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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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Revealing the quantum geometry of the graphene lattice

LMU/MPQ team realizes an Aharonov-Bohm type interferometer to measure the band topology in graphene type lattices.

Among the most revolutionary concepts of modern physics is that the laws of nature are inherently non-local. One striking manifestation of this non-locality...

19.12.2014 | nachricht Read more

How can one recognise a legal firework item?

The "composite firework" type specification is defined at the European level and the test criteria for this firework type are standardised across Europe. The BAM identification number is no longer a mandatory part of the labelling of tested fireworks.

Millions of fireworks will be ignited again on this New Year’s Eve to welcome the New Year. The noise of fireworks is supposed to ward off evil spirits – a...

18.12.2014 | nachricht Read more

Waves, folds and plastic flow: detecting the first signs of wear on metal surfaces

A team of scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg shows which wear mechanisms take place on metal surfaces before the actual wear becomes apparent. These latest findings from the Fraunhofer IWM will be presented in the current issue of Physical Review Applied. Understanding such mechanisms is the first step to minimizing friction and wear.

A great deal of scientific research has been carried out on minimizing wear in metal-based systems. Most of this work focused on the phenomenological level....

16.12.2014 | nachricht Read more

Lead islands in a sea of graphene magnetize the material of the future

Researchers in Spain have discovered that if lead atoms are intercalated on a graphene sheet, a powerful magnetic field is generated by the interaction of the electrons' spin with their orbital movement.

This property could have implications in spintronics, an emerging technology promoted by the European Union to create advanced computational systems.

15.12.2014 | nachricht Read more

Artificial gemstones for telecommunication

Who is not impressed by the play of colors that opals and other gemstones create?

Inspired by the interaction of opals with light, Dr. Alexander Kühne investigates and develops artificial opals for future applications in the fields of...

15.12.2014 | nachricht Read more

Stacking Two-Dimensional Materials May Lower Cost of Semiconductor Devices

A team of researchers led by North Carolina State University has found that stacking materials that are only one atom thick can create semiconductor junctions...

12.12.2014 | nachricht Read more

World’s First Time-controlled Molecular Self-Organization

Development of new material capable of autonomous molecular organization in accordance with preprogramming

At Japan's National Institute for Materials Science (Sukekatsu Ushioda, president), Senior Researcher Kazunori Sugiyasu and co-workers (Polymer Materials Unit...

11.12.2014 | nachricht Read more

Defects are perfect in laser-induced graphene

Rice University lab discovers simple way to make material for energy storage, electronics

Researchers at Rice University have created flexible, patterned sheets of multilayer graphene from a cheap polymer by burning it with a computer-controlled...

11.12.2014 | nachricht Read more

New ‘High-Entropy’ Alloy Is As Light As Aluminum, As Strong as Titanium Alloys

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Qatar University have developed a new “high-entropy” metal alloy that has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than any other existing metal material.

High-entropy alloys are materials that consist of five or more metals in approximately equal amounts. These alloys are currently the focus of significant...

11.12.2014 | nachricht Read more

Rattled Atoms Mimic High-Temperature Superconductivity

X-ray Laser Experiment Provides First Look at Changes in Atomic Structure that Support Superconductivity

An experiment at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory provided the first fleeting glimpse of the atomic structure of a material as...

08.12.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum physics just got less complicated

Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.

Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of...

Im Focus: First series production vehicle with software control

Siemens has unveiled the first electric series production vehicle with the central elec­tronics and software architecture RACE.

This technology, developed in the research project of the same name, replaces the entire control system with standard hardware and a kind of "operating system...

Im Focus: Trigger mechanism for recovery after spinal cord injury revealed

After an incomplete spinal cord injury, the body can partially recover basic motor function. So-called muscle spindles and associated sensory circuits back to the spinal cord promote the establishment of novel neuronal connections after injury.

This circuit-level mechanism behind the process of motor recovery was elucidated by Prof. Silvia Arber's research group at the Biozentrum, University of Basel...

Im Focus: Switching to spintronics

Berkeley Lab reports on electric field switching of ferromagnetism at room temp

In a development that holds promise for future magnetic memory and logic devices, researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley...

Im Focus: Bugs life: The nerve cells that make locusts 'gang up'

A team of biologists has identified a set of nerve cells in desert locusts that bring about 'gang-like' gregarious behaviour when they are forced into a crowd.

Dr Swidbert Ott from the University of Leicester's Department of Biology, working with Dr Steve Rogers at the University of Sydney, Australia, has published a...

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