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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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Scientists create a nanomaterial that is both twisted and untwisted at the same time

The material developed at University of Bath allows for incredibly sensitive detection of the direction molecules twist

A new nanomaterial developed by scientists at the University of Bath could solve a conundrum faced by scientists probing some of the most promising types of...

16.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

New metamaterial morphs into new shapes, taking on new properties

But it's the defects that really make them interesting

A newly developed type of architected metamaterial has the ability to change shape in a tunable fashion.

12.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Reconfigurable electronics show promise for wearable, implantable devices

Flexible, stretchable electronics that can change size and shape dynamically are poised to open doors to innovation in state-of-the-art biomedical implants and soft robotics

Medical implants of the future may feature reconfigurable electronic platforms that can morph in shape and size dynamically as bodies change or transform to...

10.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Spintronics: Physicists discover new material for highly efficient data processing

A new material could aid in the development of extremely energy efficient IT applications. The material was discovered by an international research team in cooperation with Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). The electrons at the oxide interface of the material possess special properties which drastically increase the conversion rate of spin current to charge current. This is the foundation for future spintronic applications. The new material has been found to be more efficient than any previously investigated material, the team writes in the journal "Nature Materials".

Electric current flows through all technical devices. Heat is generated and energy is lost. Spintronics explores new approaches to solving this issue that...

09.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Uncovering a new aspect of charge density modulations in high temperature superconductors

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and Politecnico di Milano have identified a crucial new aspect of charge density modulations in cuprate high critical temperature superconductors. They have identified a new electron wave which could help reveal some of the mysteries about superconducting materials. The findings are published in the journal Science.

High critical temperature superconductors have a variable charge density, meaning that their electrical charge is unevenly distributed. This partly results...

09.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Study tests performance of electric solid propellant

Electric solid propellants are being explored for use in dual-mode rocket engines because they aren't susceptible to ignite from a spark or flame and can be turned on and off electrically.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and NASA conducted experiments to understand...

04.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Remora-inspired suction disk mimics fish's adhesion ability, offers evolutionary insight

Remora fishes are famed hitchhikers of the marine world, possessing high-powered suction disks on the back of their head for attaching themselves in torpedo-like fashion to larger hosts that can provide food and safety -- from whales and sharks to boats and divers.

Key to the remora's adhesion are the disk's well-known capabilities for generating suction, as well as friction created by spiky bones within the disk called...

04.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Theory reveals the nature of crystals defects (of silicon carbide)

Imperfections of crystal structure, especially edge dislocations of an elongated nature, deeply modify basic properties of the entire material and, in consequence, drastically limit its applications. Using silicon carbide as an example, physicists from Cracow and Warsaw have shown that even such computationally demanding defects can be successfully examined with atomic accuracy by means of a cleverly constructed, small in size, model.

Mathematics loves perfection. Unfortunately, perfection does not love physical reality. Theoreticians modelling crystals have long tried to include defects in...

30.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

Smarter experiments for faster materials discovery

Scientists created a new AI algorithm for making measurement decisions; autonomous approach could revolutionize scientific experiments

A team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory designed, created, and...

28.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

Water harvester makes it easy to quench your thirst in the desert

New metal-organic framework enables capture of water from dry air 24/7

With water scarcity a growing problem worldwide, University of California, Berkeley, researchers are close to producing a microwave-sized water harvester that...

28.08.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

Im Focus: The working of a molecular string phone

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Potsdam (both in Germany) and the University of Toronto (Canada) have pieced together a detailed time-lapse movie revealing all the major steps during the catalytic cycle of an enzyme. Surprisingly, the communication between the protein units is accomplished via a water-network akin to a string telephone. This communication is aligned with a ‘breathing’ motion, that is the expansion and contraction of the protein.

This time-lapse sequence of structures reveals dynamic motions as a fundamental element in the molecular foundations of biology.

Im Focus: Milestones on the Way to the Nuclear Clock

Two research teams have succeeded simultaneously in measuring the long-sought Thorium nuclear transition, which enables extremely precise nuclear clocks. TU Wien (Vienna) is part of both teams.

If you want to build the most accurate clock in the world, you need something that "ticks" very fast and extremely precise. In an atomic clock, electrons are...

Im Focus: Graphene sets the stage for the next generation of THz astronomy detectors

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated a detector made from graphene that could revolutionize the sensors used in next-generation space telescopes. The findings were recently published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy.

Beyond superconductors, there are few materials that can fulfill the requirements needed for making ultra-sensitive and fast terahertz (THz) detectors for...

Im Focus: Physicists from Stuttgart prove the existence of a supersolid state of matte

A supersolid is a state of matter that can be described in simplified terms as being solid and liquid at the same time. In recent years, extensive efforts have been devoted to the detection of this exotic quantum matter. A research team led by Tilman Pfau and Tim Langen at the 5th Institute of Physics of the University of Stuttgart has succeeded in proving experimentally that the long-sought supersolid state of matter exists. The researchers report their results in Nature magazine.

In our everyday lives, we are familiar with matter existing in three different states: solid, liquid, or gas. However, if matter is cooled down to extremely...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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