Assignment Questions

Assignment Questions

Chapter 4 Questions

  1. Explain the difference between organic and inorganic materials and give two examples of each type (4pts)

Organic materials are natural material that have carbon-based structures and originate from living organisms. Examples include wood, cotton, hemp and wool. On the other hand, inorganic materials are minerals that are not characterized by carbon-bases structures. These include clay, metals and stone.

  1. What are synthetic materials? Give 2 examples (3pts).

Synthetic materials are human made materials that are produced synthetically and designed to have a new physical property. Many natural occurring substances can be produced synthetically. Examples include pharmaceutical products and vitamins.

  1. What is the difference between hardness and ductility (2pts)?

Hardness is the ability of material to withstand pressure from penetration or scratching while ductility is a measure of how much a material will yield before breaking.

  1. Why is the availability of materials an important factor (2pts)?

Availability of materials is important because it is a primary factor in the material selection process. Unavailability of materials forces engineers to look for alternatives.

  1. Give an example of a trade-off you might make in selecting a material to build a product (2pts).

When selecting a material to build a product, I would trade-off a non-biodegradable material for a biodegradable material.


Chapter 5 Questions

  1. Briefly describe the Total Quality Management (TQM) process and its purpose (4pts).

TQM is a management approach that goes beyond manufacturing to analysis, design, sales, marketing, distribution and billing. The product is controlled all through the whole process until the customer acquires it. The purpose of TQM is to ensure there is long-term success through customer satisfaction.

  1. Explain the difference between automation and mechanization (2pts).

Automation is the use of systems such as computers to control machinery and processes in an industry. Mechanization is a process where semiautomatic machines are supplemented with human actions mainly to reduce the physical demands on the human operators.

  1. What is the difference between durable good and non-durable goods? (2pts)?

Durable goods are goods designed to operate for a long time and have a long useful life while non-durable goods are designed to operate for a short time. They have a short life span.

  1. What is the difference between off shoring and outsourcing (2pts)?

Offshoring is the transfer of business operations or entire industries from one nation to another. Outsourcing on the other hand is a situation where a company provides services for another company.


Chapter 6 Questions

  1. Choose a current construction project, either local or outside yourlocal community. Discuss the project’s impact on the economy and theenvironment. Indicate how these environmental impacts could be managed (5pts).

There is a construction of a big shopping mall undergoing in my hometown. The constructor managing the construction is not a member of our society. He and his team started living here four months ago when the construction started. This has led to an increase in the value of residential homes in the area where supply of residential homes is already low. However, most of the local people have acquired jobs in the site. Both skilled and semiskilled workers have been outsourced from local companies who have in turn employed local residents.

The major problem however is that the construction has created air pollution through dust and other chemicals that are being used in the site. The emissions of carbon dioxide by the machines have affected crops growing around the area. The construction has also caused some traffic jam in the town since some roads have been blocked by the construction. These environmental effects can be managed by use of green construction. Green construction enables the use of less energy and use recyclable construction materials.

  1. Research an example of sustainable development anywhere in the world.Describe how the project was designed to limit environmental damage and reduce energy consumption (5pts).

At Ithaca, New Yolk, the community members are developing a new community from the ground up. The project is known as EcoVillage. The group aims to create a community of about 500 residents that will demonstrate sustainable systems of living. It is meant to demonstrate how a community can meet the basic needs such as food, shelter, energy, social interaction, work and recreation.  They are building a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use multifamily development on less than 20 percent of the land while using most of the rest of the land for agriculture and natural areas. This aims to preserve the environment. To be energy efficient, super-insulated passive-solar systems are installed in houses for water heating.


Chapter 8 Questions: pg 300

  1. within the United States, it is suggested that water-based transportation might have a role in regional distribution of movement of freight products, such as oil. Research the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and explain how such a resource might distribute freight more economically than roadtransport. Also, explain the limitations of the current waterway (5pts).

The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway consists of natural inlets, bays, saltwater rivers and artificial canals. It provided a route that is navigable. Such a waterway can be used to distribute freight more economically. First, unlike roads, the waterways require no maintenance. Roads are very expensive to maintain. Again, ships unlike vehicles can carry heavy weights at a time. It will reduce the number of vehicles and trucks used to transport oil and in turn reduce damage on our roads. In addition, oil trucks cause a lot of air pollution through emissions as opposed to ships. However, the current waterway is limited to the coastal region of the U.S. this means that freight will have to be transported using trucks at some point to reach the consumer.


  1. Ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel is increasingly being used throughout theworld. After consulting the Internet, explain why it is important that suchfuels are used in terms of reducing pollution and improving cardiovascular health (5pts).

Ultra-low Sulfur diesel fuels are 97% cleaner than the standard diesel. Sulphur is part of the natural crude oil from which diesel is derived. It the major cause of soot a black exhaust fumes in diesel. These fumes are major contributors to air pollution. The use of Ultra-low Sulfur diesel fuels enables the use of cleaner technology diesel engines, which reduce emissions in to the environment. Use of Ultra-low Sulfur diesel fuels reduces the emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen, which causes breathing related problems especially in children. Breathing related problems can lead to cardiovascular disease.

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