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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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Metal nanoclusters can be used as semiconductors: Key properties observed for first time

Tiny nanoclusters of metal atoms - such as gold and silver - have properties which mean they can be used as semiconductors, a joint Swansea-Hamburg research team has discovered.

The finding opens the door to a wide range of potential new applications, from phone displays and flatter screens to wearable technology.

27.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

From foam to bone: Plant cellulose can pave the way for healthy bone implants

Researchers from the University of British Columbia and McMaster University have developed what could be the bone implant material of the future: an airy, foamlike substance that can be injected into the body and provide scaffolding for the growth of new bone.

It's made by treating nanocrystals derived from plant cellulose so that they link up and form a strong but lightweight sponge - technically speaking, an...

19.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

Additive printing processes for flexible touchscreens: increased materials and cost efficiency

The INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials has developed new processes with photochemical metallization and printing (gravure printing, inkjet printing) of transparent conductive oxides (TCOs), which are significantly more time- and cost-saving. These will be presented by the scientists at this year's Hannover Messe from 1 to 5 April at Stand C54 in Hall 5.

In addition to foldable smartphones, the industry's big players are also working on flexible displays. Until now, touchscreens have been rigid and do not yield...

19.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

Nanocrystal 'factory' could revolutionize quantum dot manufacturing

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a microfluidic system for synthesizing perovskite quantum dots across the entire spectrum of visible light. The system drastically reduces manufacturing costs, can be tuned on demand to any color and allows for real-time process monitoring to ensure quality control.

Over the last two decades, colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, known as quantum dots (QDs), have emerged as novel materials for applications ranging from...

18.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

Design and validation of world-class multilayered thermal emitter using machine learning

Selection of an optimum structure from approximately eight billion candidates may make society more energy efficient

NIMS, the University of Tokyo, Niigata University and RIKEN jointly designed a multilayered metamaterial that realizes ultra-narrowband wavelength-selective...

15.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

Engineering living 'scaffolds' for building materials

Researchers at Berkeley Lab take cues from nature to form living materials with unprecedented control and versatility

When the inside of a mollusk shell shimmers in sunlight, the iridescence isn't produced by colored pigments but by tiny physical structures self-assembled from...

14.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

X-ray analysis of carbon nanostructures helps material design

Optimized nanoporous carbons can serve as electrodes for fast electron and ion transport or improve the performance of energy storage and conversion devices. Thus the tunability of the size, shape, and distribution of pores is highly required.

The team at the HZB Institute for Soft Matter and Functional Materials collaborated with a group at the University of Tartu, Estonia, to inquire the...

13.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

Researchers improve description of defective oxides with first principles calculation

Team develops site-dependent +U correction parameters

Some perovskite oxides, for example, have shown a wide spectrum of technologically relevant functional properties such as ferroelectricity and magnetism that...

13.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

Controlling thermal conductivity of polymers with light

Polymers are regularly used as thermal insulators for everything from keeping beverages hot to keeping sensitive electronics cool. In some cases, polymers can even be used as thermal conductors to enable efficient heating or cooling.

In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have designed and demonstrated a novel type of polymer demonstrating a switchable...

12.03.2019 | nachricht Read more

Calculation concept shortens the design process of injection molded parts

Using a new calculation process, it is now possible to predict fiber orientation-dependent component behavior in relation to shaped elements at an early stage and thus design the component in accordance with the expected load. This reduces costly iteration cycles and thereby shortens the entire development and manufacturing process. What is more, the concept can also be applied to areas where Integrative Simulation was previously too expensive or time-consuming.

Short-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic injection molded parts are increasingly being used in place of steel or aluminum. The Fraunhofer Institute for Structural...

12.03.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

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