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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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Energy storage solution combines polymers and nanosheets

A new, lightweight composite material for energy storage in flexible electronics, electric vehicles and aerospace applications has been experimentally shown to store energy at operating temperatures well above current commercial polymers, according to a team of Penn State scientists. This polymer-based, ultrathin material can be produced using techniques already used in industry.

"This is part of a series of work we have done in our lab on high-temperature dielectrics for use in capacitors," said Qing Wang, professor of materials...

01.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

Foldable like an accordion: international research team bends individual nanostructures

Since a research group at Kiel University (CAU) and the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) in Hamburg-Harburg has developed aerographite – one of the most light weight materials in the world – in the year 2012 -, they have continued researching about it. Its complex tetrapodal architecture gives the carbon-based 3D material very unique properties, such as extremely high elasticity and electrical conductivity. Now, for the first time, as part of an international research team, materials scientists from the CAU were able to fold the individual hollow tetrapods, each measuring only a few micrometers in size.

After bending, the tetrapods automatically retain its original shape, without suffering any damage. This makes advanced applications conceivable, both in...

01.08.2017 | nachricht Read more

New method promises easier nanoscale manufacturing

Scientists at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a new way to precisely pattern nanomaterials that could open a new path to the next generation of everyday electronic devices.

The new research, published July 28 in Science, is expected to make such materials easily available for eventual use in everything from LED displays to...

31.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

Engineering on a blue streak

University of Delaware researchers pioneer greener way to create interwoven polymers with blue light

A pair of engineers at the University of Delaware has developed a process to form interwoven polymer networks more easily, quickly and sustainably than...

31.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

CVD Diamond Coating: New innovative process improves the adhesion of diamond to cemented carbide

To reduce process costs in industrial parts manufacturing while simultaneously improving quality, the use of diamond-coated, cemented carbide cutting tools has increased. Adhesion of diamond coatings was previously problematic, particularly when processing composite or lightweight materials. Suitable pretreatment is therefore vital. Dr. Manuel Mee of the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM has developed a new pretreatment routine that increases the adhesion of CVD diamond to carbide: by combining several approaches into a single process, all factors which affect the adhesion of the coating can be taken into consideration, leading to a fundamental improvement of the adhesion.

Today cemented carbide is the most commonly used material for industrial cutting tools. This is thanks to its combination of tungsten carbide and cobalt. While...

31.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement

Enormous potential for the targeted delivery of pharmaceutical agents and the creation of tailored nanoparticles

Theoretical physicists led by Professor Kurt Binder and Dr. Arash Nikoubashman at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany have used computer...

27.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

Getting closer to porous, light-responsive materials

A new flexible material changes its porous nature when exposed to light

Researchers at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) and the University of Tokyo have developed a light-responsive...

26.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

Multitasking monolayers

Two-dimensional materials that can multitask.

That is the result of a new process that naturally produces patterned monolayers that can act as a base for creating a wide variety of novel materials with...

25.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

25.07.2017 | nachricht Read more

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

All-dielectric nanophotonics: The quest for better materials and fabrication techniques

In order to send, receive, and process electromagnetic signals, antennas are used. An antenna is a device capable of effectively transmitting, picking up, and...

24.07.2017 | 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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