Conceptual Evaluation Model and Methodology for criticality of materials in a Product and Industrial Level
9th Society and Materials International Conference(SAM9), Luxembourg, Mai 11-12
Recently strategic or critical materials issues are drawing more and more attention. Even though all materials are important in a certain degree, it is still important to determine those critical ones due to the limited labor, time and cost. Based on literature reviews about existing critical materials studies, we found several research gaps: firstly, a comprehensive analysis of elements (impact factors) which influence the criticality of materials is missing; secondly, the majority current studies focused on determining the critical materials of a geographical area or on studying the criticality of one metal family. The evaluation of critical materials for a product or a sector is missing. Finally, the interrelations among impact factors, evaluation modeling, and the mitigation approaches are not well established. The purpose of this study is to develop a model and methodology which is able to alert and evaluate the critical materials for a product so that the industries can use it as a decision-making support tool. By benchmarking and analyzing existing indicators, parameters, calculation concepts, we proposed a suitable evaluation modeling of critical materials for a product/sector in the industrial level. A thorough case study of rare earth materials was conducted to support the choices of main impact parameters of criticality of materials. For example, with the case study, we can see that the reserve amount of rare earth was and will not be a problem for a long term. The criticality evaluation is considered in four areas (main impact parameters). 1) Imbalance between demand and supply, 2) Importance to the functionality offered by the material to the product, 3) The accessibility to the supply which differs into the part should not be accessed and the part not be able to access, 4) Dynamic factors or abrupt changes. Another unique point of this research approach is that we establish the links between the evaluation and recommendations of mitigation approaches. This study is evaluating the critical materials for a product and industry level. It can be used by different companies and industries to make better decisions for R&D orientations or purchasing.