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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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Perovskite solar cells get an upgrade

Rice University materials scientists use inorganic ingredients to limit defects, retain efficiency

Rice University scientists believe they've overcome a major hurdle keeping perovskite-based solar cells from achieving mainstream use.

06.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Laser pulses create topological state in graphene

Discovering ways to control the topological aspects of quantum materials is an important research frontier because it can lead to desirable electrical and spin transport properties for future device technologies. Now MPSD scientists have discovered a pioneering laser-driven approach to generate a topological state in graphene. Their work has just been published in Nature Physics.

In topological materials, electrons experience a twisted world. Instead of simply moving straight ahead when feeling a force, they may be pushed sideways. In...

06.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Light-based 'tractor beam' assembles materials at the nanoscale

Modern construction is a precision endeavor. Builders must use components manufactured to meet specific standards -- such as beams of a desired composition or rivets of a specific size. The building industry relies on manufacturers to create these components reliably and reproducibly in order to construct secure bridges and sound skyscrapers.

Now imagine construction at a smaller scale -- less than 1/100th the thickness of a piece of paper. This is the nanoscale. It is the scale at which scientists...

05.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

2D antimony holds promise for post-silicon electronics

Engineers at The University of Texas at Austin find new material for manufacturing even smaller computer chips to replace silicon.

Not everything is bigger in Texas -- some things are really, really small. A group of engineers at The University of Texas at Austin may have found a new...

05.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

A plethora of states in magic-angle graphene

Last year, graphene made another major splash in the headlines when scientists discovered that by simply rotating two layers of this material one on top of the other, it could behave like a superconductor where electrical currents can flow without resistance. This new phase of matter was seen to appear only when the two graphene layers were twisted between each other at an angle of 1.1º (no more and no less) - the so-called magic angle, and was always accompanied by enigmatic correlated insulator phases, similar to what is observed in mysterious cuprate high-temperature superconductors.

Now, researchers from ICFO in Barcelona have succeeded in vastly improving the device quality of this setup, and in doing so, have stumbled upon something even...

04.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Cage molecules act as molecular sieves for hydrogen isotope separation

A new hybrid material developed by scientists at the University of Liverpool may bring the dream of carbon-free nuclear fusion power a step closer.

The separation of hydrogen's three isotopes (hydrogen, deuterium, and tritium) is of key importance for fusion power technology, but current technologies are...

04.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Patent: TU Freiberg develops novel composite materials for extremely heat-resistant components

High-temperature plants such as melting furnaces are often exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations. In order to increase the service life of these materials, refractory researchers at TU Freiberg have developed new, patented material composites using flame spraying technology.

Refractory materials are often exposed to extreme conditions. In a melting furnace, for example, they serve as lining material to protect metal aggregates from...

04.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Sponge-like 2D material with interesting electrical conductivity and magnetic properties

Researchers synthesize a new 2D Metal Organic Framework with an ever-growing list of possible applications

Chemists at the Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials (CMCM), within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS, South Korea), have reported the synthesis of...

01.11.2019 | nachricht Read more

Concrete with improved impact endurance for defense structures developed at FEFU

Engineers from the Military Studies Center at Far Eastern Federal University (MSC FEFU) developed a brand-new concrete with improved impact endurance and up to 40% made of waste: rice husk cinder, limestone crushing waste, and siliceous sand. The new concrete is 6-9 times more crackle resistant than the types produced under GOST standards. The related article was published in Inorganic Materials: Applied Research.

The new concrete is suitable for the construction of military and civil defense structures, load-carrying structures of nuclear power plants, or for buildings...

31.10.2019 | nachricht Read more

An amazingly simple recipe for nanometer-sized corundum

Almost everyone uses nanometer-sized alumina these days - this mineral, among others, constitutes the skeleton of modern catalytic converters in cars. Until now, the practical production of nanocorundum with a sufficiently high porosity has not been possible. The situation has changed radically with the presentation of a new method of nanocorundum production, developed as part of a German-Polish cooperation of scientists from Mülheim an der Ruhr and Cracow.

High temperatures and pressures, processes lasting for even dozens of days. Current methods of producing nanometer-sized alumina, a material of significant...

30.10.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

Im Focus: Distorted Atoms

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.

An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...

Im Focus: A Memory Effect at Single-Atom Level

An international research group has observed new quantum properties on an artificial giant atom and has now published its results in the high-ranking journal Nature Physics. The quantum system under investigation apparently has a memory - a new finding that could be used to build a quantum computer.

The research group, consisting of German, Swedish and Indian scientists, has investigated an artificial quantum system and found new properties.

Im Focus: Shedding new light on the charging of lithium-ion batteries

Exposing cathodes to light decreases charge time by a factor of two in lithium-ion batteries.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have reported a new mechanism to speed up the charging of lithium-ion...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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