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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 the world's thinnest gold

Scientists at the University of Leeds have created a new form of gold which is just two atoms thick - the thinnest unsupported gold ever created.

The researchers measured the thickness of the gold to be 0.47 nanometres - that is one million times thinner than a human finger nail. The material is regarded...

07.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

Ionic thermal up-diffusion boosts energy harvesting

Salinity gradient energy is recognized as a promising candidate for the substitution of the traditional fossil fuels. Recently nanofluidic salinity gradient energy harvesting via ion channels or membranes has drawn increasing concerns due to the advances in materials science and nanotechnology, which could offer much higher power density than the macro reverse electrodialysis systems, indicating its potential to harvest the blue energy (about 1.4-2.6 TW) released by mixing seawater and river water as well as enhancing the power extracted for membrane-based osmotic heat engines.

Previous efforts focusing on the nanofluidic energy conversion system mainly deal with the isothermal conditions. Conventional viewpoint suggests that...

07.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

Physicists make graphene discovery that could help develop superconductors

Rutgers-led research could reduce energy use, improve electronic devices

When two mesh screens are overlaid, beautiful patterns appear when one screen is offset. These "moiré patterns" have long intrigued artists, scientists and...

01.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

A novel graphene-matrix-assisted stabilization method will help unique 2D materials to become a part

Scientists from Russia and Japan found a way of stabilizing two-dimensional copper oxide (CuO) materials by using graphene. Along with being the main candidates for spintronics applications, these materials may be used in forthcoming quantum computers. The results of the study were published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

The family of 2D materials has recently been joined by a new class, the monolayers of oxides and carbides of transition metals, which have been the subject of...

01.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

Experimental observation of a new class of materials: Excitonic insulators

Scientists make first observation of an 'excitonic insulator', an exotic state first predicted in 1960s

  • First observation of excitonic insulator
  • New exotic state was first predicted in 1960s
01.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

Researchers produce electricity by flowing water over extremely thin layers of metal

Oxide layer atop nanometal layer results in electron shuttle, not corrosion

Scientists from Northwestern University and Caltech have produced electricity by simply flowing water over extremely thin layers of inexpensive metals,...

01.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

SUTD researchers developed a unique method of fabricating 3D porous structures

Materials with controlled porosity have found diverse applications in separation, catalysis, energy storage, sensors and actuators, tissue engineering and drug delivery. Multiple methods have been developed to fabricate well-defined porous materials with the pore sizes ranging from nanometers to millimeters.

For example, the introduction of sacrificial templates can impart porosity to the materials encapsulating them after the removal of embedded materials....

01.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

New research highlights similarities in the insulating states of twisted bilayer graphene and cuprates

In recent decades, enormous research efforts have been expended on the exploration and explanation of high-temperature (high-Tc) superconductors, a class of materials exhibiting zero resistance at particularly high temperatures. Now a team of scientists from the United States, Germany and Japan explain in Nature how the electronic structure in twisted bilayer graphene influences the emergence of the insulating state in these systems, which is the precursor to superconductivity in high-Tc materials.

Finding a material which superconducts at room temperature would lead to a technological revolution, alleviate the energy crisis (as nowadays most energy is...

01.08.2019 | nachricht Read more

Engineers use heat-free tech for flexible electronics; print metal on flowers, gelatin

Martin Thuo of Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory clicked through the photo gallery for one of his research projects.

How about this one? There was a rose with metal traces printed on a delicate petal.

31.07.2019 | nachricht Read more

Oddball edge wins nanotube faceoff

Rice University theory shows peculiar 'Janus' interface a common mechanism in carbon nanotube growth

When is a circle less stable than a jagged loop? Apparently when you're talking about carbon nanotubes.

30.07.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum computers to become portable

Together with the University of Innsbruck, the ETH Zurich and Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles SRL, Infineon Austria is researching specific questions on the commercial use of quantum computers. With new innovations in design and manufacturing, the partners from universities and industry want to develop affordable components for quantum computers.

Ion traps have proven to be a very successful technology for the control and manipulation of quantum particles. Today, they form the heart of the first...

Im Focus: Towards an 'orrery' for quantum gauge theory

Experimental progress towards engineering quantized gauge fields coupled to ultracold matter promises a versatile platform to tackle problems ranging from condensed-matter to high-energy physics

The interaction between fields and matter is a recurring theme throughout physics. Classical cases such as the trajectories of one celestial body moving in the...

Im Focus: A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...

Im Focus: Vehicle Emissions: New sensor technology to improve air quality in cities

Researchers at TU Graz are working together with European partners on new possibilities of measuring vehicle emissions.

Today, air pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing European cities. As part of the Horizon 2020 research project CARES (City Air Remote Emission...

Im Focus: Self healing robots that "feel pain"

Over the next three years, researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Cambridge, École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI-Paris) and Empa will be working together with the Dutch Polymer manufacturer SupraPolix on the next generation of robots: (soft) robots that ‘feel pain’ and heal themselves. The partners can count on 3 million Euro in support from the European Commission.

Soon robots will not only be found in factories and laboratories, but will be assisting us in our immediate environment. They will help us in the household, to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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