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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 is strong, but is it tough?

Berkeley Lab scientists find that polycrystalline graphene is not very resistant to fracture

Graphene, a material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms, has been touted as the strongest material known to exist, 200 times stronger than steel,...

05.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

New Type of Nanowires, Built with Natural Gas Heating

A new simple, cost-effective approach that may open up an effective way to make other metallic/semiconducting nanomaterials.

A team of Korean researchers, affiliated with Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has recently pioneered in developing a new simple...

05.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

The iron stepping stones to better wearable tech without semiconductors

The road to more versatile wearable technology is dotted with iron. Specifically, quantum dots of iron arranged on boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs). The new material is the subject of a study to be published in Scientific Reports later this week, led by Yoke Khin Yap, a professor of physics at Michigan Technological University.

Yap says the iron-studded BNNTs are pushing the boundaries of electronics hardware. The transistors modulating electron flow need an upgrade.

05.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

Smallest lattice structure worldwide

3-D lattice with glassy carbon struts and braces of less than 200 nm in diameter has higher specific strength than most solids

KIT scientists now present the smallest lattice structure made by man in the Nature Materials journal. Its struts and braces are made of glassy carbon and are...

03.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

Nanosheet growth technique could revolutionize nanomaterial production

After six years of painstaking effort, a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison materials scientists believe the tiny sheets of the semiconductor zinc oxide they're growing could have huge implications for the future of a host of electronic and biomedical devices.

The group -- led by Xudong Wang, a UW-Madison professor of materials science and engineering, and postdoctoral researcher Fei Wang -- has developed a technique...

01.02.2016 | nachricht Read more

Researchers develop completely new kind of polymer

Hybrid polymers could lead to new concepts in self-repairing materials, drug delivery and artificial muscles

Imagine a polymer with removable parts that can deliver something to the environment and then be chemically regenerated to function again. Or a polymer that...

29.01.2016 | nachricht Read more

Grinding the hardest to reach places within a component

It’s long established that flow grinding can be utilized to grind and polish the inner surfaces of components such as corners and drill holes: a fluid containing grinding particles is pumped through the component. However, flow dead zones can arise when a component has a complex form. In these cases, the flow stagnates at a specific spot, which results in the grinding process being ineffective in that area. To address this, a new magnetorheological flow grinding procedure for aluminum based components has been developed by scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany, in a joint project.

This process allows difficult to reach dead volume areas deep inside components to be accurately ground and polished.

29.01.2016 | nachricht Read more

Nano-coating makes coaxial cables lighter

Rice University scientists replace metal with carbon nanotubes for aerospace use

Common coaxial cables could be made 50 percent lighter with a new nanotube-based outer conductor developed by Rice University scientists.

28.01.2016 | nachricht Read more

A new magnetoresistance effect occurring in materials with strong spin-orbit coupling

These materials, which include metals such as platinum or tantalum, are characterized for being capable of generating a spin current from an electrical current (and viceversa) by means of the so-called spin Hall effect. For this reason, these materials are of outmost importance in the field of spintronics -the branch of science that is devoted to explore the generation, transmission and detection of spin currents in materials and devices.

The ultimate goal of spintronics is to have a deeper understanding of the charge-to-spin conversion and transport phenomena at the nanoscale in order to be...

27.01.2016 | nachricht Read more

Graphene composite may keep wings ice-free

Rice University develops conductive material to heat surfaces, simplify ice removal

A thin coating of graphene nanoribbons in epoxy developed at Rice University has proven effective at melting ice on a helicopter blade.

26.01.2016 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Automated driving: Steering without limits

OmniSteer project to increase automobiles’ urban maneuverability begins with a € 3.4 million budget

Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...

Im Focus: Microscopy: Nine at one blow

Advance in biomedical imaging: The University of Würzburg's Biocenter has enhanced fluorescence microscopy to label and visualise up to nine different cell structures simultaneously.

Fluorescence microscopy allows researchers to visualise biomolecules in cells. They label the molecules using fluorescent probes, excite them with light and...

Im Focus: NASA's ICESat-2 equipped with unique 3-D manufactured part

NASA's follow-on to the successful ICESat mission will employ a never-before-flown technique for determining the topography of ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice, but that won't be the only first for this mission.

Slated for launch in 2018, NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) also will carry a 3-D printed part made of polyetherketoneketone (PEKK),...

Im Focus: Sinking islands: Does the rise of sea level endanger the Takuu Atoll in the Pacific?

In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister picture is being painted evoking the demise of the island states and their cultures. Are the effects of sea-level rise already noticeable on reef islands? Scientists from the ZMT have now answered this question for the Takuu Atoll, a group of Pacific islands, located northeast of Papua New Guinea.

In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister...

Im Focus: Energy-saving minicomputers for the ‘Internet of Things’

The ‘Internet of Things’ is growing rapidly. Mobile phones, washing machines and the milk bottle in the fridge: the idea is that minicomputers connected to these will be able to process information, receive and send data. This requires electrical power. Transistors that are capable of switching information with a single electron use far less power than field effect transistors that are commonly used in computers. However, these innovative electronic switches do not yet work at room temperature. Scientists working on the new EU research project ‘Ions4Set’ intend to change this. The program will be launched on February 1. It is coordinated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).

“Billions of tiny computers will in future communicate with each other via the Internet or locally. Yet power consumption currently remains a great obstacle”,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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