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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

Materials Collection

A browsable, searchable, and circulating collection of materials for building, interiors, designing, and art-making.

The Collection and How to Search

Materials are arranged primarily by composition on shelves and in bins for browsing and handling. Within these categories are materials with various properties, such as acoustical, absorbent, reflective, water-resistance, sustainable, biodegradeable, etc. An increasing part of the collection is described in an open and shared database called Material Order that allows users to search for materials by various properties or elements of composition. The collection has an emphasis on exploration, which includes many common materials for comparison with innovative, or newly discovered materials. 


MATERIAL ORDER database and consortium:


Biocomposites: Plant-based : bamboo, grass fiber, other plant fiber, wood, soy, seaweed, algae, cellulose fiber and wood.

Biocomposites: Animal : wool, leather, fish skin, animal hair, silk, and shells.

Biocomposites: Mushroom and Fungi

Mineral: Geogenic: natural stone, engineered stone, and gypsum

Ceramic: Clay-based: brick, terracotta, porcelain

Ceramic: Cementitious:  Concrete and cement, and mineral fiber

Ceramic: Glass: Fiberglass, Architectural and decorative glass, solar and insulating glass, digitally printed, dichroic and etched glass

Metals: Ferrous : Iron and steel, stainless steel

Metals: Non-ferrous: Aluminum, brass, copper, nickel, titanium

Polymers: Thermoplastics:  Acrylics, Corian, Viinyl, PVC, PET, Polyester, Tyvec, Nylon, Polyurethane fabrics

Polymers: Thermoset:  Resins, Foams

Polymers: Elastomers: Rubber, Silicone

Textiles: woven, non-woven, knits, stretch-woven, outdoor fabrics, technical fabrics, organic & sustainable fabrics

Active Matter:  Samples from Material ConneXion

Color Library:  Fabrics arranged by color, for a different kind of exploration.