Materials and Man’s Needs

Materials Science and Engineering

Summary Report of the Committee on the Survey of Materials Science and Engineering

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Washington, D.C.
1974



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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering Materials and Man’s Needs Materials Science and Engineering Summary Report of the Committee on the Survey of Materials Science and Engineering NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES Washington, D.C. 1974

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering Materials and Man’s Needs Materials Science and Engineering Summary Report of the Committee on the Survey of Materials Science and Engineering NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES Washington, D.C. 1974

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering NOTICE This report is one of a series of survey reports on major areas of science and technology, sponsored and organized by the Committee on Science and Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences. The members of the committee selected to undertake this project and prepare this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of the disciplines appropriate to the project. Responsibility for the detailed aspects of this report rests with the committee. Each report issuing from the National Academy of Sciences is reviewed by an independent group of qualified individuals according to procedures established and monitored by the Report Review Committee of the National Academy of Sciences. Distribution of the report is approved, by the President of the Academy, upon satisfactory completion of the review process. Frontispiece: A schematic illustration of the materials cycle, showing the principal arena of materials science and engineering. Not indicated are myriad possible subcycles, including those related to the environment and energy. ISBN 0-309-02220-7 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 74–2118 Printed in the United States of America

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering December 1973 Dear Dr. Handler: The Committee on Science and Public Policy takes pleasure in transmitting to you the Summary Report of its Committee on the Survey of Materials Science and Engineering (COSMAT) under the title Materials and Man’s Needs. This committee was originally appointed by you in December of 1970 under the chairmanship of Dr. Morris Cohen of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The present report may be considered as the latest in the series of reports on the needs and opportunities of the various scientific disciplines sponsored by the Committee on Science and Public Policy (COSPUP). However, it differs from earlier reports in the series in several important respects. Materials science and engineering is not a single discipline, like physics or chemistry, but rather a multidisciplinary area of research and engineering that has evolved gradually over the last twenty years into a coherent aggregation of related activities, but within which each of the component disciplines retains its identity. Although the earlier disciplinary reports laid considerable stress on the applications of each discipline to national needs in general, the principal emphasis was on the scientific opportunities in the discipline and on the means required to realize and exploit these opportunities. The present report lays more stress on the needs themselves, and on their implications for the organization and evolution of research and education in the field of materials. There is particular emphasis on the engineering and design aspects of the field. This difference in emphasis is reflected in the composition of the Committee; out of 23 members, 13 come from non-academic institutions, and several, including one economist, one historian of technology, and one geologist, are not specialists in materials research. The report attempts to advance further the effort made in earlier COSPUP reports to find ways of identifying priorities in a field of research. A rather elaborate survey was designed in which nearly 1,000 specialists from a wide variety of technical fields participated. The purpose of this survey was to relate priorities within various technical subfields to various areas of future national needs, such as energy, transportation, communications, environmental protection, and public health. As often seems to be true in such studies, some of the results are ambiguous, and their translation into governmental or other institutional policies are not obvious. Nevertheless, a few patterns emerge,

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering and we feel that the exercise will significantly advance public discussion of priorities in general as well as specific priorities for materials research. The appearance of the COSMAT report seems especially timely in relation to other national reports in the materials field. The last few years has witnessed rising public and Congressional concern with the future availability of natural resources for the economic growth of the United States, and with the development of more coherent national strategies for the wise and efficient use of available resources. With this concern there has emerged the concept of the “materials cycle,” the life history of materials from extraction of the original raw materials through design of a product to final disposal of the used product into the environment, or to recycling for other uses. This concept constitutes the focus and theme of the present report. The report should be read in conjunction with the recently published report of the National Commission on Materials Policy and with the reports of the Secretary of the Interior mandated by the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970, as well as with several privately sponsored reports, such as the recent report of the American Chemical Society, Chemistry in the Economy, and the National Academy of Sciences’ earlier report, Man, Materials, and the Environment. Although placing greater emphasis on the translation of national needs into scientific priorities, the present report does not overlook the opportunity-oriented aspects of the materials field. The chapter entitled “Opportunities in Materials Research” provides an exciting account of new developments in the field, and points out the many opportunities for new conceptual advances as well as new progress in materials processing and in development and study of whole new classes of materials. Very truly yours, Melvin Calvin Chairman Committee on Science and Public Policy

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering This report, Materials and Man’s Needs, is the latest in a series of survey reports concerning major fields of science and technology, prepared under the aegis of the Academy’s Committee on Science and Public Policy. In this instance, the report presents an intensive examination of a field that is inherently multidisciplinary and that impinges in innumerable ways upon economic stability and the quality of life. Materials science and technology is unquestionably a resource of the greatest importance. The Academy is indebted to the Committee on the Survey of Materials Science and Engineering for this substantial contribution to our appreciation and understanding of that resource. Philip Handler President Washington, D.C. December 1973

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering PREFACE What is materials science and engineering? How does it function? How can it contribute more effectively to the achievement of societal goals and national purpose? This report, Materials and Man’s Needs: Materials Science and Engineering, attempts to answer these and related questions. In December 1970, the President of the National Academy of Sciences appointed a Committee on the Survey of Materials Science and Engineering (COSMAT) to conduct a comprehensive analysis and assessment of the field of materials science and engineering. This Survey follows others in various fields of science conducted during the past decade under the aegis of the Academy’s Committee on Science and Public Policy. However, the COSMAT study is the first to embrace both science and engineering in its coverage, centering on the relationships between the structure and properties of materials as a basis for their design, preparation, and utilization by mankind. The present report summarizes the main results of the COSMAT study and is intended primarily for executives and administrators in government, industry, and universities who are involved with decisions or policies in which materials and the associated sciences and technologies play a significant role. At the same time, some parts of the report are designed to portray the intellectual excitement of the field and will be of special interest to the working scientist or engineer. The relatively concise form of this Summary Report will facilitate access to the principal findings and recommendations of the Survey, as well as to COSMAT’s priority analysis of materials research bearing on national

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering goals and programs. A more complete account of the COSMAT study will appear subsequently. The overall objectives of the Survey have been: to determine the nature and scope of materials science and engineering; to ascertain the linkage of science with engineering in the field of materials for the successful translation of new basic knowledge into useful application; to examine the interaction of materials science and engineering with other areas of science and technology; to discern trends in the development of the materials field in order to identify its challenges, opportunities, and needs; and to reach conclusions concerning the means by which materials science and engineering might contribute more broadly to the national well-being. The Survey Committee was constituted deliberately to reflect not only the wide range of scientific and engineering disciplines comprising the field itself, but also the experience of practitioners in universities, industry, and government. Moreover, in order to obtain a somewhat “outside view” as well, professionals in economics, history, geology, and engineering design were included in the Committee membership. Because materials occupy a central position in national economies as well as in man’s daily life, COSMAT found it appropriate, indeed essential, to direct considerable attention to the larger field of materials in which materials science and engineering operate. Similarly, research priorities in materials science and engineering were addressed not only from the standpoint of creative appeal, but also in the context of societal goals, ecological constraints, and dwindling natural resources, To obtain necessary information for this broad approach, COSMAT appointed 11 panels and committees and secured responses through questionnaires and position papers from a wide community of experts. Nearly 1,000

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering persons and institutions provided inputs on various aspects of the Survey and more than 100 individuals participated directly in the COSMAT program. The field of materials science and engineering has turned out to be so extensive in scope and so pervasive in its applications that we cannot claim to have elucidated all of its important manifestations sufficiently. But the COSMAT Survey does provide a framework for delineating those areas that may merit further examination. Partly by design and partly from inability at this stage, COSMAT has not attempted to make specific estimates of the funding and manpower needed for fulfilling the role of materials science and engineering in the nation. That further inquiry will come about naturally due to societal driving forces, we are convinced, if COSMAT has done justice to its exploratory mission. Related studies that help round out the panorama of the materials field are the Academy reports on “Minerals Science and Technology: Needs, Challenges and Opportunities” (1969); “Physics in Perspective” (1972); “Man, Materials, and the Environment” (1973); the report of the American Chemical Society on “Chemistry in the Economy” (1973); and the final report of the National Commission on Materials Policy (1973). The COSMAT report, in particular, points out the role of materials science and engineering within the framework of that policy. COSMAT is appreciative of the foresight of the Committee on Science and Public Policy in discerning the timeliness and importance of surveying the field of materials science and engineering, with its interrelations among technology, science, and society. Harvey Brooks, then Chairman of the Committee on Science and Public Policy, and Robert E.Green, its Executive Secretary, were most helpful in

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering FIGURES Figure Number Page Number Frontispiece   Schematic Illustration of the Materials Cycle     1   Materials in a Boiling-Water Nuclear Reactor   9 2   Materials in a Jet Engine   10 3   Materials in an Integrated Circuit   11 4   Research and Development Spending in the United States (1953–72)   17 5   Conduct of Federal Research and Development   18 6   Trends in Federal Basic and Applied Research   19 7   Disciplinary Mix in Materials Science and Engineering   26 8   Factors Involved in the Flow of Materials   43 9   Partial Relevance Tree for Health Services   55 A-1   Relationship Between Priority Ratings for Basic Research in Various Specialties and Familiarity Ratings of the Respondents in the Specialties   197

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering TABLES Table Number Page Number 1   U.S. Trade Balance in Illustrative Product Categories   15 2   Selected Achievements in Materials Science and Engineering   24 3   Estimates of Manpower in Principal Disciplinary Sectors of Materials Science and Engineering   31 4   Distribution of Materials Scientists and Engineers by Category of Activity   33 5   Direct Federal Funding of Materials Research and Development by Agency, Type of Research, and Performer   35 6   Direct Federal Funding of Materials Research and Development by Agency and Field of Materials   36 7   Consumption of Selected Basic Materials in the U.S.   42 8   Selected Industry Components of the Gross National Product (1971)   44 9   Industrial Research and Development   47 10   Industrial Research and Development as Percent of Sales   48 11   Federally Financed Industrial Research and Development   49 12   Company-Funded Industrial Research and Development   50 13   Relative Importance of Materials Science and Engineering in Nine Areas of Impact   65 14   Goal-Oriented Materials Research Bearing on Areas of National Impact   96 15   Priorities for Applied Research in Materials by Area of Impact   99 16   Applied Materials Research Problems of Broad Implication   102 17   Priorities for Basic Research in Materials   103 A-1   Priority Ratings for Basic Research in Materials Science and Engineering, Arranged According to Specialties   193 A-2   Responses Received, Arranged According to Areas and Subareas of Impact   194

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering THE MESSAGE OF COSMAT Materials have been ingrained in human culture since the beginning of history. They rank with energy and information as basic resources of mankind. Both nature-given and man-made materials are the working substances of our civilization, and they should be probed, manipulated, modified, utilized, and safeguarded with due respect. Considerations like these stimulate the intellectual and social forces that are tending to draw a science and engineering of materials into being. But though the style of activity in this field may be new, its existence in one form or another may long have been appreciated. The Greeks had a word that seems apt today; “hylology, a doctrine or science of matter.” Materials science and engineering is emerging, COSMAT believes, as a coherent doctrine or technical field with deep intellectual roots, which promises new contributions, on a practical time scale, to the nation’s prosperity, security, and quality of life. It intimately combines knowledge of the condensed state of matter with the real world of material function and performance. It links the quest for deep fundamental understanding of matter with the imperative of satisfying man’s needs. Over all, materials science and engineering is a purposeful enterprise closely coupled to mankind’s requirements for products, structures, machines, and devices. Herein lies its strength, value, and novelty. In a way perhaps unprecedented in the history of science and technology, it presents a basis for sophisticated management of a total field of science and engineering that leads at the same time to benefits for society and to professional satisfactions for its practitioners.

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering Society will always need material things but in addition there is growing worldwide concern over the continued supply of energy and the impact of man’s technology on the environment: the challenges to materials science and engineering have never been greater. These concerns are compounded by an equally growing awareness of the difficulties in assuring the continued availability of raw materials. It is vital to learn how to move materials carefully around the materials cycle, from production of raw materials to use and eventual disposal, in ways that minimize strain on natural and environmental resources. To help improve the management of all aspects of materials, the concepts and methods of materials science and engineering must be applied systematically at all points in the materials cycle and coordinated with evolving national policies on resources, energy, and environmental quality. Consistent with this central theme our design has five general thrusts: Purposeful mobilization of the technical expertise of materials scientists and engineers. Comprehensive federal leadership. An intensive effort by industry to exploit and nourish the reservoir of materials knowledge. A strengthened academic base to inject new knowledge into that reservoir. A deliberate assumption of pertinent responsibilities by materials professionals and their technical societies. Specific technical goals for materials science and engineering are not difficult to find. Virtually all our current and prospective methods of generating, transmitting, storing, and using energy are materials-limited, some of them seriously so. Many stresses on environmental quality caused by man’s technological operations can be

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering alleviated only by imaginative and comprehensive materials technology. Materials concepts should also be applied systematically to favor the use of abundant and renewable resources and to upgrade the recyclability of materials, particularly through materials selection and development, and product design. Technical attention is invited by many other areas, including transportation, biomaterials, advanced automation technologies, and construction materials. Certain materials problems are generic to many of these areas and call for intensified research backed up by longer-range research on fundamental properties of materials rather more complex than those customarily studied. To these ends, we shall be recommending that: Critical materials research and development be given high emphasis in national programs to alleviate energy shortages. The interdisciplinary capabilities of materials science and engineering be systematically brought to bear on problems of environmental quality. Materials research and development be recognized as vital to achieving specific technical goals and be adequately supported. Important opportunities for applied materials research of broad implication be tackled more vigorously. Fundamental research in materials be broadened to address more complex materials. The feasibility of using forests and other renewable organic sources as raw materials for plastics be assessed.

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering Resources of materials science and engineering be invoked to increase the recyclability of materials and products. The necessity for an overall, creative, and prudent management of our materials resources toward a closed cycle of efficient use and reuse is unquestioned today. Every contemporary materials study documents this need in terms of provision for the future, advancing the national economy, restoring and securing the national energy balance, and improving as well as conserving the environment. Federal leadership is required to achieve these ends. This leadership should be coherent and oriented toward establishing materials policies in harmony with those on resources, energy, and the environment. It should draw on the technical community, as necessary, for the analytical and advisory tools required, particularly to develop a more quantitative understanding of the materials cycle. And it should work along these lines with its counterparts in other nations and in international bodies, since neither knowledge nor resources are the exclusive concern of the United States. In the federal infrastructure for materials science and engineering research programs, there needs to be balanced support for basic and applied research, effective coordination among various agencies and departments, and optimal utilization of federal research laboratories. To these purposes, we shall be recommending that: The federal government develop a broad materials policy in the context of the materials cycle and on the same level as related policies for energy and the environment. Urgent attention be given to developing international cooperation in the materials field.

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering The allocation of resources between basic and applied research in materials be continually examined and kept appropriate to national needs. There be effective coordination of materials research programs among federal agencies and departments. The opportunities for materials research afforded by federal laboratories be used to the full. In the industrial sector there is impressive potential for fuller involvement of materials science and engineering. There are rich opportunities for new products to meet societal demands, in harmony with new processes to make more efficient use of available resources. However, such advances will require a renewed commitment to materials research and development, a reasoned combination of basic and applied research, and a coordinated application of materials knowledge as demonstrated successfully by the higher-technology industries. Small companies could benefit significantly from joint sponsorship of generic applied research on materials, particularly at universities where the appropriate talents and facilities happen to exist; there are also sound arguments for governmental participation in this connection. Specifically, we will recommend that: Industry work to integrate materials science and engineering with product design and manufacture, Cooperation between industries in materials research and development be expedited.

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering Mature industries in the materials field strengthen their research, particularly in materials processing and manufacturing. Industry, government, and universities cooperate in establishing needed materials research facilities. The bodies of knowledge required for progress in materials frequently do not coincide with those of the traditional disciplines. Though the latter contribute significantly to materials science and engineering, they tend to maintain a compartmentalization of the field. It is incumbent on universities to seek a more flexible balance of disciplinary, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary activities in both education and research, and the field of materials offers fertile ground for such evolutionary changes. We believe that materials science will play an increasingly significant part in the education and work of physical and life scientists as well as of engineers and technologists. Accordingly, we shall recommend that: Universities intensify their efforts to build interdisciplinary activities in research and education. Solid-state topics play a more significant part in the undergraduate education of physical scientists as well as of engineers. Undergraduate curricula in materials be designed to strengthen the role of engineering. Interdisciplinary materials research laboratories continue to receive a substantial proportion of their support as

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Materials and Man's Needs: Materials Science and Engineering block funds and continue to evolve techniques for effective local management of these funds. In the light of these trends and challenges, scientific and engineering societies concerned with materials should vigorously pursue initiatives for the effective coordination of programming, journals, information services, and all such professional matters that will help the field contribute its full potential to human well-being, national purpose, and to science and engineering generally. Lively interplay among the professions is just as indispensable as among the disciplines, and the technical societies should provide a fluid medium for this interplay. To these various ends we shall recommend that: The National Research Council work toward taking full advantage of its opportunites to draw on expertise in the materials community. Professional societies in the materials field deliberately seek to coordinate their activities. Government, industry, and universities develop arrangements for personnel interchanges and interactions and make the fullest possible use of existing ones. Improved data- and statistics-gathering mechanisms useful for the multidisciplinary field of materials science and engineering be developed and supported on a continuing basis.

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