This article emphasizes that as global competition for materials strains the supply chain, companies must know where a shortage can hurt and then plan around it. Advancements in material science are required to design materials that minimize the use of elements that are not sustainable, without losing the properties that enable product integrity. The article also highlights that elements that are determined to be high both in impact to the company and in supply and price risk require a plan either to stabilize their supply or to minimize their usage. The article also presents several examples that demonstrate the intelligent application of material science in product design. As competition for the world’s resources increases in the future, it is critical for material users to determine what changes in design and materials will allow for continued growth. This starts with an assessment of where the risks are, which is followed by a response that encompasses sourcing, manufacturing, and engineering.

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