate was slowly poured into the sodium aluminate solution. For the next 60 minutes, the reaction was kept around 90oC along with constant stirring to prevent any lumping materials to form. After 60 minutes, the hot plate was turned off and let cool for 5 min. Carefully, pour two equal parts of the cooled down solution into 2 centrifuge tubes, which were capped and labeled. The tubes were then placed into a centrifuge for 10 min at 5000 rpm. The liquid from the tubes were then poured out and all the solid was removed with a small spatula and placed on a petri dish to be dried.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

 A similar procedure was followed to synthesize the magnetized Zeolite. The first step was to synthesize the non-magnetized Zeolite. Starting off, we put 50 mL of 3.0 NaOH solution into a 250 mL beaker along with a magnetic stir bar. Then, 3.73 g of sodium aluminate was added to the solution. The beaker was then placed over a hot/stir plate where it was heated and stirred until all solids were completely dissolved. The ring stand was setup with a thermometer that would be lowered into the solution, without touching the bottom of the beaker. While the solution was heating, 50mL of distilled water was boiled in a 150mL beaker, then 2.65 g of sodium silicate was added into the boiling water. The beaker was then placed on the extra hot plate and stirred by hand until the solids were completely dissolved. Each solution was brought to a boil, once both reached a boil, the sodium silicate was slowly poured into the sodium aluminate solution. For the next 60 minutes, the reaction was kept around 90oC along with constant stirring to prevent any lumping materials to form. Next, .78 g of FeCl3 and .39 g FeSO4 * 7H2O was added to the beaker. After 60 minutes, the hot plate was turned off and let cool for 5 min. Carefully, pour two equal parts of the cooled down solution into 2 centrifuge tubes, which were capped and labeled. The tubes were then placed into a centrifuge for 10 min at 5000 rpm. The liquid from the tubes were then poured out and all the solid was removed with a small spatula and placed on a petri dish to be dried.

 To formulate an absorbance vs. wavelength graph, 5 cuvettes were prepared. The first cuvette is a blank sample, filled with distilled water. The second cuvette was the undiluted sample and was filled with 0.05mM Procion Red MX-5B. The next 3 samples were prepared using the successive dilution method. Take 5mL of 0.05mM Procion Red with a volumetric pipet and place into a 10mL volumetric flask, the remainder of the flask should be filled up with distilled water to the etched line on the flask. The third cuvette was filled with 0.025mM Procion red solution. Take 5mL 0.025mM Procion Red with a volumetric pipet and place into a 10mL volumetric flask, the remainder of the flask should be filled up with distilled water to the etched line on the flask. The fourth cuvette was filled with 0.0125mM of Procion Red with a volumetric pipet and place into a 10mL volumetric flask, the remainder of the flask should be filled up with distilled water to the etched line on the flask. Lastly, the fifth cuvette was filled with 0.00625 mM Procion Red solution.

 To compare the three porous materials, three cuvettes of charcoal, magnetized, and un-magnetized zeolite were prepared. First weigh out 0.1163 g of charcoal, 0.1117 g magnetized, and 0.1186 g unmagnetized zeolite then place into 3 separate mortars. Add 1mL of water to the mortar and crush well with the pestle thoroughly. Set up filter using a filter paper and funnel over a 10 mL volumetric flask. Rinse the mortar and pestle with the Procion Red and then place components onto the filter paper. If the solution is not clear after the first filtration, filter the solution a second time. Fill the remainder of the flask with the Procion red to the etched mark of the flask. Cap the flasks and gently mix and pour into three cuvettes.

 Now that all eight cuvettes have been prepared, set up spectrophotometer to find the absorbance spectrum, calibration curve, and test the absorbance of each solution. When setting up the spectrophotometer, first calibrate using the blank sample. Once calibrated, place the undiluted cuvette into the slot. Press START which will display the full absorbance spectrum and from that figure out where the λ max is at. The λ max and absorbance was 510.8 nm and 0.6980 found from the undiluted solution. To create a calibration curve, the settings had to be changed to absorbance vs. concentration in the spectrometer icon, and the λ max was selected.

 After collecting the data, the molar concentration was entered starting with the .00005 M. The following step requires the three dilution samples to be placed and ran through the spectrophotometer. Starting with the .000025 M sample, then .0000125 M sample, and the final dilution sample being .00000625 M. Each sample was read and added to the calibration curve. To figure out the absorbance of each porous material, each sample was placed into the spectrophotometer and was recorded and collected at λ max as well as at 750nm.


λ max (510.8) nm

750 nm

Magnetized Zeolite



Non- Magnetized Zeolite






Results and Discussion

 After collecting the absorbance spectrum found from the undiluted solution, the λ max was found to be 510.8 nm. To find the concentration of red dye that was left in each solution, the application of Beer’s Law was required and used for each of the porous solutions, but first we found the molar absorptivity constant from the slope of the calibration curve.

For Magnetized Zeolite, the concentration of red dye is: C = (1.352)/ (1.0) *(14861)

C = 0.000091 M

For Non- Magnetized Zeolite, the concentration of red dye is: C = (2.313)/ (1.0) *(14861)

C = .000156 M

For Charcoal, the concentration of red dye is: C = (.316)/ (1.0) *(14861)

C = .0000213 M


Based on these calculations of the concentration of red dye still in the solution, we can say that the solution with the smallest concentration was the most effective at removing the red dye from the solution. So, from this experiment, the results led to Charcoal being the most effective Porous material.

One source of error during the experiment was the concentration of both the Magnetized and Unmagnetized Zeolite. When filter both zeolites through the filter paper and funnel, some solids may have gone through either from a hole in the filter paper, or the sides of the beaker. This resulted in a cloudy solution, which caused for a redo in the experiment. When going through the same process once again, the results ended up the same, a cloudy solution for both zeolites formed. Already losing time, we used those solutions instead of a clear solution, like our charcoal solution.

An important parameter that is tested is the effectiveness of the porous materials in absorbing the PAHs (red dye). Before choosing any material over the other, such as magnetized zeolite over charcoal, its important to test each material and view the results, then choose from what is observed. Another parameter to consider would be how effective is the process to make zeolite over charcoal would have on the environment. Such as, if there was a large amount of excess zeolite purifying water, the excess amount could end up harming the surroundings than if charcoal was being used. Even if the water is purified and the zeolite did its job successfully, it may also negatively impact the environment during the process. It would probably be safer just to use charcoal in this case. A third parameter would be the cost of the porous material. Though one material may be more successful at absorbing the PAHs, let’s say zeolite, it may be more expensive to produce such material instead of charcoal. Through this prospective, charcoal would be more cost effective than zeolite.


Looking closely at both structures, the PAH, Benzopyrene (a.) and Procion Red MX-5B (b.) have similar features, both are thin and flat. Because of this, they can fit through the structures found in Zeolites and Charcoal, making Procion Red a suitable substitute for a PAH to test the removal properties of each porous material.


In this experiment we designed a test to figure the properties of magnetized/ unmagnetized zeolite compared to charcoal. We used Procion Red MX-5B as a substitute for a PAH to test how well each porous material effectively absorbed the pollution. Through this experiment and with the help of Beer’s Law we can calculate the concentration of Procion Red that was left over after each material had time to absorb the red dye. After calculations, we concluded that charcoal was the most effective porous material for removing PAHs because it left the least amount of red dye compared to both zeolites tested.


1 Peter B. Leavens “Zeolites” Advameg Inc.,2018,

*Author of Inorganic Porous Material for Remediation of Texas Environment


Does Kant Successfully Refute Material Idealism?

In the section of the Critique of Pure Reason called “Refutation of Idealism”[1] Kant aims to show that the two forms of idealism; ‘the dogmatic idealism of Berkeley’ and ‘the problematic idealism of Descartes’[2] are false. By proving his hypothesis that the knowledge of my own existence actually proves the existence of objects in space outside myself.
In this evaluation of Kant’s refutation of idealism, I will first address Berkley’s idealism and show how Kant disregards this almost off hand by referring to an earlier section in the Critique of Pure Reason. Then I will go on to analyse Kant’s argument against Descartes’ idealism first by outlining his argument according to Dicker then critiquing this argument by looking at whether or not the substance which allows us to have experiences of succession has to necessarily be permanent. After this I will look at a criticism of the refutation from Kant’s lack of explanation as why the enduring objects needed to know one’s own existence is spatial. Then another the criticism from the possibility that our space of experience is imaginary. Both of these criticisms will be addressed and shown to fall short of refuting Kant’s refutation.

Get Help With Your Essay
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
Essay Writing Service

Berkeley’s idealism is the first version of idealism which Kant addresses. Berkeley’s idealism can be summarised with his famous saying ‘esse est percipi’[3] meaning to be is to be perceived. Berkeley’s idealism argues that an object’s ‘being or existence consists solely in its being perceived’[4] This means that anything which is not being perceived does not exist. For Kant this idealism is a consequence of seeing ‘space as a property that belongs to things in themselves.’[5] A thing in itself is something found in the external world so in the statement above Kant is saying that Berkeley sees space as a property of external objects. This is an issue for Kant as in the Transcendental Aesthetic, an earlier section of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant proves that space, as well as time, is not a thing in itself nor a property of one. Berkeley’s idealism is not material idealism and is therefore irrelevant to whether or not Kant refutes material idealism especially as Kant seems to disregard this idealism off hand.
Kant calls Descartes’ material idealism problematic idealism because it is ‘a scandal to philosophy, and to human reason in general, that we should have to accept the existence of things outside us merely on trust.’[6] Descartes’ idealism accepts the existence of the external world purely on faith as his argument for there being an external world is that ‘the certainty and truth of all knowledge depends uniquely on my awareness of the true God.’[7] And since Descartes’ ‘proof of the existence of God is not very convincing.’[8] coupled with the fact that relying on God is not philosophically satisfying we can be sympathetic to Kant’s position. Kant says that to prove the external world’s existence he must prove ‘that even our inner experience, undoubted by Descartes, is possible only on the supposition of outer experience.’[9] So inner experience such as thinking, or imagination must only be possible due to experience of the external world.
Kant’s proof that ‘the mere, but empirically determined, consciousness of my own existence proves the existence of objects in space outside myself.’[10] Can be said to consist of ‘five steps’[11] or premises and is best set out in Dicker’s article on the refutation of idealism:
‘1) I am conscious of my own existence in time, i.e., I am aware that I have experiences that occur in a specific temporal order.
2) I can be aware of having experiences that occur in a specific temporal order only if there is some persisting element by reference to which I can determine their temporal order
3) No conscious state of my own can serve as this persisting frame of reference.
4) Time itself cannot serve as this persisting frame of reference.
5) If (2) and (3) and (4), then I can be aware of having experiences that occur in a specific temporal order only if I perceive persisting objects in space outside me by reference to which I can determine the temporal order of my experiences.
6) I perceive persisting objects in ̈space outside me by reference to which I can determine the temporal order of my experiences.’[12]
The first premise claims that we can judge mental states as our own and that we can ‘recognize the order in which such states occur in consciousness.’[13] The second premise is Kant’s First Analogy principle: ‘In all changes of appearances substance is permeant; its quantum in nature is neither increased or decreased nor diminished.’[14] Applying this principle to time, we can see that for there to be ‘temporal intervals’[15] there must be some permeant substance which stays the same through changes of state. Premise three points out that the permeant substance ‘cannot be an intuition’ in us because ‘all the determining grounds of my existence that can be encountered in me are representations.’[16] Representations are the immediate objects of our perception, for example when we see a lemon we get the representation of a lemon in us rather than a perception of what the lemon as a thing in itself is. Representations need ‘something persisting distinct from them’ in order to exist so representations, and therefore intuitions, cannot qualify as the permeant substance that causes temporal intervals. Premise four is not one Kant mentions himself but one which he accepts ‘on the grounds that time itself cannot be perceived.’[17] Premise five says that if premises (2), (3), and (4) are true then experiencing things in a specific temporal order is only possible if persisting objects in space outside us exist. Which leads to the conclusion that when we talk in temporal terms we are talking in reference to this permeant thing in space.
One criticism of Kant’s argument come from Guyer who attacks premise two. He says: ‘It remains unclear why anything more than mere acquaintance with representations which in fact succeed one another in otherwise uninterrupted experience…should be necessary for one to judge that there has been such a succession.’[18] Guyer is criticising Kant by saying that a persisting element is not necessary for us to be aware of temporal order. The ‘temporal order of experiences mentioned in (2) is simply the order in which we have the experiences themselves.’[19] The persisting element Kant talks of does not ascribe order to representations order is given to representations by experiencing one occurring after another.
Despite this criticism Guyer still believes Kant’s refutation of idealism is a strong argument. In Kant’s Handschriftlicher Nachlass he reflected on this argument and altered premise (2). Kant adds that the recognition of succession ‘can be grounded “only on something which endures, with which that which is successive is simultaneous”’[20] What this means is that successive representations, such as the representation of the sun rising shining out sunlight every day, can only be experienced to be successive is they are judged on ‘some enduring object.’[21] Dicker, using Kant’s adaptation, defends the refutation of idealism by using the example of past experiences. ‘We have a series of subjective experiences or conscious states that stretches back in time over the hours, days, months, and years.’ These memories can be ordered in our consciousness not through a ‘feeling or sense of “pastness”’[22] nor ‘little clocks’[23] that would enable us to date memories. They are ordered by you correlating the remembered experiences ‘with successive states of an enduring reality that exists independently of the experiences’ being remembered. With Kant’s change the refutation of idealism does prove that an enduring substance is needed for our representations of succession. as it does seem to prove that there is an external reality which our inner experiences depend upon meaning Kant does successfully refute material idealism.
Solving the issue of the enduring object needed for our experience of succession not needing to be an enduring object does not mean Kant’s theorem is completely successful. Another issue of his argument is that Kant does not offer any reason why the ‘the enduring objects required to know oneself must be spatial.’[24] For Kant to successfully refute material idealism he needs to show that there is a knowable physical external reality, so he needs to show that the enduring substance that supposedly allows for our representations of succession is must be spatial. Kant does give an answer to this criticism later on. He differentiates between space and time. ‘Space and time as wholes are permanent[25] but ‘space alone is determined as permanent.’[26] This means that space can be divided into numerically distinct, coexisting parts.’[27] Which means for us to have consciousness of permanent, distinct and, ‘re-identifiable’[28] things, such as oneself, the representations must come from space and not time. Time exists as separate parts which exist successively meaning that no temporal location can be re-identified whereas spatial locations can. So, a permanent, distinct and, re-identifiable representation must come from a spatial location. With this Kant successfully shows that the enduring object need to know oneself must be spatial and therefore Kant’s theorem that the ‘consciousness of my own existence proves the existence of objects in space’[29] is proven correct as we can see that knowledge of oneself must be based on spatial locations rather than temporal ones.
Another criticism of Kant’s refutation of material idealism asks the question: what if space of our experience is merely imaginary? This would mean that our consciousness of one self’s existence would only happen ‘through the subject’s representing, as in dream states, hallucinations, and after images.’[30] Meaning the whole of Kant’s refutation would fail as it would be impossible to argue for any spatial dependent representations. Imagination in the Kantian sense means This criticism can be quickly shot down by the Kantian by pointing out that ‘if there were no continuity of the spatial framework from on representation to another, there could be no consciousness of enduring, continuous existence in time.’[31] Because space and spatial objects can be re-identified through time they ‘exhibit their independence of momentary representations, including mere imaginings.’[32] This makes the Cartesian hypothesis ‘that I can know my thinking self and merely imagine spatial things’ an impossible hypothesis as spatial things cannot come from our imagination.
In conclusion I believe Kant does successfully refute material idealism. He successfully refutes Berkeley’s idealism through the transcendental aesthetic. It is harder for Kant to refute Descartes idealism, but I still believe he succeeds in doing so. The argument formulated by Dicker is strong after we had the later reflection Kant has. The criticisms from the enduring objects allowing for our experience of succession does not have to be spatial and from the question of whether or not our spatial experience came from imagination rather than something spatial in reality both fail to refute Kant’s refutation as they can be shown to be wrong in other parts of the Critique of Pure Reason. Because of these reasons I believe Kant does successfully refute material idealism.

Buroker, J.V (2006). Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: An Introduction. Kindle Edition. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
Kant, I (2007 [1781]). Critique of Pure Reason. London: Penguin Group.
Berkeley, G (1734). Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cardinal, D, Jones, G & Hayward, J (2015). AQA AS Philosophy. London: Hodder Education.
Descartes, R (1996 [1637]). Meditations on First Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dicker, G. 2008. Kant’s Refutation of Idealism. Noûs. 42(1), pp. 80–108.
Guyer, P (1987). Kant and the Claims of Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[1] Kant, 2007 [1781], B275
[2] Kant, 2007 [1781], B275
[3] Berkeley, 1998 [1734], pp. 13
[4] Cardinal, Jones & Hayward, 2015, pp. 37
[5] Kant, 2007 [1781], B275
[6] Kant, 2007 [1781], Bxxxix
[7] Descartes, 1996 [1637], pp. 49
[8] Cardinal, Jones & Hayward, 2015, pp. 167
[9] Kant, 2007 [1781], B275
[10] Kant, 2007 [1781], B275
[11] Buroker, 2006, Kindle Location 2340
[12] Dicker, 2008, pp. 82
[13] Buroker, 2006, Kindle Location 2342
[14] Kant, 2007 [1781], B225
[15] Buroker, 2006, Kindle Location 2342
[16] Kant, 2007 [1781], Bxxxix
[17] Dicker, 2008, pp. 82
[18] Guyer, 1987, pp. 285-286
[19] Dicker, 2008, pp. 82
[20] Kant, 1902, vol. h18, 6313; quoted in Guyer, 1987, 305
[21] Guyer, 1987, pp. 306
[22] Dicker, 2008, pp. 83
[23] Dicker, 2008, pp. 83
[24] Buroker, 2006, Kindle Location 2352
[25] Buroker, 2006, Kindle Location 2375
[26] Kant, 2007 [1781], B291
[27] Buroker, 2006, Kindle Location 2375
[28] Buroker, 2006, Kindle Location 2375
[29] Kant, 2007 [1781], B275
[30] Buroker, 2006, Kindle Location 2382
[31] Buroker, 2006, Kindle Location 2385
[32] Buroker, 2006, Kindle Location 2387