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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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Supercool! Model unscrambles complex crystallization puzzle

To the wonderment---and the befuddlement---of scientists, the patterns that form as plastics, metals and many other materials crystallize can vary incredibly, ranging from sea-urchin-like spheres to elaborate tree-like branches. Now, Hungarian and National Institute of Standards and Technology scientists report in the September issue of Nature Materials* that they have developed a way to predict the polycrystalline microstructures that will form as complex liquid mixtures cool and 31.08.2004 | nachricht Read more

Groundbreaking innovations usher an exciting phase in the plastics materials industry

Technical Insights plastics materials – Emerging technology and trends analysis Economical, performance-focused plastics materials application development is dependent not only on leveraging traditional, well-defined ‘cost-performance’ parameters, but also on understanding the strategic nuances essential for sustaining long-term growth. “Adherence to regulatory legislation – particularly in the areas of continuous improvement in size and weight reduction – is one of th 31.08.2004 | nachricht Read more

Laboratory advances the art and science of aerogels

University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory have recently demonstrated a novel method for chemically modifying and enhancing silica-based aerogels without sacrificing the aerogels unique properties. Aerogels are low-density, transparent materials used in a wide range of applications, including thermal insulation, porous separation media, inertial confinement fusion experiments and cometary dust capture agents. Made of silica, one of the Earth’ 27.08.2004 | nachricht Read more

New data validate the low-glycemic diet

A carefully controlled animal study provides clear evidence that a low-glycemic-index (low-GI) diet – one whose carbohydrates are low in sugar or release sugar slowly – can lead to weight loss, reduced body fat, and reduction in risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. "The study findings should give impetus to large-scale trials of low-GI diets in humans," says senior author David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) obesity program at Childre 27.08.2004 | nachricht Read more

Paint Absorbs Corrosion-causing Chemicals, Kitty-litter Style

Engineers at Ohio State University have incorporated clay and other chemicals into a paint that keeps metal from corroding -- and reveals when an airplane, boat, or bridge needs to be repainted. Though the paint is still under development, early tests have shown that it prevents corrosion just as well as commercial paints that are less environmentally friendly. The new paint is unique because its pigment contains tiny particles of clay that capture the chemicals that cause co 25.08.2004 | nachricht Read more

PVC Additives Make Vinyl More Fire-retardant without Toxic Heavy Metals

One of the most widely used plastics in the world — PVC — could be on the verge of becoming more fire retardant and environmentally friendly, thanks to the work of researchers at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. PVC is practically ubiquitous in our society, especially in many homes. Household products from water pipes to shower curtains and house siding to window shades and wall coverings are made from poly(vinyl chloride). Polymer chemists developed 25.08.2004 | nachricht Read more

Researchers Developing New Material for Die-casting Molds

Automotive manufacturers may soon benefit from a new breed of metals – known as functionally gradient materials – that can withstand the high temperatures of die casting without cracking under pressure, according to a researcher at the University of Missouri-Rolla. UMR researchers, led by Dr. Frank Liou, director of the manufacturing engineering program and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, hope to build better die-casting molds by developing materials that are both 23.08.2004 | nachricht Read more

Shock Tube Simulates Explosions to Test Homeland Defense Materials

People are just as likely to be killed, or property damaged, by the shock wave from an exploding bomb as from flying debris or flames. The rush of gases emanating from a bomb can travel more than 10 times the speed of sound, destroying everything in its path. Two University of Rhode Island engineers have constructed a "shock tube" to simulate this rush of gas so they can test the ability of various new composite materials to withstand these extreme forces. "What we’re 20.08.2004 | nachricht Read more

Carbon nanotubes eliminate manufacturing woe

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have discovered that the addition of carbon nanotubes to a common commercial polymer, polypropylene, leads to dramatic changes in how the molten polymer flows. This process eliminates a widespread manufacturing headache known as "die-swell" in which polymers swell in undesirable directions when passing through the exit port of an extruder (a machine for producing more or less continuous lengths of plastic sections). 16.08.2004 | nachricht Read more

Nano for the future

A major foresight project on materials technology has been launched to put Norway’s need for expertise in nano- and materials technology on the agenda. Norway hasn’t had a general R&D strategy for materials technology or nanotechnology since the 1980’s and is far behind the USA and the rest of Europe. In 1999, Bill Clinton allocated 500 million US dollars to nano research through the Nanotech Initiative. The same year, the Norwegian White Paper on Research was presented without ment 05.08.2004 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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