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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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Ceramics reinforced with nanotubes

A ceramic material reinforced with carbon nanotubes has been made by materials scientists at UC Davis. The new material is far tougher than conventional ceramics, conducts electricity and can both conduct heat and act as a thermal barrier, depending on the orientation of the nanotubes. Ceramic materials are very hard and resistant to heat and chemical attack, making them useful for applications such as coating turbine blades, said Amiya Mukherjee, professor of chemical engineering and mater 17.09.2003 | nachricht Read more

Ductile intermetallic compounds discovered

Ames Laboratory researchers identify non-brittle intermetallics To material scientists the phrase "ductile intermetallic compounds" has long been considered an oxymoron. Although these compounds possess chemical, physical, electrical, magnetic, and mechanical properties that are often superior to ordinary metals, their potential has gone untapped because they are typically quite brittle at room temperature. Until now. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames 16.09.2003 | nachricht Read more

Synthesis of cage-like silica structure easier and cheaper

A tailored, cage-like silica structure, developed by Penn State researchers, is easier and less expensive to make than previous materials and is tunable in size. "Previous attempts at synthesizing materials like PSU-1 involved specially designed templates making the process expensive," says Dr. Sridhar Komarneni, professor of clay mineralogy. "The processes also require stringent conditions for the synthesis to work." Komarneni, working with Dr. Bharat L. Newalkar, postdoctoral fellow in Pe 16.09.2003 | nachricht Read more

’Buckyball’ Material Brings Light into Line

Using molecules resembling 60-sided soccer balls, a joint team of researchers from the University of Toronto and Carleton University has created a new material for processing information using light. Led by U of T electrical and computer engineering professor Ted Sargent and Carleton University chemistry professor Wayne Wang, the team developed a material that combines microscopic spherical particles known as “buckyballs” with polyurethane, the polymer used as a coating on cars and furnitur 15.09.2003 | nachricht Read more

New technique creates patterns in photonic crystals formed from hydrogel nanoparticles

Creating unique structures Researchers have developed a laser-based technique for creating patterns in self-assembled colloidal crystals produced from hydrogel nanoparticles – soft spheres that respond to heat by changing size. The development could make possible the fabrication of waveguides, three-dimensional microlenses and other photonic structures from the unusual crystals. In related work, the Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have also learned to use weak at 11.09.2003 | nachricht Read more

Waste fiber can be recycled into valuable products using new technique of electrospinning, Cornell researchers report

It may soon be possible to produce a low cost, high-value, high-strength fiber from a biodegradable and renewable waste product for air filtration, water filtration and agricultural nanotechnology, report polymer scientists at Cornell University. The achievement is the result of using the recently perfected technique of electrospinning to spin nanofibers from cellulose. "Cellulose is the most abundant renewable resource polymer on earth. It forms the structure of all plants," says Margaret 11.09.2003 | nachricht Read more

Process developed for solvent-free acrylic fiber and cheap, fast carbon fibers

Carbon-fiber reinforced polymer matrix composite materials are strong without being brittle and retain their integrity over a wide temperature range while being impervious to most environments. While the materials’ qualities make them important to the aerospace industry, present processing technology makes carbon fiber too expensive for broader use, such as in the automotive industry. Chemistry and chemical engineering researchers at Virginia Tech and Clemson University have been worki 10.09.2003 | nachricht Read more

Printing plastic circuits stamps patterns in place

When Benjamin in "The Graduate" was told to go into plastics, computers were in their infancy and silicon technology ruled. Now, conducting organic polymers are infiltrating the electronics sphere and the watchword is once again plastics, according to Penn State researchers. "For plastic circuits we cannot use the old processing," says Dr. Qing Wang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering. "Photolithography and silicon technologies require harsh environments and plastics ca 10.09.2003 | nachricht Read more

Nanometer-sized particles change crystal structure when they get wet

As scientists shrink materials down to the nanometer scale, creating nanodots, nanoparticles, nanorods and nanotubes a few tens of atoms across, they’ve found weird and puzzling behaviors that have fired their imaginations and promised many unforeseen applications. Now University of California, Berkeley, scientists have found another unusual effect that could have both good and bad implications for semiconductor devices once they’ve been shrunk to the nanometer scale. Th 28.08.2003 | nachricht Read more

Polymer Foams as Charge Carriers

A research team in Austria has been unravelling the secrets of the charging of plastic foams. Its findings open the way for the development of flat microphones and loudspeakers, as well as "smart" surfaces that could be used as floor coverings, among other things. The interest in the success of the group´s work - which was co-funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) - has resulted in the integration of the project in a European interdisciplinary research network. During a thunder st 04.08.2003 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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