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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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Switched-on DNA

Sparking nano-electronic applications

DNA, the stuff of life, may very well also pack quite the jolt for engineers trying to advance the development of tiny, low-cost electronic devices.

20.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

Using a simple, scalable method, a material that can be used as a sensor is developed

Materials offering huge potential using newspapers and sugar as the raw material and by means of simple chemical reactions are being synthesised at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country

Erlantz Lizundia, a researcher in the UPV/EHU's department of Physical Chemistry and expert in cellulose, started the research during a period of time he spent...

15.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

New mechanical metamaterials can block symmetry of motion, findings suggest

Engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the AMOLF institute in the Netherlands have invented the first mechanical metamaterials that easily transfer motion effortlessly in one direction while blocking it in the other, as described in a paper published on Feb. 13 in Nature. The material can be thought of as a mechanical one-way shield that blocks energy from coming in but easily transmits it going out the other side.

The researchers developed the first nonreciprocal mechanical materials using metamaterials, which are synthetic materials with properties that cannot be found...

14.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

New study of ferroelectrics offers roadmap to multivalued logic for neuromorphic computing

Research published Wednesday, in Nature Scientific Reports lays out a theoretical map to use ferroelectric material to process information using multivalued logic - a leap beyond the simple ones and zeroes that make up our current computing systems that could let us process information much more efficiently.

The language of computers is written in just two symbols -- ones and zeroes, meaning yes or no. But a world of richer possibilities awaits us if we could...

13.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

UNIST engineers oxide semiconductor just single atom thick

A new study, affiliated with UNIST has introduced a novel method for fabrication of world's thinnest oxide semiconductor that is just one atom thick. This may open up new possibilities for thin, transparent, and flexible electronic devices, such as ultra-small sensors.

This new ultra-thin oxide semiconductors was created by a team of scientists, led by Professor Zonghoon Lee of Materials Science and Engineering at UNIST. In...

08.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

Record-breaking material that contracts when heated

Researchers based at Nagoya University discover ceramic material that contracts on heating by more than twice the previous record-holding material

Machines and devices used in modern industry are required to withstand harsh conditions. When the environmental temperature changes, the volume of the...

08.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

07.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

Artificially introduced atomic-level sensors enable measurements of the electric field within a working semiconductor device

Semiconductors lie at the heart of many of the electronic devices that govern our daily lives. The proper functioning of semiconductor devices relies on their internally generated electric fields. Being able to measure these fields on the nanoscale is crucial for the development of next-generation electronics, but present techniques have been restricted to measurements of the electric field at a semiconductor's surface.

Semiconductors lie at the heart of many of the electronic devices that govern our daily lives. The proper functioning of semiconductor devices relies on their...

02.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

Thin, flexible, light-absorbent material for energy and stealth applications

Transparent window coatings that keep buildings and cars cool on sunny days. Devices that could more than triple solar cell efficiencies. Thin, lightweight shields that block thermal detection. These are potential applications for a thin, flexible, light-absorbing material developed by engineers at the University of California San Diego.

The material, called a near-perfect broadband absorber, absorbs more than 87 percent of near-infrared light (1,200 to 2,200 nanometer wavelengths), with 98...

02.02.2017 | nachricht Read more

Gum metals pave the way for new applications

Max Planck scientists discover peculiarities in crystal structure of titanium alloy

Metals which can be bent as gum pave the way for new industrial applications for example in the aerospace industry. These so-called gum metals exist but the...

01.02.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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