Human use of materials has been used to define human history and technological progress. An article that I wrote on Linkedin, reviews human material usage from the stone age to diamond and beyond. Here is a summary of the Linkedin article.
The Stone Age never ended if we consider cement and concrete part of the stone age. The quantity of material also defines technological advancement. We now use about 100 tons of diamond per year and have materials that are stronger than diamond.
There are classic historical periods:
Stone Ages 3.4 million BCE – 2000 BCE
Bronze Ages 4000 BCE- 330 BCE
Copper Age 4000BC- 2000BC, Bronze Age 3000 BC-330 BCE
Iron Ages 1000 BC- Now
However, the Stone Age never ended if we consider cement and concrete part of the stone age. Thousands of years ago crude cements were made by crushing and burning gypsum or limestone. Materials were added and eventually concrete was created.
Worldwide over 10 billion tons of concrete is made every year. World Steel production is about 1.8 billion tons per year. In 1936, there were 122,000,000 long tons of steel produced in the world. Steel production has increased 15 times. World Oil production is now at 4.4 billion tons per year.
The World produces about 90 tons of industrial diamond. Each ton is 50 million carats. The price is in the range of $1 million per ton. China is expected to remain the world’s leading producer of synthetic industrial diamonds with annual production exceeding 4 billion carats. (80 tons).
Researchers have architecturally designed plate-nanolattices – nanometer-sized carbon structures – that are stronger than diamonds as a ratio of strength to density.
Carbon nanotube bundles have been made that are several centimeters long and have a tensile strength of 80 gigapascals. Diamond has a tensile strength of about 60 gigapascals. the carbon nanotube bundles are 20 times stronger than kevlar
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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