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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 Nanosized Hydrogen Generator

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have created a small scale “hydrogen generator” that uses light and a two-dimensional graphene platform to boost production of the hard-to-make element.

The research also unveiled a previously unknown property of graphene. The two-dimensional chain of carbon atoms not only gives and receives electrons, but can...

22.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

Smallest possible diamonds form ultra-thin nanothreads

Diamond nanothreads are likely to have extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers

For the first time, scientists have discovered how to produce ultra-thin "diamond nanothreads" that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and...

22.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

New icing wind tunnel at Fraunhofer IFAM allows anti-icing tests under realistic conditions

A scientific colloquium was held today to mark the official opening in Bremen of the new 90 cubic meter ice laboratory with integrated icing wind tunnel.

The Paint/Lacquer Technology Department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM has thus reached a further...

19.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

Physicists Heat Freestanding Graphene to Control Curvature of Ripples

Discovery represents advance in understanding of conductive material

An international team of physicists, led by a research group at the University of Arkansas, has discovered that heating can be used to control the curvature of...

19.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

The Future Face of Molecular Electronics

Thin layer of picene molecules attached to a silver surface maintain their structure and function, demonstrating potential for electronic applications

The emerging field of molecular electronics could take our definition of portable to the next level, enabling the construction of tiny circuits from molecular...

17.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

'Squid skin' metamaterials project yields vivid color display

Rice lab creates RGB color display technology with aluminum nanorods

The quest to create artificial "squid skin" -- camouflaging metamaterials that can "see" colors and automatically blend into the background -- is one step...

16.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

Scientists come closer to the industrial synthesis of a material harder than diamond

Researchers from the Technological Institute for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials in Troitsk, MIPT, MISiS, and MSU have developed anew method for the synthesis of an ultrahard material that exceeds diamond in hardness. An article recently published in the journal Carbon describes in detail a method that allows for the synthesis of ultrahard fullerite, a polymer composed of fullerenes, or spherical molecules made of carbon atoms.

Researchers from the Technological Institute for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials in Troitsk, MIPT, MISiS, and MSU have developed anew method for the...
15.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

New algorithm calculates average distance travelled by low-speed electrons

Japanese researchers have achieved high accuracy in the measurement and analysis of nanosurface materials.

A research team consisting of postdoctoral researcher Da Bo, former postdoctoral researcher Hiroshi Shinotsuka, group leader Hideki Yoshikawa and special...

12.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

Self-cleaning surfaces: The importance of a single groove

An innovative algorithm exposes the energy pathways that cause super-repellent surfaces to stop working.

‘Superhydrophobic’ surfaces, such as anti-icing or self-cleaning windows, are remarkably effective at repelling water molecules. However, they may suddenly —...

11.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

Angling chromium to let oxygen through

New semiconducting material works at temperatures low enough to improve fuel cell efficiency

Researchers have been trying to increase the efficiency of solid oxide fuel cells by lowering the temperatures at which they run. More efficient fuel cells...

11.09.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New chip promising for tumor-targeting research

Researchers have developed a chip capable of simulating a tumor's "microenvironment" and plan to use the new system to test the effectiveness of nanoparticles and drugs that target cancer.

The new system, called a tumor-microenvironment-on-chip (T-MOC) device, will allow researchers to study the complex environment surrounding tumors and the...

Im Focus: Infant solar system shows signs of windy weather

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have observed what may be the first-ever signs of windy weather around a T Tauri star, an infant analog of our own Sun. This may help explain why some T Tauri stars have disks that glow weirdly in infrared light while others shine in a more expected fashion.

T Tauri stars are the infant versions of stars like our Sun. They are relatively normal, medium-size stars that are surrounded by the raw materials to build...

Im Focus: Smallest possible diamonds form ultra-thin nanothreads

Diamond nanothreads are likely to have extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers

For the first time, scientists have discovered how to produce ultra-thin "diamond nanothreads" that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and...

Im Focus: How Paramecium protozoa claw their way to the top

Thanks to their asymmetrical form, the slipper-shaped microorganisms can swim to the surface of the water under their own steam

The ability to swim upwards – towards the sun and food supplies – is vital for many aquatic microorganisms. Exactly how they are able to differentiate between...

Im Focus: International team of researchers presents a milestone in chemical studies of superheavy elements

Chemical bond between a superheavy element and a carbon atom established for the first time / New vistas for studying effects of Einstein's relativity on the structure of the periodic table

An international collaboration led by research groups from Mainz and Darmstadt, Germany, has achieved the synthesis of a new class of chemical compounds for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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