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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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Atomic Trigger Shatters Mystery of How Glass Deforms

Bond switching underpins warping of strong metallic glasses

Throw a rock through a window made of silica glass, and the brittle, insulating oxide pane shatters. But whack a golf ball with a club made of metallic glass—a...

21.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

Researchers Develop World’s Thinnest Electric Generator

First experimental observation of piezoelectricity in an atomically thin material—MoS2—could lead to wearable devices

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and the Georgia Institute of Technology report today that they have made the first experimental observation of...

16.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

ORNL research reveals unique capabilities of 3-D printing

Innovative manufacturing process holds unparalleled potential for engineering, design

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated an additive manufacturing method to control the structure and...

16.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

ORNL Researchers Make First Observation of Atoms Moving Inside Bulk Material

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have obtained the first direct observations of atomic diffusion inside a bulk material. The research, which could be used to give unprecedented insight into the lifespan and properties of new materials, is published in the journal Physical Review Letters (06 October 2014, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.155501).

“This is the first time that anyone has directly imaged single dopant atoms moving around inside a material,” said Rohan Mishra of Vanderbilt University who is...

14.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

Tailored flexible illusion coatings hide objects from detection

Developing the cloak of invisibility would be wonderful, but sometimes simply making an object appear to be something else will do the trick, according to Penn State electrical engineers.

"Previous attempts at cloaking using a single metasurface layer were restricted to very small-sized objects," said Zhi Hao Jiang, postdoctoral fellow in...

14.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

Bioinspired coating for medical devices repels blood and bacteria

Developed using FDA-approved materials, the coating prevented flowing blood from clotting in a large animal efficacy study

From joint replacements to cardiac implants and dialysis machines, medical devices enhance or save lives on a daily basis. However, any device implanted in the...

13.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

Dissolvable Silicon Circuits and Sensors

Transient Electronics that Dissolve in Water Usher in Next Generation of Devices, from Green Technologies to Medical Implants

Electronic devices that dissolve completely in water, leaving behind only harmless end products, are part of a rapidly emerging class of technology pioneered...

10.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

Unstoppable magnetoresistance

Mazhar Ali, a fifth-year graduate student in the laboratory of Bob Cava, the Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University, has spent his academic career discovering new superconductors, materials coveted for their ability to let electrons flow without resistance. While testing his latest candidate, the semimetal tungsten ditelluride (WTe2), he noticed a peculiar result.

Ali applied a magnetic field to a sample of WTe2, one way to kill superconductivity if present, and saw that its resistance doubled. Intrigued, Ali worked with...

10.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

Discovery of a New Way to Make Foams Could Lead to Lightweight, Sustainable Materials

Anyone who has blown a bubble and seen how quickly it pops has first-hand experience on the major challenge in creating stable foams.

At its most basic level, foam is a bunch of bubbles squished together. Liquid foams, a state of matter that arises from tiny gas bubbles dispersed in a liquid,...

08.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

Printing in the hobby room: paper- thin and touch-sensitive displays on various materials

Until now, if you want to print a greeting card for a loved one, you can use colorful graphics, fancy typefaces or special paper to enhance it. But what if you could integrate paper-thin displays into the cards, which could be printed at home and which would be able to depict self-created symbols or even react to touch?

Those only some of the options computer scientists in Saarbrücken can offer. They developed an approach that in the future will enable laypeople to print...

07.10.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New window on the early Universe

Scientists at the Universities of Bonn and Cardiff see good times approaching for astrophysicists after hatching a new observational strategy to distill detailed information from galaxies at the edge of the Universe.

Using two world-class supercomputers, the researchers were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of their approach by simulating the formation of a massive...

Im Focus: Molecular Quantum Bit with Long Coherence Time Discovered in Stuttgart

Long-lived Qubits at room temperature

From more efficient database queries to the cracking of today's reliable cryptographic systems: The development of a competitive quantum computer would mark...

Im Focus: Once CD8 T cells take on one virus, they'll fight others too

Scientists think of CD8 T cells as long-lived cells that become tuned to fight just one pathogen, but a new study finds that once CD8 T cells fight one pathogen, they also join the body's "innate" immune system, ready to answer the calls of the cytokine signals that are set off by a wide variety of infections.

Think of CD8 T cells as soldiers who are drafted and trained for a specific mission, but who stay in service, fighting a variety of enemies throughout a long...

Im Focus: Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires

The claim by UMass Amherst researchers that the microbe Geobacter produces tiny electrical wires has been mired in controversy for a decade, but a new collaborative study provides stronger evidence than ever to support their claims.

The claim by microbiologist Derek Lovley and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst that the microbe Geobacter produces tiny electrical wires,...

Im Focus: Drive System Saves Space and Weight in Electric Cars

Siemens has developed a solution for integrating an electric car's motor and inverter in a single housing. Until now, the motor and the inverter, which converts the battery's direct current into alternating current for the motor, were two separate components.

The new integrated drive unit saves space, reduces weight, and cuts costs. The solution's key feature is the use of a common cooling system for both...

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