The introduction of "high-tech" materials such as new polymer composites presents significant competitive challenges and opportunities in conventional mineral markets. Moreover, rapid advances in materials science are critical to the resolution of important economic and strategic issues, including national competitiveness and import dependence. This Bureau of Mines study examines the displacement of conventional nonfuel mineral materials by certain new materials, specifically advanced plastics and ceramics. Analyses of substitution by plastics are conducted for five major U.S. industrial sectors: motor vehicle manufacturing, aerospace applications, building and construction, packaging, and heavy machinery production. Based on interviews with more than 60 scientists, executives, and other professionals engaged in materials development and sales, forecasts of substitution by plastics during the 1990's are made for aluminum, steel, and glass. In addition to these forecasts, study findings identify key factors that will influence the emergence of advanced materials in the next decade.