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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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Watching the structure of glass under pressure

Glass has many applications that call for different properties, such as resistance to thermal shock or to chemically harsh environments. Glassmakers commonly...

29.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Protein glue shows potential for use with biomaterials

A paper published in Science and Technology of Advanced Materials have shown that a synthetic protein called AGMA1 has the potential to promote the adhesion of brain cells in a laboratory setting. It is also cheaper and easier to produce on a large scale. This could help overcome a major challenge in nerve tissue engineering.

Researchers at the University of Milan in Italy have shown that a synthetic protein called AGMA1 has the potential to promote the adhesion of brain cells in a...

28.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Materials: Cubic cluster chills out

A gadolinium-based material that can be cooled by varying a magnetic field may be useful for cooling low-temperature sensors.

Magnetic refrigeration is attracting attention as an efficient way to chill sensitive scientific instruments. This refrigeration method exploits the...

28.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Competition for Graphene

Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate Ultrafast Charge Transfer in New Family of 2D Semiconductors

A new argument has just been added to the growing case for graphene being bumped off its pedestal as the next big thing in the high-tech world by the...

27.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Scientists craft atomically seamless, thinnest-possible semiconductor junctions

Scientists have developed what they believe is the thinnest-possible semiconductor, a new class of nanoscale materials made in sheets only three atoms thick.

The University of Washington researchers have demonstrated that two of these single-layer semiconductor materials can be connected in an atomically seamless...

27.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Tilted acoustic tweezers separate cells gently

Precise, gentle and efficient cell separation from a device the size of a cell phone may be possible thanks to tilt-angle standing surface acoustic waves, according to a team of engineers.

"For biological testing we often need to do cell separation before analysis," said Tony Jun Huang, professor of engineering science and mechanics. "But if the...

26.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

ORNL scientists uncover clues to role of magnetism in iron-based superconductors

New measurements of atomic-scale magnetic behavior in iron-based superconductors by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Vanderbilt University are challenging conventional wisdom about superconductivity and magnetism.

The study published in Advanced Materials provides experimental evidence that local magnetic fluctuations can influence the performance of iron-based...

22.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Electrical engineers take major step toward photonic circuits

Team invents non-metallic metamaterial that enables them to 'compress' and contain light

The invention of fibre optics revolutionized the way we share information, allowing us to transmit data at volumes and speeds we'd only previously dreamed of.

20.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Engineering new bone growth

Coated tissue scaffolds help the body grow new bone to repair injuries or congenital defects.

MIT chemical engineers have devised a new implantable tissue scaffold coated with bone growth factors that are released slowly over a few weeks. When applied...

20.08.2014 | nachricht Read more

Promising Ferroelectric Materials Suffer From Unexpected Electric Polarizations

Head-to-head charge configuration explains major performance issues in ferroelectrics

Electronic devices with unprecedented efficiency and data storage may someday run on ferroelectrics—remarkable materials that use built-in electric...

20.08.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough in light sources for new quantum technology

Electronic circuits are based on electrons, but one of the most promising technologies for future quantum circuits are photonic circuits, i.e. circuits based on light (photons) instead of electrons.

Electronic circuits are based on electrons, but one of the most promising technologies for future quantum circuits are photonic circuits, i.e. circuits based...

Im Focus: How the zebrafish gets its stripes

Zebrafish, a small fresh water fish, owes its name to a striking pattern of blue stripes alternating with golden stripes.

Three major pigment cell types, black cells, reflective silvery cells, and yellow cells emerge during growth in the skin of the tiny juvenile fish and arrange...

Im Focus: Uncloaking the King of the Milky Way: The largest star in our home galaxy's largest stellar nursery

Astronomers led by Shiwei Wu of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have identified the most massive star in our home galaxy's largest stellar nursery, the star-forming region W49.

The star, named W49nr1, has a mass between 100 and 180 times the mass of the Sun. Only a few dozen of these very massive stars have been identified so far. As...

Im Focus: NASA Begins Hurricane Mission with Global Hawk Flight to Cristobal

The first of two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft landed at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, on Aug. 27 after surveying Hurricane Cristobal for the first science flight of NASA's latest hurricane airborne mission.

NASA's airborne Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, mission returns to NASA Wallops for the third year to investigate the processes that underlie...

Im Focus: New Research Method Opens Door to Therapy with Human Muscle Stem Cells – Promising Method Developed

Stem cells are essential for the repair of muscle damage, but all attempts to manipulate human muscle stem cells for therapy have thus far failed.

Now Dr. Andreas Marg and Prof. Simone Spuler of the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC), a joint cooperation between the Max Delbrück Center (MDC)...

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