The Types of Raw Materials You Should Know

The Types of Raw Materials You Should Know
  • Opening Intro -

    The universe of manufacturing is wide and deep, accounting for all the products you use, from smartphones to radiators.

    With the breadth of product type and function, it’s no wonder that machinists utilize nearly every element on the periodic table when crafting the everyday items we often take for granted.


Raw materials are the foundational components that contribute to the final workpiece. Metal, lumber, minerals, grains—there are dozens of material varieties out there.

If you’re curious about how manufacturers get to the final product, explore the types of raw materials you should know here.


Plant-based raw materials come directly from the roots, stems, leaves, and essences of plants. In the food industry, items such as sugar, corn and wheat grains, herbs, and cooking oils all originate from green, flourishing plant life.

You can find more plant material in manufacturing facilities that utilize lumber in construction or cotton in clothing.


Animals are another prominent source of raw materials that you would be surprised to find in a manufacturing plant. Animals, especially livestock, produce food-based items such as raw meat and dairy, which serve as cornerstone ingredients in most meals.

These agricultural items also expand past edible items into clothing and high-end materials, with leather, wool, and silk coming from as cows, sheep, and silkworms, respectively.


Plants and animals contribute significantly to the raw material market, but many of the other items manufacturers use come from within the Earth itself.

The Earth is full of rocks and minerals that—when hewn from the ground, quarried, and processed—offer a variety of functionalities.

Rocks, Rocks, and More Rocks

You may think of rocks as the tiny stones that litter your front yard. However, geology extends far beyond the pebbles used in landscaping.

Rocks serve as the foundations for many products, such as those in the construction and glassmaking industries. Clay, sand, limestone, and marble are a few of the most common raw rock materials that can then transform into something more.

Metals and Ores

The Earth holds a surprising diversity of materials beneath its surface, including metals. Metals are so common nowadays that you probably couldn’t walk around your home without seeing a dozen metal-based items, from smartphones to kitchen appliances to doorknobs.

Typically mined in impure chunks or ores, metals come from the ground. Turning something like iron ore into a stainless steel sheet takes some work, but once you do, it has myriad applications.

For example, steel is one of the most flexible types of metal, making it a highly sought after product. Raw metal materials also include precious metals and rare earth metals that contribute to industries such as jewelry and aerospace engineering.

With the types of raw materials you should know in your back pocket, you can make the most of your manufacturing process. Whether you want to revamp your procedures or reevaluate your material usage, starting with the basics will help you better anticipate where your solution lies.Image Credit:

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