Technological change (TC) is a term that is used to describe the overall process of invention, innovation and diffusion oftechnology or processes.In its earlier days, technological change was illustrated with the 'Linear Model of Innovation', which has now been largely discarded to be replaced with a model of technological change that involves innovation at all stages of research, development, diffusion and use. When spoken about "modeling technological change" often the process of innovation is meant. This process of continuous improvement is often modeled as a curve depicting decreasing costs over time (for instance fuel cell which have become cheaper every year).
The commencement of the Industrial Revolution is closely linked to a small number of innovations, beginning in the second half of the 18th century. By the 1830s the following gains had been made in important technologies:
- Textiles – Mechanised cotton spinning powered by steam or water greatly increased the output of a worker. The power loom increased the output of a worker by a factor of over 40.The cotton gin increased productivity of removing seed from cotton by a factor of 50. Large gains in productivity also occurred in spinning and weaving of wool and linen, but they were not as great as in cotton.
- Steam power – The efficiency of steam engines increased so that they used between one-fifth and one-tenth as much fuel. The adaptation of stationary steam engines to rotary motion made them suitable for industrial uses. The high pressure engine had a high power to weight ratio, making it suitable for transportation. Steam power underwent a rapid expansion after 1800.
- Iron making – The substitution of coke for charcoal greatly lowered the fuel cost for pig iron and wrought iron production. Using coke also allowed larger blast furnaces, resulting in economies of scale. The cast iron blowing cylinder was first used in 1760. It was later improved by making it double acting, which allowed higher furnace temperatures. The puddling process produced a structural grade iron at a lower cost than the finery forge .The rolling mill was fifteen times faster than hammering wrought iron. Hot blast (1828) greatly increased fuel efficiency in iron production in the following decades.
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