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Materials sciences - an interdisciplinary research field

Materials sciences involves the research, development, characterization, manufacture and processing of materials.

Materials sciences- the basis

As an interdisciplinary field, materials sciences encompasseschemistry, physics, mineralogyand many other areas of science. As a result, it is also tied closely to copper, iron and steel.

The transition from natural materials such as stone, wood, ivory or leather to the targeted production of materials such as copper, steel or iron

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Copper, steel and iron were produced as early as the Neolithic, roughly around 4,300 B.C. Copper and iron were produced as far back as the New Stone Age, roughly 4,300 B.C. This was then followed by the transition to the Bronze Age. It wasn't until the Iron Age that apart from iron, steel and copper, aluminum was also produced using the Hall-Héroult process. For a long time, materials sciences was interested almost exclusively in metals such as iron, copper and steel. However, this has changed with the rediscovery of concrete. While the first, mass-produced plastic materials eventually attracted the interest of the broad public, materials sciences continues to carry out research into iron, copper and steel.

The first metals and the ancient times

Copper, steel and iron were the first metals that mankind became familiar with as it evolved. Copper is very easy to process. As a result, copper was already being used 10,000 years ago by the oldest known cultures 10,000. The era of large-scale copper use (between 3,000 and 5,000 B.C.) is referred to as the Copper Age. The devotees of alchemy associate copper with Venus, the symbol of femininity. The first mirrors were even made from copper. The Roman Empire was the largest producer of copper prior to the Industrial Age. Copper remains an extremely popular material.

Steel - stable and dependable

Mankind has acquired long years of practical experience with steel. Steel is a preferred material in engineering because of its durability, excellent corrosion properties and suitability for welding. It is significantly more stable than copper. The European steel registry lists more than 2,300 types of steel. Coal and steel served as the pillars of heavy industry over a long period of time and were thus the foundations of political power. Steel is defined as an iron-carbon alloy with less than 2.06 percent carbon content. Steel, or iron, has a density of 7.85-7.87 g/cm3. Steel melts at a temperature that can be as high as 1,536°C and therefore withstands much higher temperatures than copper.Steel was first produced around 1,000 B.C., much later than copper. In an ecological sense, steel is a sustainable material because it can be continuously reused with minimal quality loss .

Iron - from decoration to general utility

The use of iron was first recorded around 4,000 B.C. in Egypt. It was a solid iron used for decorations and for making spear tips. It was more suitable for these purposes than steel or copper. Smelted iron appeared later in Mesopotamia and Egypt, but it was only intended for ceremonial purposes. Perhaps iron came about as a byproduct of bronze production. After the Hethiter developed a method to produce iron, cultures became increasingly reliant on iron between 1,600 and 1,200 B.C. Iron is thought to be a major element of the earth's core, along with nickel. Iron is produced by reducing iron ore through a chemical reaction with carbon. In contrast to steel or copper, iron is produced in blast furnaces.

Materials Sciences

Materials management deals with the research, development, manufacturing and processing of raw and industrial materials. Key aspects here are biological and medical issues, which play an increasingly important role in this field.

innovations-report offers in-depth articles related to the development and application of materials and the structure and properties of new materials.

Latest News:

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Southampton scientists find new way to detect ortho-para conversion in water

New research by scientists from the University of Southampton has found that water molecules react differently to electric fields, which could provide a new way to study spin isomers at the single-molecule level.

Water molecules exist in two forms or 'isomers', ortho and para, that have different nuclear spin states. In ortho-water, the nuclear spins are parallel to one...

26.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

These microscopic fish are 3-D-printed to do more than swim

Researchers demonstrate a novel method to build microscopic robots with complex shapes and functionalities

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego used an innovative 3D printing technology they developed to manufacture multipurpose fish-shaped...

26.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

Meteorite Impacts Can Create DNA Building Blocks

A new study shown that meteorite impacts on ancient oceans may have created nucleobases and amino acids.

A new study shown that meteorite impacts on ancient oceans may have created nucleobases and amino acids. Researchers from Tohoku University, National Institute...

24.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

Inspired by venus flytrap, researchers develop folding 'snap' geometry

UMass Amherst researchers develop a way to use curved creases to give thin curved shells a fast, programmable snapping motion

Inspired by natural "snapping" systems like Venus flytrap leaves and hummingbird beaks, a team led by physicist Christian Santangelo at the University of...

24.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

Novel nanostructures for efficient long-range energy transport

The conversion of sunlight into electricity at low cost becomes increasingly important to meet the world's fast growing energy consumption. This task requires the development of new device concepts, in which particularly the transport of light-generated energy with minimal losses is a key aspect.

An interdisciplinary group of researchers from the Universities of Bayreuth and Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany) report in Nature on nanofibers, which enable for...

21.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

New technology can expand LED lighting, cutting energy use and greenhouse gas emissions

Highly efficient, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) could slash the world's electricity consumption. They are already sold in stores, but more widespread adoption of the technology has been hindered by high costs due to limited availability of raw materials and difficulties in achieving acceptable light quality. But researchers will report today that they have overcome these obstacles and have developed a less expensive, more sustainable white LED.

The scientists will discuss their research at the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS is the world's largest...

19.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

'Diamonds from the sky' approach turns CO2 into valuable products

Finding a technology to shift carbon dioxide (CO2 ), the most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas, from a climate change problem to a valuable commodity has long been a dream of many scientists and government officials. Now, a team of chemists says they have developed a technology to economically convert atmospheric CO2 directly into highly valued carbon nanofibers for industrial and consumer products.

The team will present brand-new research on this new CO2 capture and utilization technology at the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical...

19.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

Controlling the uncontrollable

Researchers harness unstable responses to build new soft actuators

Instability in engineering is generally not a good thing. If you're building a skyscraper, minor instabilities could bring the whole structure crashing down in...

18.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

Drexel engineers 'sandwich' atomic layers to make new materials for energy storage

The scientists whose job it is to test the limits of what nature--specifically chemistry-- will allow to exist, just set up shop on some new real estate on the Periodic Table. Using a method they invented for joining disparate elemental layers into a stable material with uniform, predictable properties, Drexel University researchers are testing an array of new combinations that may vastly expand the options available to create faster, smaller, more efficient energy storage, advanced electronics and wear-resistant materials.

Led by postdoctoral researcher Babak Anasori, PhD, a team from Drexel's Department of Materials Science and Engineering created the material-making method,...

17.08.2015 | nachricht Read more

New life of old molecules: Calcium carbide

Scientists from St.Petersburg University and Zelinsky Institute, Russia investigated chemical applications of calcium carbide. The project advances the idea of diverse acetylene chemistry on the basis of carbide technology. Cheap carbide raw material has been transformed into valuable products for material science and organic synthesis.

Over the last few decades, researchers have focused their attention on very large molecules and molecular systems. Scientists from all over the world study...

17.08.2015 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Self-healing landscape: landslides after earthquake

In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.

These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...

Im Focus: FIC Proteins Send Bacteria Into Hibernation

Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.

For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IPA develops prototype of intelligent care cart

It comes when called, bringing care utensils with it and recording how they are used: Fraunhofer IPA is developing an intelligent care cart that provides care staff with physical and informational support in their day-to-day work. The scientists at Fraunhofer IPA have now completed a first prototype. In doing so, they are continuing in their efforts to improve working conditions in the care sector and are developing solutions designed to address the challenges of demographic change.

Technical assistance systems can improve the difficult working conditions in residential nursing homes and hospitals by helping the staff in their work and...

Im Focus: A Grand Voyage for Tiny Organisms

Climate and Ecosystem Change in the Mediterranean

Since the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 many hundreds of marine animal and plant species from the Red Sea have invaded the eastern Mediterranean, leading...

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