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A guide to Materials Research at CCA

CCA Materials Library

The ever-growing collection features 1,000+ material samples and reflects the current building and design markets with a particular focus on smart, emerging and sustainable materials and technologies.  We are continually acquiring new and innovative samples.

The collection is organized by material type and cataloged to provide information about an item's manufacturer, composition, properties and industry applications. The collection is circulating, and most samples may be checked out by students and faculty.

Search the Materials Library



All samples in our collection are searchable online by five categories of criteria:  composition, form, process, properties, and application.  Each entry includes sample images, manufacturer information, and a list of material attributes.  

  • 1: Fibers - materials made from threads or filaments (fabrics, textiles, and papers), the fibers of these materials may come from any of the other categories.
  • 2: Natural - materials which come from plants, animals, or the earth (metals are given their own category due to their unique properties)
  • 3: Ceramic - materials made up of either metal or non-metal compounds that have been shaped and then hardened by heating to high temperatures or by chemical reactions (clays and concretes)
  • 4: Composites - materials made from combinations of materials from any of the other categories (like fiberglass - which is a combination of glass fiber and resin)
  • 5: Glass - hard, brittle, and usually transparent substances commonly made from sand heated with various chemicals
  • 6: Metal - materials which are typically hard, opaque, shiny, and which are generally good conductors of heat and electricity
  • 7: Polymers - chemical compounds made of smaller, identical molecules linked together, some occur naturally (like cellulose), while others (like nylon) are manufactured.  This section includes plastic, rubbers and resins.

Access Policy

CCA's Materials Library is a resource for current faculty, students, staff and alumni.  It is not open to the public.  If you are a researcher from outside the CCA community, please contact Teri Dowling at to arrange a visit.