About the Video

Understanding industrial materials for technical translators

Materials are essential in making every single physical product we know and love… and even hate.  They are key to answering some of society’s global challenges from cleaner transportation to sustainable energy to improved health industry, and have been refined and carefully engineered over decades, and even millennia, to enable all kinds of desirable properties from high strength to a smooth surface finish.

In this video, participants enhance their understanding industrial materials and will learn the basics behind materials that include metals, plastics, composites and coatings, and how they are commonly used to make products from space shuttles to an iPod.

There are all kinds of things that need to be considered when choosing materials and different industries have different priorities be it cost, weight or speed of manufacture. As there is no perfect material, there is always a compromise when using one material over another. As scientists and engineers are always developing new and better materials: what is the best material today, may not be next week. In the webinar, we will discuss each material’s pros and cons and understand why cars are made of generally steel and aircraft aluminum, but why carbon fibre composites could soon replace metals.


CIOL membership discount: 10% (the code is available on the membership page)


Justin Cunningham

Justin has been closely following the engineering industry as a journalist for over a decade. He is editor of Engineering Materials magazine and is at the leading edge of how materials are put to use in the real world, as well as how they are being developed to answer tomorrow’s challenges.

His first class honours degree in aerospace engineering as well as working as a materials engineer for satellite company, Astrium, gives Justin a firm understanding of the practical considerations when looking at materials, and an authority on their application. He has also hosted a six-episode series for the Discovery Channel about Engineering, which called upon his materials knowledge to solve a variety of problems.


1 hour 18 min

Who should watch it?

Technical translators working in any industrial sector who wish to learn more about the materials used in industry.

What are the benefits to you?

After the video you will have a clearer knowledge of the range of materials that includes metals, plastics, composites and coatings, and how they are commonly used to make products from space shuttles to an iPod.

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