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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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Mesoporous Particles for the Development of Drug Delivery System Safe to Human Bodies

A research group at Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), succeeded in developing porous particles (mesoporous particles) consisting solely of phospholipids, a biological component, that are suitable for use as a drug delivery system.

A research group led by MANA Scientist Kohsaku Kawakami, postdoctoral researcher Shaoling Zhang and MANA Principal Investigator Katsuhiko Ariga, at the...

22.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Development of Gold Nanoparticles That Control Osteogenic Differentiation of Stem Cells

Surface Modification by Carboxyl Groups Suppressing Osteogenic Differentiation. Nanomaterials Paving the Way for Regenerative Medicine

Tissue Regeneration Materials Unit at MANA, NIMS successfully developed gold nanoparticles that have functional surfaces and act on osteogenic differentiation...

22.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Nanobionics Supercharge Photosynthesis

Carbon nanotubes and inorganic nanoparticles enhance photosynthetic activity and stability

A new process has been developed for spontaneously incorporating and assembling carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and oxygen scavenging nanoparticles into chloroplasts,...

22.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Nanospace-Controlled Gold Material Created Using Molecular Technology

Method Developed to Freely Adjust Pore Size in Nanoporous Gold Material

A research group led by Yusuke Yamauchi at National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in cooperation with other research organizations in Japan and...

22.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Defects can 'Hulk-up' materials

Berkeley lab study shows properly managed damage can boost material thermoelectric performances

In the story of the Marvel Universe superhero known as the Hulk, exposure to gamma radiation transforms scientist Bruce Banner into a far more powerful version...

21.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Researchers develop new way to manufacture nanofibers

Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed an inexpensive way to manufacture extraordinarily thin polymer strings commonly known as nanofibers. These polymers can be made from natural materials like proteins or from human-made substances to make plastic, rubber or fiber, including biodegradable materials.

The new method, dubbed "magnetospinning" by the researchers, provides a very simple, scalable and safe means for producing very large quantities of nanofibers...

21.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Durable, Washable and High-Performance Conductive Textiles

Using low-cost technology to manufacture high-performance conductive textiles for wearable electronics

In this new method for preparing electrically conductive textiles, the textile surface is modified with a negativelycharged polyelectrolyte poly(methacrylic...

20.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Towards a Tunable Graphene-like Two-Dimensional Material

Researchers built a porous, layered material that can serve as a graphene analog, and which may be a tool for storing energy and investigating the physics of unusual materials

An electrically conductive material, with layers resembling graphene (single sheet of graphite), was synthesized under mild conditions using a well-known...

19.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Efficiency record for black silicon solar cells jumps to 22.1 percent

Aalto University's researchers improved their previous record by over 3 absolute percents in cooperation with Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

The researchers from Finland's Aalto University and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya have obtained the record-breaking efficiency of 22.1% on...

19.05.2015 | nachricht Read more

Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.

To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...

18.05.2015 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...

Im Focus: IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System

Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services

To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...

Im Focus: First electrical car ferry in the world in operation in Norway now

  • Siemens delivers electric propulsion system and charging stations with lithium-ion batteries charged from hydro power
  • Ferry only uses 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per route and reduces cost of fuel by 60 percent
  • Milestone on the road to operating emission-free ferries

The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...

Im Focus: Into the ice – RV Polarstern opens the arctic season by setting course for Spitsbergen

On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.

RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...

Im Focus: Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.

To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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