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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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Mimicking the human body with carbon black polymers

Metal detectors have become so commonplace that you might think we know all we need to about them. However, the law enforcement community must continually update performance standards for metal detectors to ensure that new products purchased in the marketplace operate at specified minimum levels. Further-more, they must know if exposure to the magnetic fields generated by metal detectors affects the functioning of personal medical electronic devices (such as cardiac defibrillators, infusion pumps, sp 13.10.2003 | nachricht Read more

Microscopic cracks spoil the transparency of glass, nano-researchers find

The cloudy look on cleaned glass is scattered light, not streaks of dirt A fundamental discovery about the behavior of cooling glass could have a significant impact on the glass- and plastic-making industries, say researchers at Lehigh University. Himanshu Jain, Diamond chair and professor of materials science and engineering at Lehigh, says the breakthrough was made possible by a combination of nanoscopic science and an old-fashioned kitchen recipe. When molten glass i 13.10.2003 | nachricht Read more

Electronics interconnections for extreme space environments

If all goes as planned, two rovers named Spirit and Opportunity will explore the surface of Mars next year, gathering a wealth of geologic information and beaming the results back to Earth. However, the environment is so extreme that the rovers will be equipped with heaters to keep the electronic gear warm enough to operate properly over the Martian winter when temperatures can dip to -120 degrees C. Future space probes will involve even more extreme environments, with temperatures as high as 460 deg 13.10.2003 | nachricht Read more

New Glass Can Replace Expensive Crystals in Some Lasers

...and bring high power to small packages Researchers have developed a new family of glasses that will bring higher power to smaller packages in lasers and optical devices and provide a less-expensive alternative to many other optical glasses and crystals, like sapphire. Called REAl(tm) Glass (Rare-earth - Aluminum oxide), the materials are durable, provide a good host for atoms that improve laser performance, and may extend the range of wavelengths that a single laser can currently 08.10.2003 | nachricht Read more

Composite materials in aeronautics

The interest sparked by airspace themes has once again brought together, in the Basque city of Donostia-San Sebastián, representatives of the main European enterprises in these sectors to deal with the applications of innovative materials capable of providing greater safety, longer life and increased wear to aircraft parts and components. Airspace sector experts from companies such as Sener, EADS-Airbus, CESA, amongst others, came together to analyse the applications of composite materials (composite 07.10.2003 | nachricht Read more

New Surface Can Find Different Twists on a Molecular Theme

Researchers have created a new process to produce materials that can sift through similar, molecular brethren and latch onto chemicals that differ from each other in only their mirrored images. If it proves effective in large-scale experiments, the stable, relatively simple catalyst could impact the $100 billion pharmaceutical industry by helping sort biologically potent chemicals from related, yet less useful or even toxic, compatriots. Jay Switzer and colleagues at the University 02.10.2003 | nachricht Read more

University of Toronto professor turns hemp into auto parts

If Mohini Sain has his way, cars of the future may be fitted with tough, durable and completely biodegradable bumpers made of hemp. Sain, a professor in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Forestry and Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, creates biocomposites from processed plant fibres. His latest research, published in the August issue of Materials Research Innovations and the July issue of Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, describes a way to create a 30.09.2003 | nachricht Read more

New material lubricates itself

A highly durable and moreover self-lubricating material has seen the light of day at a thin film laboratory at Linköping University. It is an alloy of boron suboxide and yttrium, BOY, and was grown by the physicist Denis Music. The discovery is put forward in his doctoral dissertation. The element boron and its compounds have many interesting properties, but they have been difficult to exploit industrially because production involves extreme process conditions. To produce a crystal 26.09.2003 | nachricht Read more

Ceramics reinforced with nanotubes

A ceramic material reinforced with carbon nanotubes has been made by materials scientists at UC Davis. The new material is far tougher than conventional ceramics, conducts electricity and can both conduct heat and act as a thermal barrier, depending on the orientation of the nanotubes. Ceramic materials are very hard and resistant to heat and chemical attack, making them useful for applications such as coating turbine blades, said Amiya Mukherjee, professor of chemical engineering and mater 17.09.2003 | nachricht Read more

Ductile intermetallic compounds discovered

Ames Laboratory researchers identify non-brittle intermetallics To material scientists the phrase "ductile intermetallic compounds" has long been considered an oxymoron. Although these compounds possess chemical, physical, electrical, magnetic, and mechanical properties that are often superior to ordinary metals, their potential has gone untapped because they are typically quite brittle at room temperature. Until now. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames 16.09.2003 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

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...

Im Focus: 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...

Im Focus: Study on attosecond timescale casts new light on electron dynamics in transition metals

An international team of scientists involving the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has unraveled the light-induced electron-localization dynamics in transition metals at the attosecond timescale. The team investigated for the first time the many-body electron dynamics in transition metals before thermalization sets in. Their work has now appeared in Nature Physics.

The researchers from ETH Zurich (Switzerland), the MPSD (Germany), the Center for Computational Sciences of University of Tsukuba (Japan) and the Center for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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