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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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Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

20.04.2018 | nachricht Read more

Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model

Customised carbon surfaces can be used in areas such as medical science and water purification.

Researchers at Aalto University and Cambridge University have made a significant breakthrough in computational science by combining atomic-level modelling and...

19.04.2018 | nachricht Read more

This 2-D nanosheet expands like a Grow Monster

Light causes crystal lattice to swell, opening new possibilities for artificial muscles, tiny electronics

Grow Monsters. Expandable water toys. Whatever you call them, they're plastic-like figurines that swell when placed in water.

19.04.2018 | nachricht Read more

New capabilities at NSLS-II set to advance materials science

The Hard X-ray Nanoprobe at Brookhaven Lab's National Synchrotron Light Source II now offers a combination of world-leading spatial resolution and multimodal imaging

By channeling the intensity of x-rays, synchrotron light sources can reveal the atomic structures of countless materials. Researchers from around the world...

18.04.2018 | nachricht Read more

Strong carbon fiber artificial muscles can lift 12,600 times their own weight

The pull-up, an exercise dreaded by most, answers a basic question: are your muscles strong enough to lift your own body weight?

Some Illinois researchers working on artificial muscles are seeing results even the fittest individuals would envy, designing muscles capable of lifting up to...

18.04.2018 | nachricht Read more

Polymer-graphene nanocarpets to electrify smart fabrics

Researchers from Tomsk Polytechnic University together with their international colleagues have discovered a method to modify and use the one-atom thin conductor of current and heat, graphene without destroying it. Thanks to the novel method, the researchers were able to synthesize on single-layer graphene a well-structured polymer with a strong covalent bond, which they called 'polymer carpets'. The entire structure is highly stable; it is less prone to degradation over time that makes the study promising for the development of flexible organic electronics. Also, if a layer of molybdenum disulfide is added over the 'nanocarpet', the resulting structure generates current under exposure to light. The study results were published in Journal of Materials Chemistry C.

Graphene is simultaneously the most durable, light and an electrically conductive carbon material. It can be used for manufacturing solar batteries, smartphone...

18.04.2018 | nachricht Read more

Artificial intelligence accelerates discovery of metallic glass

Machine learning algorithms pinpoint new materials 200 times faster than previously possible

If you combine two or three metals together, you will get an alloy that usually looks and acts like a metal, with its atoms arranged in rigid geometric...

16.04.2018 | nachricht Read more

Psst! A whispering gallery for light boosts solar cells

Trapping light with an optical version of a whispering gallery, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a nanoscale coating for solar cells that enables them to absorb about 20 percent more sunlight than uncoated devices. The coating, applied with a technique that could be incorporated into manufacturing, opens a new path for developing low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells with abundant, renewable and environmentally friendly materials.

The coating consists of thousands of tiny glass beads, only about one-hundredth the width of a human hair. When sunlight hits the coating, the light waves are...

16.04.2018 | nachricht Read more

When superconductivity disappears in the core of a quantum tube

By replacing the electrons with ultra-cold atoms, a group of physicists has created a perfectly clean material, unveiling new states of matter at the quantum level

Predicting the behaviour of electrons in a material is not easily done. Physicists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), ETH Zurich and EPFL replaced the...

16.04.2018 | nachricht Read more

Improved corrosion protection with flake-type particles of metal-phosphates

Research scientists at INM developed a special type of flake-type-shaped metal-phosphate particles: They show improved passivation ability and improved diffusion barrier against corrosive substances. Besides zinc phosphate also newly developed manganese phosphate flakes are available.

Large quantities of steel are used in architecture, bridge construction and ship-building. Structures of this type are intended to be long-lasting....

13.04.2018 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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