Growth of Ecomaterials and Eco-efficiency in Major Metallic Structural Materials

  • Osamu UmezawaEmail author
  • Yoshikazu Shinohara
  • Kohmei Halada
Reference work entry


The concept of environmentally conscious materials, ecomaterials, is historically reviewed through the activity of ecomaterials forum in Japan from 1992. The ecomaterials can be defined as those materials designed by environmental life-cycle engineering and that are superior to conventional materials in terms of life-cycle assessment or analysis (LCA). In particular, the ecomaterials are associated with minimal health hazards, minimal harmful emissions and wastes, minimal energy requirement, maximal recyclability and minimal material resource depletion, optimal physical properties, and best technical performance. From the viewpoints of high eco-efficiency of products, novel processes in major metallic structural materials like steel and aluminum are introduced. Electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking has an advantage of low environmental load, since it produces steels and their parts from steel scrap. The thin slab casting (TSC)-EAF has produced flat-rolled steels in mini-mill steelworks. Materials flow and benign manufacturing are focused as a part of activities in ecomaterials. The new categorization of ecomaterials is also described where advanced steps ranging from high eco-efficiency of products to consumer-oriented and regional community adaptation are introduced.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Osamu Umezawa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yoshikazu Shinohara
    • 3
  • Kohmei Halada
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.National Institute for Materials ScienceTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.National Institute for Materials ScienceTsukubaJapan

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