Most people are aware that there are a couple of key substances that are widely used in our daily lives. Materials such as paper, plastic and glass can be found just about anywhere and everywhere in the world around us, and besides the fact that we are so used to this that we don’t pay attention to their presence, there is another reason that common materials can go largely unnoticed – they can be fairly chameleonic. One of the biggest reasons these types of material are so frequently used in such a variety of applications is due to the amazing flexibility and versatility that they possess, often blending into other products in such a seamless way as to be practically invisible.
Foam – a highly adept shapeshifter!
Of all of the common materials we encounter in our daily lives, foam is perhaps the most versatile in its applications as it is comparatively easy to mold in just about any shape. In addition to this, foam can also be manufactured in nearly any density that you could desire and it is capable of being combined with many other substances to produce hybrid materials for even more flexibility. When thinking about foam, people often think of it’s applications in comfort or insulation products, such as those offered by retailers like ACT Foam and Rubber, but it’s shapeshifting nature means that it is used far more widely. Seals in light fixtures, doors and windows or loudspeakers and microphones all utilise foam to one extent or another.
Glass – stylish and overt
In comparison to foam, glass is usually far more obvious in its usage given that we often utilise it as a stylistic choice in the decoration of our homes and buildings. It is unlikely that you would see foam on display as brazenly as glass is often used; glass bricks offer a brilliant effect in rooms that keep the light moving around but still provide a barrier that obstructs the view. When combined with strengthening techniques, glass can even be used as furniture and flooring, with glass staircases having a very distinctive look. Best of all, combining it with lighting effects, especially now that tiny LED’s are widely available, mean that the glass can provide a stunning visual feature to any space.
Paper – stronger than its given credit for
Paper is generally thought of as quite a weak material that is easy to rip and falls apart when it gets wet, but this is an unfair generalisation. Paper is amazingly versatile and its uses are growing every day. Paper straws are rapidly replacing plastic ones due to their biodegradable nature, hospitals use strong paper bowls and pots as they are disposable and environmentally friendly and with the correct additives an amazing array of different things can be created and even woven from paper.
These materials may be stables of our lives, but they are often seen as having basic functions and being quite limited in their nature. Hopefully this brief run through some of the wider applications for these things will offer a bit of a different perspective. Afterall, aren’t we always told not to judge a book by its cover?