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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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On the Road to Artificial Photosynthesis

Berkeley Lab Study Reveals Key Catalytic Factors in Carbon Dioxide Reduction

The excessive atmospheric carbon dioxide that is driving global climate change could be harnessed into a renewable energy technology that would be a win for...

26.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

NanoMaster Project Optimises Processes and Up-Scaling for Graphene Delivery

As it enters its final phase, the NanoMaster Project is reporting exciting results related to graphene and expanded graphite production and the development of novel nanocomposite intermediates.

Over the last eighteen months, the project team have focused on optimising and up-scaling the processes for graphene and expanded graphite production and their...

26.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

NRL Researchers Develop Novel Method to Synthesize Nanoparticles

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Materials Science and Technology Division have developed a novel one-step process using, for the first time in these types of syntheses, potassium superoxide (KO2) to rapidly form oxide nanoparticles from simple salt solutions in water.

"Typically, the synthesis of oxide nanoparticles involves the slow reaction of a weak oxidizing agent, such as hydrogen peroxide, with dilute solutions of...

25.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

'Bendy' LEDs

Korean research team has grown gallium nitride micro-rods on graphene substrates to create transferrable light-emitting diodes -- enabling bendable optoelectronics devices.

"Bendy" light-emitting diode (LED) displays and solar cells crafted with inorganic compound semiconductor micro-rods are moving one step closer to reality,...

24.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

Future Flexible Electronics Based on Carbon Nanotubes

Study in Applied Physics Letters show how to improve nanotube transistor and circuit performance with fluoropolymers

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Northwestern University have demonstrated a new method to improve the reliability and performance of...

24.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

Interface Surprises May Motivate Novel Oxide Electronic Devices

Complex oxides have long tantalized the materials science community for their promise in next-generation energy and information technologies.

Complex oxide crystals combine oxygen atoms with assorted metals to produce unusual and very desirable properties. Because their electrons interact strongly...

24.09.2014 | nachricht Read more

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
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: My energy consumption, my electricity bill, my urban lab

People want clean air, renovated old buildings, attractive modern architecture and low energy consumption.

In other words, they want a sustainable living environment that supports a wide range of lifestyles and living concepts, where they can be involved in all...

Im Focus: Semiconductor nano-lasers: Speed at its limits

Physicists at the University of Jena together with colleagues from Imperial College London develop ultra-fast semiconductor nano-lasers

One thousand billion operations per second – this peak value is achieved by semiconductor nano-lasers developed by physicists at the University of Jena...

Im Focus: Greenland Ice Sheet more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought

A new model developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge has shown that despite its apparent stability, the massive ice sheet covering most of Greenland is more sensitive to climate change than earlier estimates have suggested, which would accelerate the rising sea levels that threaten coastal communities worldwide.

In addition to assessing the impact of the increasing levels of meltwater created and spilled into the ocean each year as the climate continues to warm, the...

Im Focus: "Funnel" attracts bonding partners to biomolecule

Water movement as detection aid for molecules

RESOLV combines terahertz spectroscopy and simulation

Water is a ubiquitous solvent in all life sciences – sometimes referred to as the "matrix of life". Contrary to earlier assumptions, it is not a passive...

Im Focus: Flexible electronics off the roll – more than just luminous film

Fraunhofer FEP works on cost-effective system solutions for flexible devices and presents results at Plastic Electronics 2014

A significant growth is predicted for the market of flexible devices. The topic “Wearables”, namely intelligent, wearable systems with several useful and funny...

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