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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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The breaking point

It is said that a weak link determines the strength of the entire chain. Likewise, defects or small cracks in a solid material may ultimately determine the strength of that material - how well it will withstand various forces. For example, if force is exerted on a material containing a crack, large internal stresses concentrate on a small region near the crack's edge. When this happens, a failure process is initiated, and the material might begin to fail around the edge of the crack, which could then propagate, leading to the ultimate failure of the material.

What, exactly, happens right around the edge of the crack, in the area in which those large stresses are concentrated? Prof. Eran Bouchbinder of the Weizmann...

24.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Researchers devise microreactor to study formation of methane hydrate

NYU Tandon team is first to be able to measure how by how much transport phenomena affect crystal propagation rates

Researchers at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering are using a novel means of studying how methane and water form methane hydrate that allows them to examine...

23.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

"Preparation determines the future". Since the discovery of graphene, the synthesis of graphene has long been a hot spot in graphene community. Using transition metals such as Cu or Ni as substrate, scientists have realized the preparation of large-area graphene films.

Especially, high-quality large-scale continuous monolayer graphene has been successfully grown on Cu foils. This simple and low-cost method has been widely...

22.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors

We normally associate conduction of electricity with metals. However, some of the high measured conductivities are found in certain organic molecular crystals....

21.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

Members of the Faculties of Chemistry and Fundamental Physical and Chemical Engineering at the Lomonosov Moscow State University in collaboration with foreign partners have synthesized and studied new liquid-crystal photochromic polymers.

Members of the Faculties of Chemistry and Fundamental Physical and Chemical Engineering at the Lomonosov Moscow State University in collaboration with foreign...

21.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors

From smart socks to workout clothes that measure exertion, wearable body sensors are becoming the latest "must-have" technology. Now scientists report they are on the cusp of using silk, one of the world's most coveted fabrics, to develop a more sensitive and flexible generation of these multi-purpose devices that monitor a slew of body functions in real time.

The researchers are presenting their work today at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world's largest...

21.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

An international research team has developed inks made of graphene-like materials for inkjet printing. New black phosphorous inks are compatible with conventional inkjet printing techniques for optoelectronics and photonics.

Since the discovery of the Nobel Prize winning material graphene, many new nanomaterials promise to deliver exciting new photonic and optoelectronic...

18.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Superconductivity research reveals potential new state of matter

Common phenomenon could be key to understanding mechanism of unconventional superconductivity

A potential new state of matter is being reported in the journal Nature, with research showing that among superconducting materials in high magnetic fields,...

17.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Spray-on electric rainbows: Making safer electrochromic inks

An innovation with water allows electrochromic conjugated polymer films to be applied more safely

Anyone who has a rear-view mirror that automatically dims blue in reaction to annoying high-beam headlights glaring from behind has seen an electrochromic film...

17.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

17.08.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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