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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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A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials

Materials classified as "nanoporous" have structures (or "frameworks") with pores up to 100 nm in diameter. These include diverse materials used in different fields from gas separation, catalysis, and even medicine (e.g. activated charcoal). The performance of nanoporous materials depends on both their chemical composition and the shape of their pores, but the latter is very difficult to quantify. So far, chemists rely on visual inspection to see whether two materials have similar pores. EPFL scientists, in the framework of NCCR-MARVEL, have now developed an innovative mathematical method that allows a computer to quantify similarity of pore structures. The method makes it possible to search databases with hundreds of thousands of nanoporous materials to discover new materials with the right pore structure. The work is published in Nature Communications.

The search for nanoporous materials

23.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

Did you know that packaging is becoming intelligent through flash systems?

Intelligent packaging can do more than just wrap a product. They help in the identification and logistics of the products, they protect against theft or product piracy. The core of the intelligent system are small chips, RFID labels or generally printed electronics. For this purpose, a metallic ink is printed and then made conductive by sintering. Sintering of low-cost copper inks works particularly well with flash lamps, since they sinter more rapidly than the copper could oxidize.

Heraeus Flash systems make it possible to sinter copper ink for smart packaging in milliseconds without damaging the paper

23.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

New approach to revolutionize the production of molecular hydrogen

Growing concern about the energy crisis and the seriousness of environmental contamination urgently demand the development of renewable energy sources as...

22.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

Photocatalyst makes hydrogen production 10 times more efficient

Hydrogen is an alternative source of energy that can be produced from renewable sources of sunlight and water. A group of Japanese researchers has developed a photocatalyst that increases hydrogen production tenfold.

The discovery was made by a joint research team led by Associate Professor TACHIKAWA Takashi (Molecular Photoscience Research Center, Kobe University) and...

19.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries

Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries

Rice University scientists have created a rechargeable lithium metal battery with three times the capacity of commercial lithium-ion batteries by resolving...

19.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

Stanford scientists use nanotechnology to boost the performance of key industrial catalyst

A tiny amount of squeezing or stretching can produce a big boost in catalytic performance, according to a new study led by scientists at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

The discovery, published May 18 in Nature Communications, focuses on an industrial catalyst known as cerium oxide, or ceria, a spongy material commonly used in...

18.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

Safe energy transport made easy – Adaptive processing of complex control data

Pipes for the oil and gas industry which are used to transport raw materials from the seabed to the surface, have to meet specific requirements. They are highly relevant to security because every single pipe must be able to fully withstand the enormous loads of deep-sea production. Hence, controlling the manufacturing process of wound thermoplastic fiber-reinforced pipes is extremely complex. The EU research project “ambliFibre”, consisting of thirteen international partners led by the Aachen-based Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, focuses on the manufacturing of these pipesand aims to develop an Industrie-4.0-compliant, highly flexible and reliable control system.

Pipes used for oil and gas transport in the deep sea must be able to withstand extreme loads caused by waves and pressure while remaining resistant against...

18.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials

Materials scientists have written the recipe on how to use an oddball enzyme to build new biomaterials out of DNA. The work provides instructions for researchers the world over to build self-assembling molecules for applications ranging from drug delivery to nanowires.

The molecular machinery of the human body typically relies on genetic templates to carry out construction. For example, molecular machines called DNA...

17.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

17.05.2017 | nachricht Read more

Gas gives laser-induced graphene super properties

Rice University scientists who invented laser-induced graphene (LIG) for applications like supercapacitors have now figured out a way to make the spongy graphene either superhydrophobic or superhydrophilic.

And it's a gas.

Until recently, the Rice lab of James Tour made LIG only in open air, using a laser to burn part of the way through a flexible polyimide sheet to get...

16.05.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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