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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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“Reverse Engineering” Materials for More Efficient Heating and Cooling

A new way to calculate the electrical properties of individual components of composite materials could open a path toward more energy-efficient medical refrigerators, air-conditioned car seats and more

If you’ve ever gone for a spin in a luxury car and felt your back being warmed or cooled by a seat-based climate control system, then you’ve likely experienced...

29.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

Watching the hidden life of materials

Ultrafast electron diffraction experiments open a new window on the microscopic world

Researchers at McGill University have succeeded in simultaneously observing the reorganizations of atomic positions and electron distribution during the...

28.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

Seed first, heat later for better writing

A new technique for heat-assisted magnetic recording media promises improved writeability for next-generation hard drives

Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) is a new process that realizes the three goals of magnetic recording — readability, writeability and stability. A*STAR...

27.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

High-tech labels with temperature memory for continuous monitoring of cold chains

The continuous monitoring of cold chains represents a major challenge for the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industry. Transient temperature peaks often occur during transport, which cannot be traced. And many of the systems used for temperature monitoring are expensive.

A new monitoring solution has now been developed by one of BAM’s research teams: plastic labels with a temperature memory.

27.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

NIST offers electronics industry 2 ways to snoop on self-organizing molecules

A few short years ago, the idea of a practical manufacturing process based on getting molecules to organize themselves in useful nanoscale shapes seemed ... well, cool, sure, but also a little fantastic.

Now the day isn't far off when your cell phone may depend on it. Two recent papers emphasize the point by demonstrating complementary approaches to fine-tuning...

23.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection

When studying extremely fast reactions in ultrathin materials, two measurements are better than one. A new research tool invented by researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) captures information about both temperature and crystal structure during extremely fast reactions in thin-film materials.*

The combined device will help scientists study new materials and processes used to make advanced technologies, including state-of-the-art semiconductors and...

23.10.2014 | nachricht Read more

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

Im Focus: Diagnosing prostate cancer quickly and safely

Distinguishing between benign and malignant prostate tissue is difficult.

A new device facilitates the diagnosis for doctors: Through a visual analysis, they can reliably determine if they are dealing with carcinoma within a...

Im Focus: Quantum effects bridge the gap

Quantum effects in nanometer-scale metallic structures provide a platform for combining molecular electronics and plasmonics

Plasmonic devices combine the ‘super speed’ of optics with the ‘super small’ of microelectronics. These devices exhibit quantum effects and show promise as...

Im Focus: New nanodevice to improve cancer treatment monitoring

In less than a minute, a miniature device developed at the University of Montreal can measure a patient's blood for methotrexate, a commonly used but potentially toxic cancer drug. Just as accurate and ten times less expensive than equipment currently used in hospitals, this nanoscale device has an optical system that can rapidly gauge the optimal dose of methotrexate a patient needs, while minimizing the drug's adverse effects. The research was led by Jean-François Masson and Joelle Pelletier of the university's Department of Chemistry.

Methotrexate has been used for many years to treat certain cancers, among other diseases, because of its ability to block the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase...

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...

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