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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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Machine learning methods provide new insights into organic-inorganic interfaces

Simulations at Graz University of Technology refute earlier theories on long-range charge transfer between organic and inorganic materials.

Oliver Hofmann and his research group at the Institute of Solid State Physics at TU Graz are working on the optimization of modern electronics. A key role in...

04.08.2020 | nachricht Read more

Unusual electron sharing found in cool crystal

A team of scientists led by Nagoya University in Japan has detected a highly unusual atomic configuration in a tungsten-based material. Until now, the atomic configuration had only been seen in trihydrogen, an ion that exists in between star systems in space. The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, suggest further studies could reveal compounds with interesting electronic properties.

Atoms that make up humans and trees and kitchen tables generally bond together by sharing electrons - think of electrons as the atomic glue of life. Nagoya...

31.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

30.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

New research area on soft magnetic materials launched at Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden

Since July 1, 2020, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has been concentrating on a future-oriented field of research with its new working group on "Soft Magnetic Materials", which is particularly important for the highly topical areas of renewable energies and electromobility.

With the worldwide increasing energy demand and the resulting growth of the electrical market, the share of electrical energy converters is also increasing. On...

29.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Mapping crystal shapes could fast-track 2D materials

Experts call for global effort to clear hurdles to mass production

Materials scientists at Rice University and the University of Pennsylvania are calling for a collective, global effort to fast-track the mass production of 2D...

28.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Without thermal chamber: Fraunhofer LBF develops dynamic plastics testing even at low temperatures

Plastics behave dependent on temperature and strain rate. When designing components, it is therefore important to know the behavior of the plastic used, not only under laboratory conditions, but also under the subsequent conditions of use. The entire spectrum of possible temperatures must be considered. To this end, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF have expanded the dynamic possibilities at the institute's own modified high-speed testing machine with a device that enables plastics to be examined even at low temperatures – validated down to -40 degrees Celsius -– without a thermal chamber.

With the new device, the Fraunhofer LBF scientific team will be able to investigate plastic properties even at temperatures below room temperature. In...

28.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Almost no evidence of brittleness

Special coating protects steel from hydrogen ‘attack’

Regeneratively produced hydrogen is an ideal energy carrier, which will be used in future applications as fuel cells and cars and will supplement natural gas...

27.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Self-healing soft material outsmarts nature

A soft material that heals itself instantaneously is now reality. A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and at Pennsylvania State University tune the nanostructure of a new stretchable material in such a way that it now entirely recovers its structure and properties at the blink of an eye after being cut or poked. The squid-inspired material could revolutionize the research field of soft robotics. Since it can reverse any undergone damage, it makes many real-world applications possible in which robots have to deal with dynamic and unpredictable environments.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Germany and at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in the USA have developed a soft...

27.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Scientists develop new material for longer-lasting fuel cells

New research suggests that graphene - made in a specific way- could be used to make more durable hydrogen fuel cells for cars.

In the study, published today in the journal Nanoscale, scientists produced graphene via a special, scalable technique and used it to develop hydrogen fuel...

24.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Nanoscale cellulose: An alternative to plastics? - NanoCELL for environmentally friendly packaging

Since the beginning of 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT has been working on a comprehensive characterization and humantoxicological assessment of nanocellulose along its life cycle in the BMBF-funded joint project "NanoCELL" under the coordination of Postnova Analytics GmbH, in order to achieve a reliable risk assessment and safe use in environmentally friendly packaging materials.

Cellulose, a natural carbohydrate, is the most abundant organic substance on earth. Nanocellulose is extracted from renewable resources such as wood or cotton...

22.07.2020 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

Im Focus: NYUAD astrophysicist investigates the possibility of life below the surface of Mars

  • A rover expected to explore below the surface of Mars in 2022 has the potential to provide more insights
  • The findings published in Scientific Reports, Springer Nature suggests the presence of traces of water on Mars, raising the question of the possibility of a life-supporting environment

Although no life has been detected on the Martian surface, a new study from astrophysicist and research scientist at the Center for Space Science at NYU Abu...

Im Focus: Manipulating non-magnetic atoms in a chromium halide enables tuning of magnetic properties

New approach creates synthetic layered magnets with unprecedented level of control over their magnetic properties

The magnetic properties of a chromium halide can be tuned by manipulating the non-magnetic atoms in the material, a team, led by Boston College researchers,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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