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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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Method uses DNA, nanoparticles and lithography to make optically active structures

Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices

Northwestern University researchers have developed a first-of-its-kind technique for creating entirely new classes of optical materials and devices that could...

19.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

Rice University study shows 2-D layers of boron nitride could aid strength, toughness and thermal conductivity of ceramics

A little hBN in ceramics could give them outstanding properties, according to a Rice University scientist.

16.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

By exploiting the properties of neutrons to probe electrons in a metal, a team of researchers led by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has gained new insight into the behavior of correlated electron systems, which are materials that have useful properties such as magnetism or superconductivity.

The research, to be published in Science, shows how well scientists can predict the properties and functionality of materials, allowing us to explore their...

16.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Novel 3-D printing technique yields high-performance composites

Arranging fibers just like nature does it

Nature has produced exquisite composite materials--wood, bone, teeth, and shells, for example--that combine light weight and density with desirable mechanical...

16.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Nanotube fibers in a jiffy

Rice University lab makes short nanotube samples by hand to dramatically cut production time

The terms "handmade" and "high tech" are not commonly found in the same sentence, but they both apply to a Rice University method to quickly produce fibers...

12.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Fraunhofer IMWS tests environmentally friendly microplastic alternatives in cosmetic products

Microplastics are still used in personal care products, although the environmental impact is well known. Tiny plastic particles from peelings and other skincare products enter the sea and ultimately our food chain via waste-water systems. In a research project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS and its partners have tested materials that can replace microplastics in cosmetic products and are biodegradable.

Many cosmetic products such as body peelings or deodorants contain tiny plastic particles, so-called microplastics, for example made of polyethylene (PE) and...

11.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

NUST MISIS scientists manage to observe the inner structure of photonic crystals

NUST MISIS scientists in cooperation with international colleagues have managed to observe the inner structure of photonic crystals, the most promising materials of the 21st century; the work is published in the Small journal

With the help of electronic microcopy, scientists have managed to track defects in the surface of two-dimensional photonic crystals, but there was a problem...

10.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

08.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Tweaking quantum dots powers-up double-pane solar windows

Engineered quantum dots could bring down the cost of solar electricity

Using two types of "designer" quantum dots, researchers are creating double-pane solar windows that generate electricity with greater efficiency and create...

03.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Novel MOF shell-derived surface modification of Li-rich layered oxide cathode

Rapid development of portable electronics and electric vehicles requires lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) to have high energy/power density, low cost, good safety and long lifespan. In a commercial LIB, the traditional cathode and anode materials are LiCoO2 and graphite, respectively.

Compared with the commercial graphite (theoretical-capacity 372 mAh g-1), the LiCoO2 has a low specific capacity of 150 mAh g-1 which becomes a big bottleneck...

02.01.2018 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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