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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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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

Better wastewater treatment? It's a wrap

Rice's trap-and-zap strategy for antibiotic resistant bugs becomes wrap, trap and zap

A shield of graphene helps particles destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria and free-floating antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater treatment plants.

21.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Humboldt Fellow at NETZ: Nanocatalysts Made of Metallic Glass

They combine the properties of metal and glass and thus reveal new possibilities: Among other features, metallic glasses have extraordinary catalytic properties. Dr. Shunxing Liang intends to exploit this for water splitting, i.e. the production of hydrogen as an energy carrier. To this end, he wants to generate nanoparticles of this promising material by pulse laser ablation in liquids. The 29-year-old is a Humboldt Fellow at the NanoEnergieTechnik-Zentrum (NETZ) at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) for one year.

Metallic glasses are comparatively new in the glassy family. They combine the best of both materials. They conduct electricity like metals but have an internal...

21.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Higher-order topology found in 2D crystal

Over the last decade, the field of condensed matter physics has experienced a golden age with the discovery of new materials and properties, and related technologies being developed at breakneck speed thanks to the arrival of topological physics. Topological physics took off in 2008 with the discovery of topological insulator, a type of material that is electrically insulating in the bulk but metallic on the surface.

Since then, scientists have found more exotic topological phases including Dirac semimetals, Weyl semimetals and Axionic insulators. But most recently,...

15.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Looking at linkers helps to join the dots

Better understanding the science that underpins well-known techniques for developing quantum dots--tiny semiconducting nanocrystals--can help reduce the guesswork of current practices as material scientists use them to make better solar panels and digital displays.

Just billionths of a meter across, quantum dots are routinely prepared in solution and coated or sprayed as an ink to create a thin electrically conducting...

10.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Goodbye Absorbers: High-Precision Laser Welding of Plastics

In the successfully completed NRW project SeQuLas, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and three industrial partners have developed a joining process that can be used to produce the smallest weld seams in transparent plastic components. The process makes use of a thulium fiber laser, which offers a particular advantage: Since plastics absorb the corresponding wavelength well, the process does not require additional absorbers such as soot. The process is particularly interesting for medical technology, as it should be used to increase flexibility and efficiency in industrial production.

In the life science sector, microfluidic chips have proven their worth since they can transport, mix and filter even the smallest amounts of liquid...

10.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Shock-dissipating fractal cubes could forge high-tech armor

3D printed fractal structures with closely spaced voids dissipate shockwaves five times better than solid cubes

Tiny, 3D printed cubes of plastic, with intricate fractal voids built into them, have proven to be effective at dissipating shockwaves, potentially leading to...

08.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Atomic 'Swiss army knife' precisely measures materials for quantum computers

NIST unveils blueprint for building a three-in-one measurement tool to study quantum materials.

It images single atoms. It maps atomic-scale hills and valleys on metal and insulating surfaces. And it records the flow of current across atom-thin materials...

08.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Carbon-loving materials designed to reduce industrial emissions

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are advancing gas membrane materials to expand practical technology options for reducing industrial carbon emissions.

Results published in Chem demonstrate a fabrication method for membrane materials that can overcome current bottlenecks in selectivity and permeability, key...

06.07.2020 | nachricht Read more

Thermophones offer new route to radically simplify array design, research shows

Scientists have pioneered a new technique to produce arrays of sound produced entirely by heat.

The team of researchers from the Centre for Metamaterial Research and Innovation at the University of Exeter used devices, known as thermophones, to create a...

03.07.2020 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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