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The Life Cycle of Earphones

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Denise Leung

on 29 March 2013

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Transcript of The Life Cycle of Earphones

The Life Cycle of
Earphones By: Denise Leung
Period 6 Consumer Use,
Recyclable Material Consumer Use Recyclable Material Bibliography Electrical Wiring Production Aluminum Production Copper Production Plastic Production Manufacturing Packaging Transportation/ Distribution - Sound-Producing Systems for Earphones: The most important part of the earphone design is the sound-producing component. The frame of the earphones will be built around this part.
- Manufacturer Additions: Once the sound system has been created, the developers will add peripheral components to perform other tasks. - Once the earphones are packaged, they are ready to be sent to distribution centers, retail outlets, and other locations.
- Transportation by plane, truck, or rail requires the use of fossil fuels for energy. - Earphones are packaged in clear or colored plastic cases. This packaging can be made from recycled or raw materials.
- The plastic used can be from recycled bottles. - Hard plastic is used for the outer shell of the earphone and serves to protect the sensitive inner workings of the device.
- To make plastics, crude oil from the ground is combined with natural gas and chemicals in a manufacturing or processing plant. - Inside each earphone bud is a small aluminum coil that acts as a type of transducer, turning the raw data into audible sound.
- Bauxite ore is the main source of aluminum and is extracted from the Earth.
- Bauxite ore is processed into a substance called "alumina" by washing, crushing, dissolving, filtering, and harvesting the materials. Alumina is then turned into aluminum through smelting. - Many TRS connectors, or "audio jacks," are made of copper. Copper is an excellent conductor for electricity.
- Copper is mined from ores containing copper sulfides.
- Copper processing: (1) concentrating, (2) smelting, (3) refining, (4) casting - Earphones use wire to connect not just the earphone speakers to small chips inside the earphone bud, but also to connect the earphones to the TRS connector.
- Electrical wire is typically made from copper. Silver (more expensive) is a slightly better conduction.
-Most electrical wire is manufactured with the drawing process, which involves pulling the wire through successively smaller holes until you obtain wire with the thickness you desire. - Anyone who enjoys an mp3 or CD player, likes to watch movies on long flights or even needs to talk on their phone while still having their hands free uses earphones.
- They are small, portable and most importantly, quite comfortable. This is in no small part due to the materials which earphones of which they are made. - Earphone packaging is made from recycled materials.
- Smaller packaging size = less materials used.
- Materials that are not recyclable go to the landfill.
- Recycle old ear buds into DIY speakers. Cohen, Megan. "Recycle Old Earbuds into DIY Speakers." HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. <http://www.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/audio-music/recycle-earbuds-diy-speakers.htm>.

Freudenrich, Craig. "How Plastics Work." HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. <http://www.howstuffworks.com/plastic.htm>.

Lacoma, Tyler. "How Are Earphones Made?" eHow. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5036352_earphones-made.html>.

Walker, James. "What Materials Are Earphones Made of?" eHow. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://www.ehow.com/facts_5013486_what-materials-earphones-made.html>. Materials and Processing Manufacturing, Packaging, and
Transportation/Distribution
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