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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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Graphene, the wonder material, goes textile

Surface coating sets new standards for personal protective equipment (PPE)

What does a graphite or lead pencil have to do with a spectacular discovery in the world of materials research? Graphene is a single layer of carbon just one...

04.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

Black Phosphorus Is New ‘Wonder Material’ for Improving Optical Communication

Phosphorus, a highly reactive element commonly found in match heads, tracer bullets, and fertilizers, can be turned into a stable crystalline form known as black phosphorus. In a new study, researchers from the University of Minnesota used an ultrathin black phosphorus film—only 20 layers of atoms—to demonstrate high-speed data communication on nanoscale optical circuits.

The devices showed vast improvement in efficiency over comparable devices using the earlier “wonder material” graphene.

04.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

Production without release agents

The Infiana Group and Fraunhofer IFAM have agreed upon an exclusive cooperation for the production and marketing of FlexPlas® release film.

Even more innovative together: Scientists of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM) and experts of the Infiana...

03.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

New Research Predicts When, How Materials Will Act

Research highlighted as a top story for 2014

In science, it’s commonly known that materials can change in a number of ways when subjected to different temperatures, pressures or other environmental forces.

02.03.2015 | nachricht Read more

Superatomic Nickel core and unusual molecular reactivity

Scientists in Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow have revealed a unique molecular fragment Ni2O2, consisting of two nickel atoms and two oxygen atoms, that have shown plausible superatomic properties. Supeatoms are important structural elements in nanoscale organization and they possess unique physical and chemical properties.

Superatom is a combination of two or more atoms that form a stable structural fragment and possess unique physical and chemical properties. Systems, that...

27.02.2015 | nachricht Read more

Dendrite eraser: New electrolyte rids batteries of short-circuiting fibers

Solution enables a battery with both high efficiency & current density

Dendrites - the microscopic, pin-like fibers that cause rechargeable batteries to short circuit - create fire hazards and can limit the ability of batteries to...

25.02.2015 | nachricht Read more

Researchers enable solar cells to use more sunlight

Scientists of the University of Luxembourg and of the Japanese electronics company TDK report progress in photovoltaic research: they have improved a component that will enable solar cells to use more energy of the sun and thus create a higher current.

The improvement concerns a conductive oxide film which now has more transparency in the infrared region. Similar attempts had been made before, but this is the...

25.02.2015 | nachricht Read more

Polymer Materials Make Solar Thermal Systems More Sustainable

Researchers Prove Environmental and Economic Potential

Within the ExKoll project, the Durability Analysis Group at Fraunhofer ISE investigated the economic feasibility of polymer collectors and performed life-cycle...

25.02.2015 | nachricht Read more

Semiconductor Works Better When Hitched to Graphene

Experiments at SLAC Show Potential for Graphene-based Organic Electronic Devices

Graphene – a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon with highly desirable electrical properties, flexibility and strength – shows great promise for future electronics,...

20.02.2015 | nachricht Read more

Shape-Shifting Nanorod Ensembles Release Heat Differently

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have revealed previously unobserved behaviors that show how details of the transfer of heat at the nanoscale causes nanoparticles to change shape in ensembles.

The new findings depict three distinct stages of evolution in groups of gold nanorods from the initial rod-shape to the intermediate-shape to a sphere-shaped...

20.02.2015 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Black Phosphorus Is New ‘Wonder Material’ for Improving Optical Communication

Phosphorus, a highly reactive element commonly found in match heads, tracer bullets, and fertilizers, can be turned into a stable crystalline form known as black phosphorus. In a new study, researchers from the University of Minnesota used an ultrathin black phosphorus film—only 20 layers of atoms—to demonstrate high-speed data communication on nanoscale optical circuits.

The devices showed vast improvement in efficiency over comparable devices using the earlier “wonder material” graphene.

Im Focus: Giant Virus Revealed in 3-D Using X-ray Laser

Experiment Compiles Hundreds of Images, Reveals Inner Details of Intact ‘Mimivirus’

For the first time, researchers have produced a 3-D image revealing part of the inner structure of an intact, infectious virus, using a unique X-ray laser at...

Im Focus: Graphene Research: Electrons Moving along Defined Snake States

Physicists at the University of Basel have shown for the first time that electrons in graphene can be moved along a predefined path. This movement occurs entirely without loss and could provide a basis for numerous applications in the field of electronics. The research group led by Professor Christian Schönenberger at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel is publishing its results together with European colleagues in the renowned scientific journal “Nature Communications”.

For some years, the research group led by Professor Christian Schönenberger at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics has been looking...

Im Focus: Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan

A new type of methane-based, oxygen-free life form that can metabolize and reproduce similar to life on Earth has been modeled by a team of Cornell University researchers.

Taking a simultaneously imaginative and rigidly scientific view, chemical engineers and astronomers offer a template for life that could thrive in a harsh,...

Im Focus: Moving molecule writes letters

Caging of molecules allows investigation of equilibrium thermodynamics

On the search for high performance materials for applications such as gas storage, thermal insulators or dynamic nanosystems it is essential to understand the...

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