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Is there a Stuff -> Materials it's made of reference around?

  1. Mar 2, 2013 #1
    Is there a "Stuff -> Materials it's made of" reference around?

    This is somewhat a borderline question, but I guess the Materials subsection of the forum is the best place for it.

    Yesterday I broached a bottle of wine, one with bubbles (that's the most elaborate description my wine expertise allows me). Before opening it, the cork and a metallic disk over its head were kept into place (friction apart) by a metal wire cage. The top of the bottle was also wrapped in what I believe it is a (relatively thick) aluminum foil.

    After imbibing the wine (not the whole bottle, just a glass) I found myself wondering: do I really know what materials are used in the stuff I see every day? Take the metallic wire cage, for instance. What is it? Zinc plated iron? And the metallic disc over the cork?

    Is there somewhere some sort of reference that can help me find the materials ordinary stuff is made of? I know that if I looked up a particular material I could end up with its many uses, but what I am looking for is a 'reverse' search reference: everyday stuff ---> material it is made of.

    Is there such a reference, book, website or search engine?

    Note: Awww, the title should read "materials it's made of". Itsy bitsy grammer.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2013 #2


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    Gold Member

    You pose a good question, but afaik, there is no such reference.
    There are descriptive rules that list ingredients for foodstuffs and medicines, but even they exclude the packaging from any mention.
    Industrial products are often very heavily specified, down to the process details as well as the composition, but that is often held as confidential.
    Government contracts are also very closely specified, partly because contractors will try to chisel every penny from the costs, so there must be a clear standard to meet. The details are often reserved for the potential bidders alone. There is no comprehensive listing here either.
  4. Mar 8, 2013 #3


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Homework Helper

    What you were drinking was a sparkling wine, perhaps champagne.

    wire is commonly made from steel, which is less brittle than iron.
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